Installing a panel system in your home is an important investment, there are many factors such as the warranty on their materials, performance and brand, which can make you feel unsure of making the decision to install them, here we answer all your questions about what you need to know about the life of your panels and how you can achieve extend its life, to make a choice that in the long run will bring many benefits to you and your family.
What are solar panels made of?
First of all, it is important to know which are the materials used in the manufacture of a solar panel, as they influence its power and durability, so it is important to know how to choose them correctly.
The main material that makes up a solar panel inside, either polycrystalline or monocrystalline type is silicon, this type of metalloid allows the plates to be exposed to sunlight can be charged and generate electricity more efficiently than any other material.
The external part is composed of elements that support the silicon cells:
- Metal frame: It is in charge of giving rigidity and stability to the solar panel,some panels have a frame made of aluminum.
- Glass layer: The silicon plates are protected by a layer of tempered glass approximately 3 to 4 millimeters thick.
- Encapsulant: This part of the panel is composed of EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) which is in charge of transmitting the radiation coming from sunlight.
- Back cover: Fluoride coatings are used for the underside of the solar plate to protect all components.
- Junction box: This is where all the connections of the cells that make up a solar panel take place in order for them to function.
- Protection diodes: They are in charge of ensuring that the current goes in the right direction and thus prevent it from being able to return to the solar panels.
The life of the solar panels, also depend on each of its parts that are usually manufactured in different quality of material depending on the brand, in Solar Mission we offer the best quality and performance for your solar energy system, if you want to know what kind of brand we offer, we invite you to read our blog on which brands of solar panels are the best.
How long does a solar panel last?
Solar panels or solar panels have an average useful life of up to 40 years, however it is important to know that over time they may wear out and their performance may decrease little by little. This is also contemplated within the manufacturer's warranty since most of them extend an average of 25 years, once this time is exceeded, their efficiency may begin to decrease due to different external or operational factors.
As we mentioned in our blog about types of solar panelsIt has been shown that the panels that have a longer life and better resistance are the Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline, this type of photovoltaic panels have a power or performance that can be reduced by at least 0.5% year to year, this taking into account the quality and components of this type of panels, as they are made of a very thin film so they can lose their properties quickly.
How to extend the life of your solar panels
So that your investment is not affected and lasts for a long time, it is important that you follow some tips to extend the life of your solar panels and maintain their performance as when they arrived at your home.
First of all, maintaining a constant cleaning of the solar panels does make a difference because external factors such as rain, dust, tree leaves and other contaminants from the outside can affect the radiation they receive and thus reduce their performance. This type of maintenance or cleaning can be done by an expert who can provide you with all the security to go up to the roof and give you guarantees that it will not affect any part of the system.
If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, take the following tips:
- Ask for support from someone in your family or a friend who can accompany you during the cleaning and lend you the ladder or be attentive to your needs so that you do not run any danger when climbing to great heights.
- Try to do it during the day so that you can see each panel very well and do not run any danger, however avoid the hours in which the sun exposure is at its maximum since its performance will be at the peak of the day and this could affect its operation.
- You can use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove dust or tree residue.
- Use lukewarm water, this to avoid possible damage due to the thermal contrast caused by using very cold or very hot water, remember that the contact with the cells that make up a solar panel must be delicate.
- Avoid using hoses or a very strong jet to wash your panels as this could affect the circuit and in turn the photovoltaic cells.
- Do not leave excess water and let them air dry, you do not need to repeatedly wipe them dry.
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests cleaning solar panels at least once a year and more often in areas where there is a lot of dust or vegetation, thus avoiding a decrease in performance and getting the most out of your investment.
At Solar Mission we take care of your investment, that's why we offer you warranty on your solar panels for up to 25 years, we give you the best quality so you can make a good choice, and we support you before, during and after your installation so you can solve all your doubts. Schedule a consultation here today and start the process of switching to solar energy.