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How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels are expensive. It's one factor that keeps most people from using solar energy whether for camping or household use. The costs don't stop once you've bought your panels too. You'd need added materials and installation fees, which when added to the initial price of the solar panels can really make anyone take a step back.

It's only natural to want the best quality once you've already decided to avail solar panels. No one wants to go through that much expenses anytime soon, so a lot of solar panel buyers are always curious about how long solar panels last.

On average, most solar panels in Australia last for about 25 years. It's not so bad, right? You've probably gotten back your initial investment by this time provided that you're in an area favourable to solar energy use. This time frame is even better if you're using camping solar panels like flexible solar panels and folding solar panels. Chances are, you don't really use them on a regular basis unless they're fixed on your RV roof, so they're less prone to wear and tear.

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What Are the Causes of Solar Panel Degradation?

The overall quality of your solar panels plays a big role in how long they will last. This is why it's crucial to invest in a good one and choose something from a reputable provider. While it might be tempting to go for cheap solar panels because of the overwhelming price tags, this move will eventually cost you more once your panels underperform within a short period of time only.

In Australia, solar panel degradation is mostly caused by the type of environment they are operating in. Constant exposure to excessive sunlight, dust, and debris can greatly affect its performance and overall lifespan as well. Below are some of the most common reasons behind a decline in solar panel quality:

Light: Believe it or not, there's such a thing as "light-induced degradation" in solar panels. This reduces the photoconductivity of panels and is responsible for 1% to 3% yearly decrease in their efficiency.

Cold temperatures: Cold temperatures especially for extended periods is known to be unfavourable to solar panels. When the temperature goes below -18 °C, solar panels tend to have a significant drop in output as a result.

UV exposure: Frequent exposure to UV radiation is referred to as potential-induced degradation. It reduces efficiency by 30% and can be worsened by varying voltage levels of the different parts of your solar system.

Aging: Aging-related degradation is usually due to cell contamination and weather conditions. This is normal for any solar panel and doesn't necessarily mean it will stop producing electricity altogether. It's just the start of their gradual decline in output, but you can still definitely use them for quite some time.

12V

How To Make Solar Panels Last Longer?

Extending your solar panels' service life doesn't require complex measures. Start with the installation process and see to it that aside from proper set-up, none of your panels incurred any damage during the process. Make it a habit to do regular maintenance such as cleaning your solar panels with a damp cloth or any appropriate cleaning too. Accumulated dirt on your solar panels decreases efficiency as much as cloudy weather does.

In case of storms and other harsh weather conditions, check your solar panels for any cracks or loose parts and have them replaced immediately. It's also a good idea to clear your solar panel surroundings to make avoid future damage from falling branches or other heavy items.

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Want to save up a bit and still get quality solar panels? Check out our solar panel range at Outbax. They're all made from monocrystalline for superior efficiency and are available in different types suited for home and outdoor use.