When committing to solar energy for your home, you may wonder whether your solar panels will be durable enough to withstand years of environmental factors. It’s a good question to ask.
The short answer is: yes. Most manufacturers build their solar panels to be able to withstand heavy rain and snow, extreme temperatures and humidity, and even falling hail.
In the Kansas City area, heavy rainstorms are fairly common and tornados are bound to happen. But quality solar panel manufacturers take this into account and are continuously upgrading the manufacturing processes to ensure increased longevity.
A KC Solar supplier based in Texas filmed the testing of their solar panels in the most extreme cases. Starting off with heavy snow loads then escalating to rolling an armored vehicle over their panels with no damage caused. Admittedly, the tank shell shot at the panels did shatter the panels but we’re assuming your biggest issue might be a strong tornado, not living out the plot of Red Dawn.
Industry Pursues Even Better Solar Panel Durability
That being said, industry standards for solar panel manufacturing have been steadily increasing and expanding as the technology becomes more widely adopted. In November 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $128 million funding of projects to advance solar technologies. This includes the manufacturing process to continue to improve the lasting potential as well as eventually making solar power more accessible to American homeowners through lowered costs.
“In the last three years, we have doubled our solar capacity,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “At [The Department of Energy], we’re working to ensure that solar is more affordable for every American by reducing regulatory burdens and increasing the security and resiliency of our solar energy supply.”
In April 2020, the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnered with university labs across the country. They formed a coalition dedicated to evolving solar technology to last longer and increase access to its commercialization.
The leading scientists said the exciting research could boost the reliability of solar products. Another benefit? The work could shorten the lead times in receiving updates and evolved iterations of the technology.
“[The team] has played an incredible role in renewable energy and is now bringing together some of the best researchers and innovators in the country to develop this next-generation technology to expand the use of solar to more homes and businesses across the country,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell on the collaboration.
Solar panels already follow industry standards that are proven to last 25 years or more. And that number may be increasing as solar innovation continues to improve how resilient and durable solar technology is.
Little to No Maintenance
If well-positioned — meaning the panels are clear of any falling debris from trees and any other dangers — solar panels require little to no maintenance. Another thought to consider relating to trees is making sure that none of them begin to shade over the panels or drop debris from the branches as the years go on. In the first couple years with solar panels, it might be a non-issue, but as time passes and nature takes its own course — trimming may be needed.
The most that may be required is semi-regularly dusting off any dirt and checking for debris that may have damaged the panels.
Regular examinations of your panels from a professional will be beneficial. This ensures that the panels are functioning properly and there are no exposed wires or problems with the internal mechanisms.
The only piece you might need to look out for is the inverter. String inverters generally have an 11 to 12 year lifespan and will need replacing at some point in time. Depending on the plan and if it expires before the warranty ends, there may be some cost to this replacement. However, KC Solar uses micro-inverters with 25 year warranties. So, you not only have module-level visibility with reduced shade problems; you also have peace of mind that your solar array will outlast your children living at home. Hopefully…
KC Solar: Ensures Quality and Durability
At KC Solar, we want to be a reliable partner in your switch to solar. We meet and exceed industry standards with the panels that we install on your home. We are ready to support your commitment to sustainable energy and energy independence.
Connect with us today to talk through what is the best and most cost effective solution for your home. We, and our solar panels, are in it for the long haul with our customers. We guarantee efficiency and reliability in our services and products we use.
As solar technology continues to innovate with every passing year, we will continue to evolve as well to deliver lasting results to our customers.