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How long do solar panels last?

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How long solar panels will last is an important factor to understand when considering solar, and we know there are a lot of myths out there.

As solar panels have no moving parts, there is very little that can ‘fail’. This means solar panels can last for decades with minimal maintenance. But because the New Zealand solar industry is still young, most of the panels that have been installed are still on the roof. That means there’s not a lot of real-world, local data on the longevity panels. 

So a definitive lifespan is tricky to say. What we can look at are warranty periods and guaranteed power performance. Let’s take a look at a couple of the panels we use:

SunPower Solar Panels and their Lifespan

SunPower solar panels are known for their high efficiency and long-term reliability. Their Performance 6 solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, offering a guaranteed peak power of 87.2% in the 25th year. Given the panels will still be performing at 87.2% of their max power output, you can expect them to last for decades beyond that.

SunPower Maxeon panels are even more impressive, with a 40-year warranty. Maxeon panels have a guaranteed peak power of 88.25% after 40 years. It’s hard to say how long they will last, but we can almost guarantee they will outlive us!

Jinko Solar Panels and their expected life span

Jinko Solar Panels are another of our recommended panels. Renowned for their efficiency and durability, you can expect a significant life span. Jinko panels have a 25-year product warranty, but importantly they also have a 30-year linear power warranty. This means you’re guaranteed to only see annual degradation of 0.40% and at the end of the 30-year warranty period, you have a guaranteed power performance of 87.4%. Again if your panel is still performing at 87% of its day one performance after 30 years, you can expect it to continue performing for decades to come.

Final thoughts

Good quality panels, installed correctly, will perform close to their maximum output for 25-30 years. After 30 years their efficiency may decrease slightly, but they will still be an excellent source of energy, likely for decades to come. 

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