Solar panels are extremely durable and are made to last for decades. They’re engineered to withstand extreme weather conditions, like hailstorms, high winds, and extreme heat. When solar is installed on your roof, there are no moving parts, making it very unlikely that anything will break. Due to their durability, there is very little maintenance required over the lifetime of a system which is also one of the major solar energy pros and cons.
One of the most important steps when installing your home’s solar is to make sure that the installation area is free from any sources of shade, such as trees or buildings as this will significantly impact the amount of energy your panels are able to produce. For this reason alone, it is important to use a trusted and knowledgeable installer who can walk you through the process and ensure that your system is correctly sited and sized. The installer will also determine the angle to mount the panels to maximize energy production.
The vast majority of residential solar systems are stationary roof-mounts, so we’ll focus on the installation of these panels here. The actual installation process can be completed very quickly – sometimes within an afternoon. The time depends mainly on the size of your system and the conditions at the site, but generally, it’s completed within a few hours to a couple of days. The solar panel mounts are installed first and are connected directly to your roof’s rafters. It’s important that the panels are bolted directly to the rafters because the entire system weighs a few tons and you need a surface that can support that weight. After the roof mount is in place, the panels can be fastened to the mounting framework and then wired to connect them to the solar power inverter. Before you can begin producing electricity your utility company will want to inspect the system to make sure that everything has been connected correctly.
So, long how do solar panels last? As a long-term investment, solar panels are built to last for at least 30 years. They’re manufactured to be extremely durable and able to withstand severe weather conditions such as wind and hail storms. Roof mounted solar installations don’t have any moving parts, so there is very little maintenance required. If you purchase the panels, it’s your responsibility to keep the system running. However, if you’re leasing the installation, the company that owns the system is responsible for all upkeep!
If you live in a colder climate, the panels will be installed at an angle that will allow the snow to slide off of them, so you do not need to worry about clearing off the panels after a storm. Also, the glass covering the solar panels warms up quickly, so any remaining snow will melt quickly. As for cleaning the panels, some homeowners choose to hose down the panels once a year or so, however regular rainfall should clear off any dust or particulates.