For most households and businesses, solar panels are a big investment, which we expect to use for many years. Unfortunately, these panels are just as susceptible to wear and tear which inevitably affects their performance and output in the long term. Solar panel degeneration isn’t common knowledge, but it’s important that you’re aware of it before you invest in a system, especially when you’re in the marketing comparing the features of different panels.
Solar panel degradation refers to the long term performance output decline seen in solar panels, with the rate varying across different panel brands and models. In Australia, solar panels typically peak at only 80% of their specified peak power, and this peak sees a gradual decline over the years, mainly due to temperature changes, dirt, wiring and general hardware degradation in the long term. Therefore, while price may be one of the key features that influence your choice in solar panels in the market, another important feature to look out for is performance outputs and its corresponding warranty. Like with panel prices, performance warranty claims across different brands vary, and so does the extent to which these panels live up to their warranty claims.
We recently inspected the solar panels at a suburban school that had a 5kW solar system installed through a different supplier eight years ago. Upon checking their total power production figures from their system, we found that their solar panels had substantially degraded. They were presently generating less than half of what 5kW worth of new panels must generate today. This is usually the case when the panels degenerate faster, resulting in reduced output that makes the system less cost-effective.
At present, the only panels in the market that have consistently proven to live up to their performance warranty claims are the ones made by LG. Panels produced by other brands suffer from rapid degeneration, which means their performance output reduces drastically year after year. In effect, cheaper panels with poor performance output will save you less and less money with each passing year. This is the main reason why you should consider the brand and other features of the solar panels in the market, especially if long term output and savings is at the top of your priority list.
Interested in installing good quality solar panels that will be cost-effective for years to come? Get in touch with Total Solar Solutions Australia today to discuss your solar energy needs.