What is Covered in 25 years Solar Panels Warranty?

What is Covered in 25 years Solar Panels Warranty?
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When it comes to warranty most of us are skeptic and if the warranty is for 25 years then it’s hard to believe. In this article we will look into 25 years warranty of solar panels, what parts are covered in warranty, when you can claim warranty for your solar panels and when you can’t.

A solar panel has two warranties: a performance and an equipment guarantee. A solar panel’s performance warranty will typically guarantee 90% production for the next 10 years and 80% at 25 years, meaning whatever your solar panels are generating today in standard conditions they can produce at least 80 % of it at the end of 25 years.

An equipment warranty is typically for 10-12 years and it protects your solar panels from any manufacturing defects. Meaning in 10-12 years if there is any wear your solar panel will be repaired or replaced.

Installing solar panels on your roof is a heavy investment and around 70% of project cost is of your solar panels, so getting a long warranty of 25 years ensures that you get value for your money.

All solar panels manufacturer offer two types of warranty: a performance warranty and product or manufacturing warranty.

Let’s see each of them in detail.

Manufacturing warranty of solar panels

Manufacturing or product warranty protects your product from any manufacturing defects. Most of the Tier 1 Solar Panels manufacturing companies offer between 10 -12 years of product warranty.

When can you claim manufacturing warranty for solar panels?

  • If there is any deterioration in appearance of the product (including any scratches, stains, mechanical wear, rust, spots and aesthetic defects).
  • Imperfections in the frame or glass.
  • Loose junction boxes or faulty connectors.
  • Bad cells or damaged cell connections
  • Defective backsheet.

When Can Company Rule Out Your Warranty?

  1. If the solar panels are repaired without companies authorization or in any way tampered with.
  2. If the solar panels are subject to extraordinary salt or chemical exposure.
  3. If the solar panels are subject to improper installation, application, alteration, unauthorized service, or improper system design which caused constant shading to the Products.
  4. If the damage to solar panels is subject to power failure or surges, flood, fire, direct or indirect lightning strikes, or other acts of nature.
  5. If damage is due to accidental breakage, vandalism, explosions, acts of war, or other events outside manufacturers control
  6. If the solar panels are moved from its original installation location.
  7. If PV panels are exposed to voltage in excess to the maximum system voltage at the lowest temperature of the place or power surges.
  8. If the serial number on the solar panel is altered, removed, or made illegible.

What will company provide if you are eligible for warranty?

  1. Repair the solar module.
  2. Replace the non-functional solar module with new solar modules whose labelled power wattage’s equal to or exceed the Warranted Wattage’s of replaced Products (the Warranted Wattage’s is defined as the contracted power wattage’s of the Products minus the permissible accumulated degradation.).
  3. Refund the depreciated purchase price paid by the customer for the module as compensation.

Below you can check the manufacturing warranty offered by few Indian and International brands.

Brand NameWarranty in Years
Canadian Solar10
Vikram Solar10
Trina Solar10
Jinko Solar10
Axitec Solar12
Panasonic25

25 years Performance warranty of solar panel

The performance warranty guarantees your solar panels will produce near their rated output over the life of ownership.

Panel production naturally degrades over time, but it happens at a very slow rate—less than 0.5-1% production loss per year. While production loss will occur for any panel, the performance warranty ensures it happens at a reasonable rate.

For example, Vikram solar panels one of India’s leading solar panels manufacturer offers linear power warranty for 27 years with 2.5% for 1st year degradation and0.67% from year 2 to year 27.

Note: All calculations are done at STC. STC: 1000 W/m2 irradiance, 25°C cell temperature, AM1.5g spectrum according to EN 60904.

Below table shows 27 years degradation for poly crystalline Vikram solar panel.

YearEfficiency (%)
Year 1 97.00
Year 2 96.35
Year 3 95.70
Year 4 95.05
Year 5 94.40
Year 6 93.75
Year 7 93.10
Year 8 92.45
Year 9 91.80
Year 10 91.15
Year 11 90.50
Year 12 89.85
Year 13 89.20
Year 14 88.55
Year 15 87.90
Year 16 87.25
Year 17 86.60
Year 18 85.95
Year 19 85.30
Year 20 84.65
Year 21 84.00
Year 22 83.35
Year 23 82.70
Year 24 82.05
Year 25 81.40
Year 26 80.75
Year 27 80.10

You can download the warranty clause for Canadian Solar over here- Canadian Solar Panels Warranty (PDF)

You can download the warranty clause for Vikram Solar over here- Vikram Solar Panels Warranty. (PDF)

How company verifies your solar panels performance is low

The company might test your solar panel in their testing facility or get it tested in other third party testing facility and after they are fully satisfied that your solar panel is underperforming because of some internal defect in the solar panel then they will offer you one of the following solutions.

What will company provide if you are eligible for warranty?

  1. Repair the solar panels.
  2. Replace the solar panel with new solar panel whose labelled power wattages equal to or exceed the warranted wattages of replaced one.
  3. Provide additional solar panel to make up the wattage difference between the actual measured power output wattages of the panel and the warranted wattages
  4. Provide a refund of the fair market value of the wattage difference between the actual measured power output wattages and the warranted wattages.

Few things to avoid to get solar panels warranty void

  1. Make sure you don’t remove or tamper the serial number on the back of solar panels.
  2. Do not install solar panels in shade, almost all solar panels manufacturer have this in their clause.
  3. Do not shift your solar panels from it’s original installation location, every solar panels manufacturer have this in their clause as well.
  4. Always ask the solar installer for warranty certificate of solar panel.

Conclusion

I feel most of the Tier 1 solar panels manufacturer offer good manufacturing and performance warranty and one should go with these companies.

Realistically the chances of physical damage or low performance of solar panels in normal operating conditions is highly unlikely and one should go for solar without any hesitation.

If you need any further clarification on solar panels warranty structure then please write it down in the comments section, our community can help you with your query.

If you work for a solar panel manufacturer then share your views on the warranty structure of solar panels in the comments section.

Untill next time Go Green, Go Solar !!

Reference


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