The time has never been better for businesses to invest in solar. With the 26% federal investment tax credit extended and panels and technologies being more efficient and affordable than ever, more andmore companiesare switching to this clean, renewable, non-grid energy. When it can add to your bottom line, improve your company's reputation, and help the planet simultaneously, it's surely a no-brainer.
But as with many new and transformational technologies, there's much misinformation out there that can easily cloud the facts. Some of the most common questions from business owners revolve around commercial solar panels. After all, the panels are what people picture when they think of solar, and they're also most exposed to the elements when in service. And let's face it, here in the southwest desert, those can be some pretty harsh elements indeed. It's natural, therefore, to have some concerns about what makes this technology tick and how durable it is. So, let's pull back the curtain and help you make an informed solar decision for your business.
Solar Panel Warranties
Today’s top-tier and most efficient commercial solar panels come with a linear warranty for 25 years. This means the panels are guaranteed to work for decades instead of years, unlike several other "tech" products we’re used to purchasing in the modern era. Even after the warranty period expires, top-tier panels still produce energy with minimal reduction in their production efficiency. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)showed that after the 25-year warranty period, panels still produce energy at about 88% of their original output.
Most commercial solar energy systems have a return on initial investment between 5-7 years. This long life of solar panels pencils well both financially and environmentally. Once your system has paid for itself, your company will still get clean, free energy for years!
Weather conditions can also factor into the lifetime of your commercial solar panels. Due to their exposure on roofs, solar panels are subject to many harsh environmental conditions worldwide. Fortunately, solar panels are engineered with this in mind. They are crafted with high-tech, space-age materials that allow them to easily withstand heavy rain, wind, hail, and, most importantly for us in the southwest, extreme heat. After all, you don’t get to power satellites and the international space station if you can’t take the extremes.
The solar cells inside a panel, which are the parts responsible for creating energy, are indeed fragile, but the layers outside the cells help to protect these parts. The protective coatings are even tested against international standards to ensure the panel’s durability. In fact, every solar panel goes through this rigorous testing that ensures they can stand up to extreme weather conditions and hail. Here at Sun Valley Solar, we only carry the solar brands that meet our high quality and durability standards.
Solar Panel Maintenance
Aside from occasional repairs after an extreme storm or the rare electrical connector failure, most commercial solar energy systems will operate fine with little more than a cleaning (usually provided by rain) duringroutine O&M checks. Since the technology has no moving parts, the only possible replacement to worry about over the system’s decades-long lifespan are aged inverters, whose expected life is 15-25 years.
Going solar now will ensure your commercial solar investment's biggest and fastest return. Contact a member of our commercial solar team to schedule a consultation and start your solar project today!