Can I Replace Just One Solar Panel?

Although solar panels can last 25 to 30 years on average, you might be wondering what happens if one of your panels encounters an issue or breaks down. Can you replace just one solar panel?

Our team at Solar Bear Orlando is here to outline some of your options! Let’s go!

Replacing Individual Parts

If you have a defective panel, replacing an individual part may be the best bet. This can often be accomplished easily by your original installer, who can help you get the parts that are the best fit for your system.

However, you’ll want to be aware of some of the potential issues that might arise if you try to switch out an individual solar panel.

If you have a solar system that is more than two years old and did not go with a big-name brand, it is likely that the exact panel model is no longer available. But don’t panic! You can possibly use a different model and manufacturer as a replacement. But it might not be able to be used as a drop-in replacement though. More on this is below!

Replacing Just One Solar Panel: Possible Issues

You might need to replace specific panels if they have microcracks or wear and tear has lowered their output. The first issue that you might run into with swapping out one panel is the availability of substitutes. With older panels, the manufacturer may not have the same model in stock, or they could be obsolete.

You can sometimes use similar panels, but you will need to match the electrical specifications, such as wattage, number of cells, and physical dimensions, of the new panels with your old ones, which can be tricky.

Additionally, standards and requirements such as fire ratings, groundings, cable housings, etc. have changed over time, meaning that you could run into problems finding a new panel that can configure with your system.

Finally, if the installation company that you are working with now is different from the one who installed the original system, they might be reluctant to switch out any panels on your existing system, as they cannot guarantee the quality of the original installation.

Replacing Inverters

The same thing can be said for solar system inverters. If you notice any performance issues with your solar system, you might need to replace your inverters. While microinverters last about 25 years, string inverters only last for 10 to 15.

There are potential issues that can arise here too. If your inverter falls within its warranty period, the manufacturer will replace it, but if the warranty period has passed, you will have to pay for the replacement yourself, which can be expensive.

Availability might also be an issue. Just like panels, the original inverter may be obsolete. However, you may be able to get around this by installing an inverter with the same specs. Just make sure to contact your installation company before doing so.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need to Be Replaced Anyway?

Though there are exceptions, solar panels generally need to be replaced every 25 to 30 years. This means that many of the solar panels that have been installed in the early stages of the solar panel revolution are getting close to the end of their lifespan. 

To avoid breakages or issues during their lifespan, solar panels should be cleaned and maintained periodically. They should also be inspected from time to time to ensure that they are still producing energy at their peak efficiency.

Central Florida Solar Installations

If you need to upgrade your solar panels or install a new system, call on our team at Solar Bear Orlando! With years of experience, our team is Central Florida’s trusted team for solar installations, repairs, and roofing!

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