What Affects the Lifespan of a Solar Panel?

Solar panels are an incredibly useful and productive resource for any home, but what many might not realize is how efficient they are. Solar panels that were installed and functioning optimally just five years ago would be able to produce 50% less energy now.

The lifespan of solar panels varies widely depending on the conditions in which they’re used. Keep reading to learn what can impact the lifespan of a solar panel and how you can increase the efficiency of your panels and get the most out of their use.


The installation can significantly affect the life of solar panels. Poorly installed panels will not be able to take full advantage of direct sunlight. They can also get easily damaged by the elements.

If the supporting framework is not securely bolted down and aligned, it can reduce the efficiency of producing energy. Over time its performance will decrease drastically. Loose connections can also create a hotspot that can cause serious power drops and even irreparable damage to the cells.

On the other hand, a well-installed solar panel will last much longer. It will not be subjected to the same rigorous environmental stresses and will make the most of available sunlight. It’s, therefore, important to hire an experienced professional to correctly install and maintain your solar panel. To help you choose a reliable installer, check out Blue Raven Solar.

Weather Conditions

Solar panels are a renowned renewable energy source. To maximize the longevity of a solar panel, it is important to consider the nature of weather conditions when selecting a location. If they’re placed in a region that experiences strong winds, extreme weather conditions, and other external forces, the lifespan of the solar panel will be significantly reduced.

Rainfall and high levels of humidity can also decrease the lifespan of the panel. Large amounts of dust and salt deposits introduce elements to the panels that can corrode their components, causing eventual failure.

Solar technology manufacturers typically provide warranties to help combat this problem. It is also imperative that they’re installed in an area of minimal weather exposure. This is to ensure the optimal performance and lifespan of a solar panel.

The Quality of the Panels

High-quality solar panels typically last longer because they employ better materials and advanced technology that can stand up to the elements. While less expensive panels may be cheaper upfront, they are far more likely to degrade in a shorter period of time.

Quality solar panels come with warranties that last up to 25 years or more. So it may be worth investing in higher quality to save in the long run.

For example, monocrystalline solar panels are known to be more durable and can last several decades. Their polycrystalline counterparts have shorter lifespans.

Additionally, reputable manufacturers have extensive quality control protocols that can also influence how well their solar panels last. Ultimately, investing in high-quality solar panels from trusted manufacturers is essential for achieving the best possible lifespan.

Sloppy Wiring

Poorly-wired connectors, bad crimps, and loose electrical contacts can all cause current leakage. This cab also decreased efficiency and even panel failure.

Poor wiring techniques may cause damage to the solar panel’s sensitive electrical components. They can also exacerbate temperature shifts between the solar panel and the line voltage in the home. When a panel has been improperly wired, it may cause short circuits and permanent breakage of the panel’s electrical elements.

If left unchecked, this can cause safety hazards and increase the risk of electrical shocks. It’s important to take the time to properly install, inspect and maintain wiring on a solar panel system to extend the life of its components.

Inadequate Ventilation

Inadequate ventilation is one of the most common causes of shortened solar panel lifespan. The combination of sunlight exposure, convection, and condensation can cause it to overheat and cause the panel to degrade over time.

As air is unable to flow freely, hot air will collect around the panel. This prevents it from cooling down quickly. This results in a decrease in its efficiency by causing a decrease in its voltage output.

It is important to install the panels in an area with adequate ventilation. By providing ample airflow, solar panels can operate at their peak and provide efficient electricity for longer life spans.

Rodents and Other Animals

Rodents and other animals can have a significant impact on the lifespan of a solar panel. Rodents such as mice and rats are especially destructive. They can cause major damage to the wiring and other electrical components.

By chewing through wires and using the solar panel as a shelter, rodents can reduce the effectiveness of the power output. It can also cause the solar panel to malfunction.

In addition, birds can also cause damage to the solar panel itself by pecking away at the protective coating that prevents ultraviolet radiation from damaging the panel. They can also nest in and around solar systems, leading to dirt and debris buildup on the panel

Regular inspections can help reduce the chance of damage caused by these animals. Also, place the panels in areas where they are not easily accessible to animals. When well-protected and used correctly, solar panels can last for many years and provide a reliable source of solar energy.

Sun Exposure Duration

Sun exposure is an important factor affecting the longevity of solar panels. Too much sun exposure can damage a solar panel by gradually breaking down the protective coating on the solar panel’s surface, eventually leading to corrosion.

Too little sun exposure can reduce the efficiency of the solar panel and decrease its lifespan. The ideal sun exposure duration for solar panels is typically between 4 to 8 hours per day. The exact amount depends on the amount of sun the location receives and the size of the solar panel.

For solar panels to receive the right amount of sunlight, proper installation techniques are essential. This includes facing the panel toward the equator and using the correct tilt angle. With the right amount of sun, a solar panel can last its full life expectancy.

