Solar 101: How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

How long do solar panels last? This is something that we get asked all the time. Most people know how long their car and household appliances will last but solar panels are still fairly new to incorporate into your home. Recently, one of our solar consultants was at a customer’s home to size them for an updated system. To his surprise, when he arrived, he saw solar panels that he had installed for them in 1976 and they were still producing power 42 years later! While the technology has gotten even better since then it is safe to say that solar panels will last you a long time.

"Photovoltaic Degradation Rates - An Analytical Review"

In 2012, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a study called “Photovoltaic Degradation Rates – An Analytical Review” after testing nearly 2,000 solar installations. The study found that for traditional silicon-based solar panels, the median reduction in efficiency is about 0.5% per year. Which means that even after a 25-year “productive lifespan”, solar panels can still operate at around 88% efficiency on average.

Based on this study we can conclude that solar panels will keep producing for well over 25-30 years. Those that power the International Space Station are depended on by astronauts for over 13 years. Even more impressive are the solar panels that are used for communications and exploration satellites. These panels have been operating for over 60 years!

In the years since the 2012 study, new technology has been developed to produce more efficient panels. The lifespan of solar panels, which is already impressive, can only continue to increase. That being said the panels available today, produce energy for decades and come with warranties to keep your mind at ease.


At Apex Solar Power we offer the Best-In-Class Warranties. These include a 25-year Workmanship Warranty and a 10-year Production Guarantee for every system installed on top of the 25-year Equipment Warranty. With these warranties you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of the sun once your system is installed.


Do you have questions about the lifespan of solar panels or the warranties available to you? Reach out to us here and we would be happy to answer any of your questions! If you are ready to make the switch to solar you can get a free quote here!