Investing on Solar Energy is rather a long term Investment that pays off over time. Therefore personal or corporate investors would like to know how secure their investment would be. So how is that trust earned?
Risk calculations is based on various factors, but guarantee and warranty usually help you get better numbers. Something that solar panels have, a product warranty and also a performance guarantee. Manufacturer assurances vary a lot from company to company, but let’s have a look at what do they actually mean in reality?
Product Warranty (10 – 12 years): This warranty is as per todays date usually set to be around 10 – 12 years for top producers. Some have less & some are confident enough to have it up to 25 years such as multiple Intersolar award winning producer, LG.
Product Warranty covers any issues regarding defects in materials or workmanship during production. Most of the top producers have now moved to fully automated production, but mistakes always could happen such as a faulty (weak) solder joint, etc. Anything that could result in sudden malfunction of the product, taken into consideration that installation / transport was done correctly, would fall under this warranty. However nothing should be taken for granted and the warranty documents must be studied closely.
Performance Guarantee (25 years): In fact the produced power by solar panels over time is degraded. The rate of degradation, which is mentioned & guaranteed in this warranty, would let you have a clear picture of how the Return of Investment (ROI) is affected. Accordingly if a panel’s output is lower than guaranteed, the producer is bound to replace, repair or compensate for their panel. Again details in Performance Guarantee documents is important.
So What happens after the warranty? Well the solar energy technology is not that old, so we exactly do not know what is the output of a solar panel after 30-40 years. There is a good chance that even after that time, your panels would still deliver a good amount of energy, but that depends on a lot of factors from material to environmental factors.