When installed outdoors, solar panels automatically experience a decrease in output power rating, this phenomenon is known as degradation. The degradation normally begins with a little increase in the first six months before following a pattern of typically 0.67 to 1% each year. Unfortunately, due to poor product quality, many solar panels exhibit far higher degradations in the field.

Although solar panels are more efficient than ever, the amount of electricity they can produce still steadily decreases over time. When high-quality solar panels reach the end of their 25–30 year lifespan, they produce 12–15% less power and degrade at a rate of about 0.5% annually.

What are the reasons for Solar Degradation?

Over time, solar panels deteriorate, producing less energy from the same amount of sunlight. Due to degradation, solar power efficiency has decreased over time. The panels deteriorate due to numerous external factors (such as weather), which lower their ability to produce electricity.

One way that solar panels age is through microcracks in the silicon of the solar cells. Because of these microscopic fractures in electrical connections, there are fewer paths available for the sun’s electrons to travel, which reduces the amount of energy that reaches your inverter and ultimately your home, business, or farm.

The main factors that contribute to normal degradation include moist heat, humidity freeze, and ultraviolet (UV) exposure, all of which are brought on by natural sources.

The material that insulates the cells can be removed by prolonged exposure to high humidity at high temperatures, or “damp heat.” Junction box adhesion can be affected by humidity freezing. The back sheet might become damaged and discolored from UV rays from the sun.

Also Read: What is Deep Discharge?

How fast do Solar Panels Degrade?

The average annual rate of solar panel degradation is 1%. With all technologies, solar panels will eventually produce less energy. Power generation decreases as a result of the deterioration rate. The average solar panel degradation rate is roughly 0.5% per year, which means that a solar panel’s energy production will decrease by 0.5% annually. After 20 years, your solar panels should still be generating about 90% of their initial power.


Elliot is a passionate environmentalist and blogger who has dedicated his life to spreading awareness about conservation, green energy, and renewable energy. With a background in environmental science, he has a deep understanding of the issues facing our planet and is committed to educating others on how they can make a difference.

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