Many solar panels come with a 20 or 25 year warranty these days; but most modules haven’t been installed for anywhere near that long. Will they last the distance? It’s already been proven they can in real-world conditions.
Kyocera Corporation, which has been involved in solar energy technology for over 35 years, recently provided details of Kyocera solar panel installations that are still performing well after 25 years.
The first installation is in Sweden; a façade-mounted 2.1kW array that been operational since 1984 – 27 years ago. Kyocera says there has been no significant change in performance in the modules.
Another system installed in 1984 is at Kyocera’s Sakura Solar Energy Center near Tokyo. The 43kW array continues to generate a stable amount of electricity today.
In 1985, Kyocera donated a 10kW solar power system to a small farming village in Gansu Province, China which was then moved to a research facility when the village was connected to the mains grid in 1993. 25 years on from the original install, the panels are still producing consistent levels of electricity.
Solar panel technology has continued to improve over the past few decades and the results Kyocera has experienced will help put paid to naysayer arguments that solar modules won’t last the distance – to a degree.
As we’ve pointed out in the past, 25 years is a long time and many companies in the manufacturing and supply chain simply won’t last in what is now a very competitive industry. Only the strongest will survive and a warranty is only as good as long as the company is still around to honour it.
It’s for this reason that consumers should carry out due diligence not only on the brand of solar panels offered in a solar power system they are considering purchasing, but also other major components such as the type of solar inverter used and mounting system.
Equally as important is to research the company that will be installing the panels. If the provider is the only distributor or supplier of the modules in Australia and the installer goes belly up, it may also be difficult to pursue a warranty claim considering just about all manufacturers are located overseas.
Also important to bear in mind is that length of warranty is not necessarily indicative of quality – and the last thing anyone wants is for a product they have purchased to malfunction.