How Do I Know If My Solar Panel Is Broken?

More and more homeowners are turning to solar energy to take part in an eco-friendlier lifestyle. However, the fact that solar panels help reduce people’s carbon footprints is not their only selling point.

But from time to time, a solar panel may degrade or break down, so you might be wondering what signs to look for when a solar panel is broken. Our team at Solar Bear explains!

How Durable Are Solar Panels?

Generally, solar panels degrade by 0.5% each year. This means that your solar system will function at 90% efficiency after 10 years.

Solar panels are made from sturdy materials that are built to last. They are also designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain, high winds, and more.

A big factor that affects their durability is maintenance. Keeping them clean increases their efficiency by up to 30%

Solar Panel Lifespan

Solar panels are a long-term investment in that they can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. With regular care, cleaning, and maintenance, some panels can even last up to 40 years.

Most solar panels come with a 20-year warranty, which is why it is important to have licensed solar technicians inspect them on a regular basis to assess whether they need to be repaired or replaced. 

Signs Your Solar Panels Are Broken

Now, let’s look at some of the signs that your solar panels are breaking down and need repair or replacement.

#1. Low or Irregular Power Output

Your solar panel provider has set the average output for the system. Weather conditions like rainy or cloudy days can affect this, but if your system regularly misses its expected output, it is likely it needs to be repaired.

#2. Cracks or Broken Glass Casings

Cracks or broken glass can decrease your power output by at least 2.5%. Cracks are usually caused by improper handling or installation, temperature variations, and severe weather.

For the best efficiency, do not neglect these signs of degradation.

#3. Inverter Issues

Your panel inverter is the second most important part of your solar panel system. It turns harvested solar energy into electricity. Inverter malfunctions result in your system losing its ability to create power.

Look out for red or green lights or error messages, then call for a repair ASAP.

#4. Solar Panel Age

Your solar panel system will likely function for more than 20 years. Once you hit that mark, it is wise to be aware of system errors. Regularly scheduled maintenance is of the utmost importance as panels age. 

#5. Wiring Problems

Loose connections are typical issues with solar panel installations. The same goes for other wiring problems such as corrosion and oxidation.

If the cell power turns on and off when you tap the panel, you may have an issue with the wiring.

#6. Burnt Marks & Discoloration

If you notice yellow or dark brown discoloration on your panels’ conductor strips, these are signs of corrosion. This can lead to uneven temperature distribution, resulting in compromised energy output. 

#7. Unexpected Shutdowns

This is the most obvious sign that your solar panels are breaking down and need to be repaired or replaced. Unexpected shutdowns are caused by manufacturing defects, faulty installation, and wiring problems.

Say Yes to Solar

Ready to make the leap into solar? You’ve found the right team at Solar Bear Orlando. From residential solar installations to commercial projects, our top-rated team can help you find the perfect system for your needs!

Get started with Solar Bear Orlando by calling (727) 471-7442 today!