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How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

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Return on investment (ROI) is a critical consideration in any investment decision. When it comes to solar panels, a key component in the calculation of ROI is the question: “How long will my solar panels last?”

A typical workmanship warranty for premium solar panels used in home solar arrays ranges from 10-20 years. However they will continue to produce clean electricity, well beyond the workmanship warranty, typically at a slightly lower efficiency each year. It may surprise people to learn that some of the older solar cells have been producing electricity for approximately 40 years and are still going. And remember, these are the older panels from 40 to 50 years ago. Consider this, NASA uses solar energy on all satellites traveling the galaxy, and there are very few repair trucks floating around it space. Technology has improved and photovoltaic panels have become more durable since these earlier versions- so the expectation is that today’s technology will remain viable even longer.

In addition to a traditional workmanship warranty, solar panels also typically come with a production warranty. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed that the average solar panel loses 0.5%, or half of a percentage point of efficiency per year, some premium panels lose even less. Therefore, a panel at the end of a 25-year production warranty period, the solar panel still operates at roughly 88% of its original capacity. There are very few appliances out there, let alone power generation devices, that can boast about this kind of reliability.

Beyond the panels themself, it is important to consider the maintenance and replacement costs of your solar energy system. While your solar panels will likely not need replacement in the near future, they are not the only component of your system. Your inverter, which converts the DC from the panels into AC for channeling into your home’s outlet and the grid, typically comes with a 10-20 year warranty. However, in contrast to your panels whose efficiency will start declining, your inverter may one day fail and need to be replaced. When your inverter fails, it won't matter how many panels you have or the warranty, because your system will stop making electricity until the inverter is replaced.

In most case, with minimal additional expenditures in the near future and the ability to lock in electricity prices for years to come, the ROI for a solar system is an attractive investment opportunity. Assuming current electricity rates continue to rise with inflation, solar panels will typically pay for themselves in eight to 12 years, in some places even sooner. After that, you will be reaping the benefits of completely free solar energy.

The good news? Vinyasun offers you an immediate ROI. By providing solar power at $0 money down, the typical home generates solar power at a lower cost than paying their fossil fuel utility. Meanwhile, each payment goes toward paying off your investment. A lower cost for energy day one is immediate ROI.

Additionally at Vinyasun we offer a full 20 year warranty on all of your components as a system including a money back production guarantee. You don't have to worry about which panel is not working or if your inverter has failed, because if your solar array does not produce the amount of energy we predicted, we pay you the difference.


Lakeland Electric Ends Net Metering for Solar
New Pledge to Achieve 50% Clean Energy by 2025

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