Any good solar power system installer will know that predicting the life span and expectancy of a solar panel depends on more than just the manufacturer’s warranty or on advances in solar panel technology. In fact, the life span of a solar panel – and because of that, the life expectancy of the solar power system it is a part of – depends on a number of things.
Here’s a brief breakdown of what to expect to ensure your solar panel system lasts a long, long time, and gives you the economic and practical satisfaction you sought when you decided to switch from traditional non-renewable energy sources to cleaner, greener, and brighter solar power.
Are You Using the Right Panel Set Up for Your Get Up?
At the Green Power Company, we pride ourselves on our custom-fit installations, pricing, and packages, and it’s something we take very seriously. Apart from aiming to provide the best customer service possible, we also understand that no two solar panel system installations are alike.
That’s why it’s crucial to use the right solar panel system for your specific needs; for instance, a solar power set up for a school is very different from that of a home because of the power, construction, and zoning requirements.
Regardless, whether you choose to go big or small, we can help you pick the right system for your needs. If you’re unsure of your solar system needs, contacting us for a free solar assessment is a good place to start.
Which Brands Are You Using?
No really, we’re not prying. Finding the best solar panels doesn’t mean using the most expensive brands. In our previous post “Good Solar Paneling Maketh the Best Solar Channeling: Let’s Talk About Solar Panels,” we talked about how panel quality is crucial to the lifespan of a solar panel system.
What this means is that a good solar panel must be durable, reliable, and able to convert solar energy into electricity with maximum efficiency. The Green Power Company uses tried and trusted brands like Kyocera, Q-Cells, Sun Power, and Sun Earth, each of which is suited to specific power systems – from individual home units to on and off-grid large-scale commercial installations.
Needless to say, getting an expert’s opinion and investing in quality solar panels provides peace of mind, great returns from your solar power system, and most importantly, it will help you avoid the pitfalls of ending up with a defective solar power system, thanks to sub-standard solar panel manufacturing.
How Much Sun Will Your Panels Get?
We’re lucky to have almost never-ending sunshine here in Australia, which also means that your solar panel system will almost constantly be exposed to the power of the sun’s rays.
As this image shows, the average solar panel system in Australia gets a lot of sun during the day:
What is a “Quality” Solar Panel, Anyway?
The term gets thrown around quite liberally, that’s for sure. But what does it actually mean? According to the Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre initiative, solar panel systems are affected by the following things:
Solar Insolation: How the sun’s energy reaches the surface of a solar panel is important to understand whether it is functioning at its peak capacity. Solar cells work best when the sun’s rays fall directly, rather than indirectly, on them.
What this means is that if the area where you live gets clear, sunny skies most of the year, your panels will likely convert more energy into electricity than those in an area where it’s mostly cloudy.
- Temperature: While direct solar energy is great, surprisingly enough, high temperatures aren’t. Because solar panels make their own heat while converting solar energy to electricity, prolonged exposure to high temperatures will reduce their efficiency. For best results, speak to your solar system installer about whether temperatures in your area can damage your solar power system.
- Dust and Dirt: Both of these can block solar cells from absorbing the sun’s energy most efficiently. Vertical installations are better than horizontal ones for this reason.
- Shade: The term “solar” in solar panels should indicate their need for the sun. Needless to say, even small amounts of shade can affect the energy flow, and the electricity generation capacity of solar panels.
Proper placing and angling is essential, if you want the best out of your solar power system.
Don’t DIY, Use Professionals… Even the Government Thinks So
In today’s Do-It-Yourself culture, there are countless websites and guides on the Wild Wild Web showing you how to install your own solar power system and save on set-up costs. It might be a risky road to take, however. Solar power system installation is an intricate process that needs to take into account a number of factors beyond just placing the panels correctly; it has to combine the whims of nature with the needs of modern society to provide the best alternative to traditional fossil-fuel generated electricity. Simply put, it needs some skilled engineering, so getting a team of experts in might be the best thing you could do for yourself.
You don’t have to take our word for it; to be able to benefit from Solar Tax Credits and other solar energy use rebates from the Australian Government, a professional and accredited installation is a must.
Check Your System’s Installation
And even more importantly, here’s how to find out whether your installer has done a good job.
And… Here’s How to Calculate Their True Worth
Depending on how well you’ve invested, a solar panel system can last anywhere from 25-40 years, with regular and expert maintenance.
Next, we’ll take a look at how to tell if your solar power system is giving you the most bang for your buck. If it’s a good one, it’ll be returning your investment with gusto in no time.
As always, contact us if you’d like to know more on anything to do with solar power.