Everything You Need to Know about Solar Panel Warranties
Solar panels are unlikely to fail. But when you’re investing thousands of dollars in a solar installation, you’ll want to know exactly how manufacturers will protect your purchase. So, it’s a good idea to research and understand solar panel warranties ahead of time so you have peace of mind when it comes to coverage and protection.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about solar panel warranties.
What Are Solar Panel Warranties?
There are two types of solar panel warranties: performance warranties and product warranties. A solar panel performance warranty essentially guarantees that your panels will continue to function properly for the duration of the warranty period, and a solar panel product warranty covers any issues related to manufacturing defects.
It’s important to read and review each product’s warranty as you shop around for solar panels and other parts.
Solar Panel Performance Warranty
All solar panels will degrade over time. That means every year you can expect a little bit less power output from your system. However, the solar panel degradation rate depends on the quality of the solar cells in the solar panel. You can assess this through the solar panel’s performance warranty, which is basically the manufacturer’s performance guarantee.
A solar panel performance warranty period is typically 25 years. Most performance warranties guarantee that the solar panels will still produce 80 to 90% of their rated power output at the end of that 25 year warranty period. Solar panels with better performance guarantees generally cost more, but can possibly last longer and produce more solar energy over the years.
Solar Panel Product Warranty
A product warranty is a workmanship guarantee for solar panels, covering manufacturing defects, faulty wiring or premature wear and tear.
Many solar manufacturers’ product warranties are around 10 to 15 years. There are other solar panel manufacturers that offer a product warranty period as long as 25 years.
Learn more: How Long Do Solar Panels Last? Solar Panel Lifespan Overview
Other Things to Look for in Solar Panel Warranties
There are a few other details to consider when it comes to solar panel warranties.
Cost of Replacements and Labor
Some manufacturers will pay for the labor to replace a failed panel. If they don’t cover cost of labor or replacements, expect to pay an additional few hundred dollars for new panels, parts and installation when necessary.
A manufacturer’s warranty is only good if the manufacturer is still in business when you make a warranty claim. Be sure to research the brand of solar panels you’re buying to ensure the company is stable, has been in business for some time, and is here to stay and honor the warranties.
If you sell your home (or buy a new home) along with its solar energy system, will the warranty transfer over to the new homeowner? Most warranties are transferable, but you’ll want to verify if the transfer of ownership is done automatically, or if the new homeowner needs to register with the manufacturer.
Other Types of Solar Warranties
Panels aren’t the only piece of your solar energy system that come with warranties. Let’s take a look at the warranties for other solar equipment.
Inverter warranty periods are typically 10 to 25 years. If you buy inverters with shorter warranty periods, you might have the option to purchase an extended warranty that adds 5 to 10 more years.
Between microinverters and string inverters, microinverters have an advantage when it comes to defects or failures. When one microinverter fails, you’ll only lose a small percentage of the system’s power output. If a string inverter fails, you’ll lose power output across the entire system until the string inverter is fixed or replaced.
Racking and mounting systems also come with warranties. Solar racking manufacturers typically provide a 10 to 20 year warranty on workmanship and material defects.
If you are purchasing energy storage as part of your solar system, you’ll want to research the warranty on the batteries. Most batteries come with a 5 to 10 year warranty depending on the battery type and the manufacturer.
The Bottom Line on Solar Warranties
Warranties not only offer peace of mind; they’re also an indicator of the quality of the product you’re buying. Solar energy system owners rarely make warranty claims on their solar equipment, but it’s always best to know what your warranty covers as you’re deciding what equipment to buy.
If you have any questions about solar warranties in general, or specific manufacturer’s warranties, reach out to the professionals at GoGreenSolar who can provide expert advice on all things solar power.