solar panel warranty

Solar Panel Warranties: Things You Need to Know (2024)

Whenever your appliances went haywire and you still had them under the warranty period, you felt relaxed right? A warranty has its major benefit in the fact that it gives the user peace of mind. It leads to savings, longevity, and ease of repair at no cost to your head. Solar Panels too come with warranties. Being a heavy one-time investment and a long-term product, it’s important to know the details about the warranty of the one you’re purchasing.

In this post, I will give you a detailed overview of the various solar warranty options, including their coverage specifics, duration, and usual advantages, so you can decide which option is best suited for your needs.

What are Solar Panel Warranties?

An assurance that a solar panel manufacturer or installer provides to a customer, including protection for panel dependability, production output, and more, is known as a solar panel warranty. Consumers benefit from warranties because they may use them to safeguard their solar panel systems against flaws, performance issues, and other problems.

Therefore, a warranty/guarantee is often included with every purchase of solar gear and installation services. I always stress the importance of researching systems and manufacturers before making a purchase, the specifics of that warranty can play a significant role in your decision related to purchase. Solar Warranties have categories:

Manufacturer’s Warranties:-

warranty on solar panel

Solar panels, like any other appliance that you have at your home, come with a manufacturer’s guarantee. This is of two types, one that covers any malfunctions brought on by subpar components or craftsmanship of the product. Any fault that was done at the time of its making that led to malfunctioning later. The second guarantee clause for solar panels is called the performance warranty, and it covers a minor decline in performance throughout the panel’s lifetime.

Due to the two very different warranty conditions, a product warranty and a performance warranty, comprehending solar panel warranties can be difficult to track for individuals new to solar. I’ll take you through these in detail.

Product Warranty

The consumer receives a guarantee by the product warranty, provided by the manufacturer, against any flaws that could have arisen from manufacturing mistakes, poor quality control, or component and material failures during production. This means that if a solar panel fails during the product warranty period, the producer must replace it or give a refund at their cost/loss. Solar panel manufacturers‘ minimum product warranty length is generally 10 years; however, many premium manufacturers now offer 15, 20, and even 25-year product warranties, so keep a check on this while purchasing.

Performance Warranty

This comes into the picture when the solar panel’s anticipated 25-year lifespan is reached. Performance warranty, also termed power output warranty, guarantees that your solar panel will continue producing a minimum quantity of power even after its anticipated life ends. All solar panels gradually lose power once mounted outdoors and exposed to sunshine, UV radiation, and high temperatures due to a well-known process known as light-induced degradation, or LID. The annual loss over the following 24 years is substantially less, at about 0.3% to 0.7% per year, compared to the typical 3% loss in the first year. That’s why it’s said that solar panels profit over time.

Solar Panel Installer Warranty

The company that installs the solar panels also provides a workmanship warranty with the equipment to safeguard you from any loss due to a fault during installation. Panels are typically covered by a qualified company’s standard workmanship warranty for 10 years in ideal circumstances.

Your workmanship warranty covers the cost of repairs or replacement if solar panels have issues due to poor installation. A reliable contractor offers a workmanship warranty valid for at least ten years following installation on the completed project so always check for the credibility of the installation company. A solar panel warranty may expire if it is not installed properly. A performance warranty may be void due to unauthorized contractor activity or in the case of do-it-yourself installations. It’s important to note that the performance and workmanship warranties can be void if you have maintenance or repairs done by a business other than the original installer.

Moreover, your solar panels’ warranty may be voided if you neglect to maintain them properly. Inquire with your contractor for more information regarding the precise causes and circumstances that can void either type of warranty on the solar panel installation at your property.

Solar Inverter Warranty

Not to exaggerate, this is an extremely important warranty to keep in check. I have witnessed Solar inverters as components that are most likely to malfunction. Many inverters have a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. However, I advise getting an inverter with, at the very least, a 10-year warranty. Extending some of the inverter warranties, which start at five years and can go up to ten or longer is worthwhile.

Along with the warranty, your solar inverter must be fitted properly to maintain the guarantee. If inverters are exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight, they are liable to malfunction. The last thing you want is to harm your inverter because it is mounted on an outside wall facing west without any summertime weather protection.

Degradation and Warranties:-

Solar panels placed on roofs are often very dependable, have no moving parts, and require little upkeep. Despite this, it is typical for solar PV cells to degrade slightly over time. The performance of solar panels is predicted to be unaffected by a wide range of extremely harsh conditions, including freezing winter temperatures, extremely hot summer temperatures, high humidity, wind, and harsh UV radiation, not to mention corrosion from the salt mist in coastal seashore settings. All solar panels degrade slightly under these harsh conditions due to several well-known natural phenomena.

To explain it easily, the P-type and N-type cell substrates in a panel, of which there are two primary types, are used by manufacturers to determine the deterioration rates of solar panels. Panels made from premium N-type silicon substrates exhibit the least level of deterioration.

After 25 years of service, these high-performance N-type cells will retain close to 90% of their original power output thanks to their lower rate of light-induced deterioration, which is expected to be only 0.5% annually. Most manufacturers employ P-type cells, which have a slightly greater rate of degradation at about 0.8% per year because they have a cheaper cost of production. This degradation is covered under the performance warranty by the manufacturer.

A Solar Warranty usually does not include the following:

  • Statements that your system will produce a certain amount of solar power.
  • The price of labor to repair and replace equipment or the cost of delivering replacements to your location. Only the cost of the components shall be borne by the company.
  • Damages are caused due to power outages, surges, fire, flood, direct or indirect lightning strikes, or other natural disasters.
  • Malfunctions brought on by unintentional breaking, explosions, vandalism, war, or other uncontrollable natural or man-caused events.

Additionally, some warranties cover labor expenses while others charge extra for labor. If labor is not included in the price, you must pay the solar installer to climb up on your roof, remove the old panels, and install the new ones. It depends on the company’s policy.

How to claim a Solar Panel Warranty?

Contacting your solar installer or retailer should be your first course of action. Ensure that the company you’re buying your solar panel from has legit contact methods and that the office addresses are true. They should be able to set up an examination or remotely monitor your system to assist with diagnosis. The installer should handle the warranty claim on your behalf if they discover a flaw or problem with the panels and the manufacturer’s guarantee still covers it. If your solar installer is unavailable, you can engage a solar specialist to examine the system, offer advice, and give you a condition or fault report.

Before approving a warranty claim, the makers of the solar panels will need proof of the issue, information on the solar installation and the installer, and pictures of the installation to ensure it complies with their specifications and collect all data. Look out for some unfortunate instances where solar systems have improper mounting clamp settings, which can jeopardize the structural integrity of the solar panel. In this situation, the manufacturer can reject the claim due to poor installation. In addition, the solar panels should never be stepped on or walked over during installation, cleaning, or inspection since this frequently results in producing micro-cracks that might void your warranty.

{Video Credit- Top Homeowner

Conclusion

I’ll repeat that the guarantee is only as reliable as the Solar Retailer/Company backing it. Look into the reputation of the business or retailer you are considering using to purchase your system. What size are they? How long has the company been operating? Will they still be in business to handle a workmanship warranty claim? It will genuinely protect you from being conned.

A real-time digital monitoring system is crucial for identifying performance problems with your solar panels. If a problem does occur, get in touch with your installer to determine the root of the problem and, if necessary, set up a warranty claim.

With this, I hope you make the most of your decisions on solar panels and use your warranties wisely.

Ray is an avid reader and writer with over 25 years of experience serving various domestic and multinational private and public energy companies in the USA.

Leave a Comment