Temperature Variations

Solar panels come with varying levels of lifespans depending on how and where they’re used. One of the main factors that affect their durability is temperature. Cold weather can reduce the efficiency of solar panels, whereas extreme heat can cause the panel to prematurely age and eventually malfunction.

Additionally, repeated exposure to temperatures that are too high or too low can damage the cells inside the panels. This can cause them to become less efficient over time.

If you plan to install a solar panel in an area that experiences extreme temperature variations, it is a good idea to invest in a panel designed to endure such conditions. This way, you can be sure that your solar panel will last its maximum lifespan and provide you with consistent and reliable performance.


Solar panels can last between 25 and 40 years, depending on their quality and the amount of maintenance they receive. Proper maintenance of your solar panels can help to maximize their lifespan. To ensure that your solar panels remain in peak condition, frequent cleaning should be carried out.

Additionally, a yearly inspection of the panels is important. This can help to identify any potential issues and ensure that your solar energy system is operating in optimal condition.

Furthermore, consider making small repairs as soon as possible to help prolong the lifespan of your solar panels. From time to time, you’ll also want to inspect the roof where they’re installed, as a damaged roof can cause problems for the system in the future. With the proper care and maintenance, your solar panels can last for years to come.

Running a Solar Panel at a Higher Capacity Than Intended

Doing so will cause stress to the panel’s components, such as solar cells, power electronics, cables, and inverters. These components can become damaged and will require replacement if they become exposed to excessive heat and voltage. This can lead to shorts, power losses, and other malfunctions that may cause fires, incorrect function, or complete failure.

Additionally, running a solar panel at a higher capacity can also reduce the amount of electricity that it is able to produce. It can also decrease the integrity of the panel’s frame. This results in more wear and tear, leading to the solar panel being unable to survive in its intended environment.

To avoid future damage to your solar panel, it is best to always run it at its intended capacity. It is important to research the output current level and voltage of the solar panel before installing it. This ensures that it operates within its rated parameters.

Power Surges

A power surge can be very detrimental to a solar panel. Solar panels have been designed to work best under steady conditions. When a power surge comes through the power grid, it can damage or reduce the lifespan of the solar panel.

A power surge can cause arcing, a process that produces heat which can then damage components in the solar panel’s wiring. The heat of a power surge can also damage the photovoltaic cells in the solar panel. Without properly functioning photovoltaic cells, the solar panel won’t be generating electricity at its optimal level.

In addition to arcing and heat, power surges can result in a lower voltage being transmitted to the solar panel. This can miscalibrate the solar panel and cause its efficiency to suffer.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much a homeowner can do to protect their solar panel during a power surge. But it is important to be aware of the potential hazards power surges can have on solar panels if you are considering going solar.


Shading affects the lifespan of a solar panel by reducing its efficiency. Due to the fact that shading blocks the incoming light needed for a solar panel to produce energy, a cut in their efficiency is inevitable. This reduction in efficiency leads to a decrease in their useful life span because they are not operating at their peak level of performance. Solar panels located in heavily shaded locations will suffer from increased wear and tear, as opposed to those located in unshaded areas.

To combat this, owners should consider installing a shading assembly to reduce the amount of sunlight blocked from the panels. Position them in such a way that it blocks the surrounding vegetation or structures. Placing a shading assembly will ensure they perform to their expected standards and extend their useful lifespan.

Water Infiltration

When water gets inside the panel, it can cause corrosion which damages the sensitive components of the solar panel. As a result, this can lead to a decrease in efficiency and potentially cause the entire system to malfunction.

The water can also cause the glass covering the panel to become cloudy or discolored. This will reduce the amount of light that the solar panel can absorb.

To prevent water infiltration, install solar panels on a roof or other elevated platform, and surrounded by a waterproof casing. Additionally, all exposed electrical components should be completely sealed to make sure no water can penetrate the components.

Cell Mismatch

Cell mismatch is a term that describes the disparities in performance among individual solar cells within a panel. It occurs when different cells are exposed to different levels of light and heat. This phenomenon can occur as a result of uneven shading, orientation, dust accumulation, or aging of the panel.

Cell mismatch can upset the electrical balance of the panels leading to performance losses and a shorter solar panel life cycle. A mismatch can be minimized through proper product installation and periodic maintenance. To ensure maximum performance and lifecycle it is important to monitor and address cell mismatch issues when they arise.

Understanding the Lifespan of a Solar Panel

The lifespan of a solar panel is directly impacted by its environment, level of maintenance, and quality of the material. It is important to choose quality panels for longevity and take special care to maximize performance and longevity.

Regular maintenance can help reduce the likelihood of early replacement. If you’re looking to get the most efficiency and longevity out of your solar panel, consult an expert for tailored advice.

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