Warranties on Your Solar Energy System
Some of the more expensive solar panels will come with a 20 to 25 year warranty. This obviously implies the manufacturer's confidence in the durability of the panels. However, you can be sure that this warranty does not likely apply to all system components.
Typically, the parts and labor warranty will cover two years, in addition to the regular manufacturer's warranty.
Be sure of the following:
- That your warranty is included in the cost of the bid, or you know its cost.
- That the warranty covers all aspects of the removal, shipping, repair and reinstallation of components.
- Who is responsible for all aspects of the system: is it the installer, the manufacturer, the dealer?
- Safeguards against anyone (dealer, manufacturer, etc.) going out of business.
- Beware that some equipment is certified for mobile applications only and will void your home insurance if used in a home or cabin.
Good News: You probably don't need to worry about a warranty.
As expensive as solar panels are, the fact is that they are built to last. Solar companies routinely ensure 80 percent power output for up to 25 years. This is because the technology of the solar photovoltaic cell wafer results in very little breakdown-just as it does in transistors and computer chips.
While the silicon cells themselves are fragile, they are protected by tempered glass. In addition, most panels are framed in non-corrosive aluminum.
Batteries typically have limited warranties of 8-10 years and a life span of up to 15 years.
Inverters will usually have a 2 year warranty with a life span of 8 - 10 years.
Buy Made in North America
All solar energy products must have an electrical safety standards listing just like any other electrical equipment. Products purchased overseas may not be certified for use in North America.
As with all roofing materials, there is the potential for storm damage. See our page on insurance advice.