The US solar boom is abuzz and by now, you’ve probably heard that solar panel systems are becoming a mainstream electrical source in DC. Owing to a new legislation that aims to get half of DC’s electricity from renewable sources by 2032, going solar is now even more affordable and accessible than ever with attractive incentives to instantly reduce the upfront cost of your system.
Like with any long-term value opportunity, prospective solar buyers commonly want to know the lifespan of a solar panel in order to calculate their ROI. How about 25+ years long? In fact, systems that were installed in the 1980’s are still harnessing the sun’s rays over 30 years later, which means a solar panel can far outlast any home appliance or utility like a plasma TV, oven or fridge. And in a good environment like in DC, going solar can be a cost-effective decision.
Solar panels 101
Immediate benefits will take effect once your system is hooked up, at which point the science behind solar energy will begin to work its magic via the power plant in the sky, the sun. In a nutshell, a solar panel harvests the sunlight and converts it into electric current. An average panel can produce about 250 watts of peak power, so depending on your daily energy consumption, and other factors like roof size and placement, you’ll need a solar expert to analyze your property to accurately determine how many panels you need to meet your target energy goals.
Will my solar panels stop working over time?
In short, no. They don’t fail at the end of their lifespan. Their efficiency, however, declines by only 0.25%—0.5% in output annually. The technical industry term for this is “degradation”, which inevitably occurs as panels age. Warranties can cover power output or performance and usually guarantee 80% at 25 years. But don’t underestimate the resilience of your high-tech solar equipment — they can still generate about 90% of electricity after 20 years. Simply put, consider your system’s viability for as long as the financial benefits are bringing you big savings.
Luckily, solar panels are very low-maintenance as there are no moving parts, thus curtailing the chances of malfunction. And they can withstand harsh weather conditions, even in the winter. But if you would like to take active ownership in the care and longevity of your system, here are a few tips:
- When looking for a trustworthy solar company, make sure they have a long track record of successful installations for properties like yours, commercial or residential.
- Trim back any overhanging tree limbs to prevent shading, scratching, or access to critters on your roof.
- Brush off leaves, snow, branches or other debris off your panels to maximize light exposure and slow down degradation rate.
DC offers abundant sunshine and clear days to provide you with optimal solar energy solutions. The technological efficiency of solar cells is in a continuous process of improvement. Just think that in the future, we may be seeing solar power generated in roads!
Get in touch and calculate your solar power needs.