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f you're thinking about going solar, be prepared for a considerable initial investment, especially if you want your photovoltaic system to be efficient and durable. But even the most reliable equipment is not immune to malfunctions, and PV panels are no exception. Every once in a while, they endure extreme weather conditions like heat, hail, ice storms, and even hurricanes, which inevitably increases the chances of failure. That is why a solar warranty is definitely something worth taking seriously to back your large investment.

Types of solar panel warranty

To begin with, it is important not to get confused with the term “solar panel warranty.” As a rule of thumb, a solar panel warranty means either product (equipment) or a performance (power) warranty. Let’s tackle the difference between these two types of warranties.

Product solar warranty

The product warranty protects the customer against manufacturer defects or component failures (including delamination, reduced insulation resistance, frames falling off, etc.). If one or more panels fail, the manufacturer must either replace them or provide a refund for the faulty equipment and, in some cases, even pay for shipping and labor costs to install new panels. Generally, manufacturers must provide a minimum 10-year product warranty for solar panels. But a growing number of premium products come with 25 to 30-year warranties.

Performance solar warranty

The performance warranty guarantees that the panel output won’t fall below a certain level. In general, panels degrade over time, but they should lose no more than 10-20% over 25 years. The current industry standard for solar warranty is 90% output after 10 years and 80% at 25 years.

How to choose a solar panel warranty

Don’t know how to pick the proper solar panel warranty? Here are some self-check questions when considering one or another option:

  • Does this solar warranty imply a one-time cost or a recurring cost?
  • How long does it take to replace or refund the faulty equipment?
  • Does this solar warranty cover shipping costs?
  • Does it cover labor costs or just a product?
  • Is there a deductible when filing a solar warranty claim?
  • What are the hours and days to make the claims?

You should also take into account that the insurance conditions for the components of your photovoltaic system may be different. For example, inverters usually have a solar warranty of 5 to 10 years, and residential batteries typically come with a 10-year warranty.

The curse of the solar industry?

Solar panel warranty is sometimes called “the curse of the solar industry” since many believe it cannot be wholly relied on. For instance, the photovoltaic panel manufacturer may not be around by the time your equipment fails. Moreover, insurance policies can only cover your photovoltaic panels under particular circumstances. Still, many manufacturers are ready to offer a comprehensive solar warranty that protects you extensively as a customer.

Solar panel manufacturers with decent offers

A 10-year solar warranty is considered a reasonable offer for a budget panel. Still, some companies can provide a 25-year solar panel warranty (both for product and performance), including coverage of labor costs. Let’s take a quick look at some brands with industry-leading offerings.

LG: The company offers a 25-year product and performance warranty. Maximum 0.30-0.35% degradation per year, guaranteed 89.60-90.8% output after 25 years. Labor coverage is up to $450.

Panasonic: The company offers a 25-year product warranty only if you register the product within 60 days with Panasonic; otherwise, it is limited to 12 years. It also provides a 25-year performance guarantee with a maximum of 0.25% degradation per year or a guaranteed 90.76% output after 25 years. Labor coverage is included only if the panel was set up by an authorized Panasonic installer and the product was registered within 60 days.

Silfab: The company offers a product guarantee of 25 years and a performance guarantee of 30 years. Silfab warrants that the annual degradation rate will not exceed 0.5% for monocrystalline and 0.7% for polycrystalline panels. Labor coverage is not included.

Solaria: The company offers a 25-year product and a 30-year performance warranty. With a maximum of 0.5% degradation per year, the manufacturer guarantees 86% output after 25 years. Labor coverage is up to $500, with a maximum of $300 for a first visit and a maximum of $200 for a second visit.

SunPower: The company offers a product guarantee of 25 years and a performance guarantee of 30 years. SunPower promises that the degradation rate will not exceed 0.25% per year, and the output won’t fall under 92% after 25 years. Labor coverage with no dollar limit.

So as you can see, the solar warranty market represents a variety of decent propositions. If you have a large photovoltaic array or want to take less risk, you have a range of offers from which you can select the one.

But can you do without these extra expenses?

Owning solar equipment can be pretty nerve-wracking. Considering a massive initial investment, most householders would naturally prefer to protect themselves against cases of solar panel failure. That is why it is highly recommended to acquire a solar panel warranty. This purchase will assure you of a reliable energy supply regardless of possible equipment failures. On average, a solar warranty costs between $350 to $500, and it is definitely worth the money if you want to enjoy the benefits of home PV generation with peace of mind.

Posted 
Jun 29, 2023
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