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How Long Do Solar Panels Last in Storage?

How Long Do Solar Panels Last in Storage?

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As a rule of thumb, solar panels will be at or near their peak function for at least 25 years. After that, you may be able to notice a significant decline in their performance.

However, which manufacturer you buy your panels from as well as how exposed they are to the elements also determine how fast they degrade. As such, storing them safely and away from damaging snow, winds, debris, and others can extend their lifespan indefinitely.

In this post, I will dig deeper on the factors that affect your panel’s lifespan and how to prevent degradation.

Factors affecting your solar panel’s lifespan in storage

The type of solar panel you have

There are three main types of solar panels:

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline, and
  • Thin-film

Monocrystalline panels have the longest lifespan, followed by polycrystalline, and then thin-film.

Factor these types into your decision when buying or installing solar panels so you know what to expect.

How well you stored them

If solar panels are stored properly, they’ll last longer. The main thing to keep in mind is to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, strong winds, debris, snow, and other things that may slowly damage them or cause them to tip over.

Now, some of you might not have space at home to store all your panels if you’re away for a long time. Or, if you do, it might not necessarily provide the best of conditions.

That’s where storage units come in. If you need help deciding on how large your unit should be or how you should arrange your items, you can always ask the experts at Total Self Storage.

Meanwhile, you might want to read these tips for first-time storage users.

How to prevent solar panel degradation

As previously stated, one of the best ways to prevent solar panel degradation is by storing them properly if you know you’ll be away for a long period of time.

But there are other things you can do as well. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Check and clean your panels regularly. This not only ensures that you get the most amount of sunlight, it also gets you to check your panels for defects.
  • Trim trees and bushes around your system. For the same reason that cleaning your panels is crucial, trimming trees and bushes helps minimize whatever clutter lands on top of your panels. This ensures maximum sunlight absorption.
  • Buy better solar panels. While this tip isn’t necessarily for prevention, there are certain brands that degrade at a slower rate than others. Do your research to find what the best option is for you before committing to any brand.

Conclusion

Storing your solar panels can be the most effective way to prolong their lifespans. Done right and securely, your panels can last indefinitely.

However, I would only recommend this if you know for sure you won’t be using them for some time. I mean, can you imagine how much of a hassle it would be if you took them out every night?

Aside from proper storage, keeping them clean and regularly checking for damages also prolongs their life.