How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

UK businesses and public sector organisations are increasingly investing in solar panel systems as a sustainable and cost-effective energy solution.

A key question that arises when considering this investment is: how long will a solar panel system last? Understanding the lifespan of the various components, including solar panels, inverters, and mounting frames, is crucial for planning and budgeting purposes.

This short guide delves into the longevity of these components and what organisations in the UK can expect from their solar panel systems.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last

by Stephen Hendy, Operations Manager Solar & Storage | published 22 December 2023

Lifespan of Solar Panels

Average Durability

The solar panels themselves typically have a long lifespan. Most manufacturers offer a product warranty of 25 to 40 years, but the panels can often continue to operate effectively beyond this period.

In the UK, where the climate is less harsh compared to more extreme weather conditions found elsewhere, solar panels can maintain their efficiency for a long duration.

Efficiency Over Time

It’s important to note that while solar panels remain functional for many years, their efficiency slightly decreases over time.

On average, solar panels lose about 0.5% to 1% of their efficiency per year. This gradual decline means that after 25 years, a solar panel might operate at around 80% to 85% of its original efficiency.

Market-leading panels, though more expensive, offer exceptional protection against degradation. For example, SunPower Maxeon panels are guaranteed to output at 88.3% after 40 years.

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Inverter Longevity

Critical Component

The inverter is a critical component of a solar panel system, converting the direct current (DC) produced by the panels into the alternating current (AC) used by the organisation’s electrical systems.

Replacement Considerations

Inverters typically have a shorter lifespan than the solar panels themselves, usually around 10 to 15 years. This means that they will likely need to be replaced at least once during the lifetime of the solar panel system.

At Infinity Energy, we always specific systems with extended inverter product warranties to 20 years, for complete peace of mind.

Mounting Frame Durability

Supporting the Solar Panels

The mounting frame, which holds the solar panels in place, is designed to be robust and withstand various weather conditions.

Longevity Expectations

In the UK, mounting frames are generally made from materials like aluminium or stainless steel, which are resistant to rust and corrosion. They can last for the entire lifespan of the solar panel system, often exceeding 25 years, without needing replacement.

Maintenance and Care

Regular Maintenance for Longevity

To ensure the longevity of the solar panel system, regular service checks are recommended. These can include cleaning the panels, checking for any physical damage, and ensuring the inverter is functioning correctly.

Professional Inspections

Periodic professional inspections can help identify and address any issues before they become major problems, extending the overall lifespan of the system.

Financial and Environmental Considerations

Return on Investment

Understanding the lifespan of a solar panel system is essential for calculating the return on investment. While the upfront costs can be significant, the long-term savings and benefits always outweigh these initial expenses. Short payback periods are the norm: usually 4-5 years.

Contribution to Sustainability Goals

The durability of solar panel systems makes them a reliable choice for organisations looking to meet their sustainability and environmental targets.


For businesses and public sector organisations in the UK, investing in a solar panel system brings numerous long-term benefits.

With solar panels lasting 30-40 years or more, inverters with 20-year warranties, and robust mounting frames, these systems are a durable and sustainable energy solution.

Regular checks and care can further enhance their longevity, making solar panels a wise investment for any organisation looking to reduce its environmental impact and energy costs over time.

40-Year SunPower Panel Warranty