How long does a solar array last?

How long will my solar system last?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) list solar panels as a thirty-five plus (35+) year asset. Home and business owners that go solar can expect solar panels installed today to last well past the industry-standard twenty-five (25) year warranty. The solar panels lose less than one percent (1%) of their efficiency each year, and there are no major drop off points during the lifetime of the array. For example, between years 25 and 26, a solar owner can expect there to be a similar 1% drop, not a “falling off of a cliff” type of drop from 90% efficiency to 40%. This means that as the array ages, it only slightly loses production power, and will be producing a significant amount of clean renewable energy for years after the warranty period. The fine print in many cases is typically centered around the inverters. Most inverter warranties are between 10-12 years, and even though from years 10-25 the inverters are not expected to fail, a home or business owner would not be covered if a failure occurs. There are also limited worries on the solar-related equipment, referred to commonly as BoS (Balance of System). Solar Is Freedom offers in-house extended warranties on all solar and solar-related equipment. You can learn more about our warranties and service by scheduling a free property evaluation


Products do make a difference in the lifespan of solar arrays. The best panels available on the market are monocrystalline, meaning that the silicon used is from one source. The best of these panels make it onto the “tier one” list, which is a list made up of panels that come from companies Bloomberg Financial deemed financially stable. A home or business owner needs to be wary of none monocrystalline, none tier one panels. These can often have significantly weaker warranties and lifespans, leading to an overall worse Return on Investment (ROI). As long as the array has a tier-one, monocrystalline panel, the solar array will yield a strong ROI well past the average twenty-five (25) year warranty. When considering the difference between the tier one models, ROI becomes even more important. The brand name panels typically do not outperform lesser-known tier one panels, and in scenarios when they do, the efficiency improvement is so minute that a typical business or homeowner would not notice. This can lead to home or business owners overpaying for brand names and extending the time ROI period. Potential solar buyers need to consider what is important to them as they go through the bidding and sales process.