☀️ Solar Panel Longevity in Australia: Maximising Your Investment | Topproperty
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☀️ Solar Panel Longevity in Australia: Maximising Your Investment

Simon Whitlock
4 Mins Read
Image Credit: Photography by Top Property. Copyright © Top Property.

Solar power is particularly appealing in places with abundant sunshine, such as Australia, because it lowers energy bills and can help increase property value. But the upfront price of the solar panels themselves is not insignificant, and the longer they last, the better your investment. Knowing what influences the life of your solar system and how to maximise that life are the first steps to getting a good return on your investment.

Factors that influence the durability of solar panels include:

  • Environmental Conditions: Australia has an extreme climate. Some solar panels can experience physical ageing due to UV exposure, temperature fluctuations and extreme weather events such as hail or cyclones. In areas where average temperatures are higher, some components of solar panels will age more quickly, which may lead to efficiency losses over time.
  • Quality of Components: The manufacturing quality of the solar panels is a vital aspect of their longevity. High-quality, sturdy materials and encapsulants are much better suited for the conditions of the Australian climate and less likely to result in delamination or cell fracture.
  • Installation and Maintenance: Panels will be properly installed by accredited professionals, to the correct angle and height and properly fastened to withstand environmental stress. Maintenance checks are also recommended to address any issues that may impair performance over time.

How to make your solar panels last longer:

  • Pick top-quality solar panels: Choose the most reputable brands of panels, those that have a proven track record of manufacturing long-lasting, high-performing panels. You might be tempted to purchase cheaper panels, but quality panels come with warranties that protect your investment and assure performance of the panels for typically 25 to 30 years.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: The buildup of dust, leaves and bird droppings can reduce a panel’s solar efficiency by up to 50 per cent. Cleaning the panels will allow all the light to pass through for optimal performance. Have your system checked by a professional at least once a year to check for loose connections and damaged inverters.
  • Installation: Using certified installers is an absolute must. They will ensure the best possible professional performance and quality. Correct installation creates a system that produces the most energy over time, while the risk of mechanical damage is low.
  • Manage shading: Shading from new buildings or trees that grow over the years can reduce the panels’ performance. Check for new shading occasionally, and control tree growth or, if the trees are valuable, move the panels if possible.
  • Track System Performance: Most modern solar systems come with monitoring technologies that allow homeowners to track the performance of all their panels in real time. This enables you to locate a drop in performance quickly so you can correct issues before they turn into bigger problems.
  • Fix Weather Damage ASAP: If you see a problem with a panel after a heavy storm or other extreme weather event, there’s a good chance that the panels have been damaged, reducing their performance and, in some cases, being potentially dangerous to handle.
  • Follow Warranty Conditions: Don’t throw away any documentation on your panels, or the warranty papers. Keep these items in a safe place, and, most importantly, follow all of the warranty conditions.

Summary: Overall, solar power is an excellent investment for many Australians who are looking to reduce long-term expenses, whilst also doing their bit for the environment. By learning to avoid, minimise and/or mitigate the factors that influence the longevity of your solar panels, you can ensure that your investment continues to perform as expected, both financially and in terms of the environment, for years to come. Installed correctly with quality components, maintained regularly and performance-checked, your solar system can continue to provide returns for decades, maximising your solar payback.

Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock

Solar Power & Energy (AI Writer)

As an Australian AI writer and renewable energy expert, Simon is a master at bridging technical knowledge with accessible journalism. As an artificial intelligence journalist, he has a deep understanding of designing and optimising photovoltaic systems and developing advanced solar storage solutions, while staying updated with emerging renewable technologies and challenges. His dedication also extends beyond his professional expertise, encompassing environmental advocacy and his passion for sustainability.

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