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This article will address the following questions:

  • What is a solar energy system made of?
  • What is the lifespan of solar panels?
  • What is the lifespan of solar inverters?
  • What is the lifespan of accumulators?

What is a solar energy system made of?

Any solar energy system has the following elements:

  • Solar panels that generate electricity.
  • Inverters that convert the low voltage current produced by solar panels (direct current) into a high voltage current (alternating current).
  • Accumulators (commonly known as batteries) which store the surplus energy produced by the solar panels.
  • A charge regulator which controls the intensity of current and voltage passing through the accumulators to increase their durability.

It should be noted that the accumulators and charge regulators are optional for network connected systems since Hydro-Québec acts as a virtual accumulator by providing you with as much energy as you want. However, for off-grid solar energy systems, accumulators and charge regulators are essential.

What is the lifespan of solar panels?

Any solar panel has two types of guarantee, a physical warranty and a linear warranty of efficiency. The physical warranty is generally 10 to 25 years and covers any physical damage to your solar panels.

The linear efficiency warranty is 20 to 25 years and concerns the efficiency of your solar panels. The latter is generally 80% and testifies to the effectiveness of your panels after 20 or 25 years. So an 80% linear warranty after 25 years means that your panels will produce 80% of the electricity they produced in their first year. Although they produce less energy, your panels still work very well.

The decrease in their efficiency is explained by the fact that the glass surface of the panels becomes worn and can no longer absorb as much light. This linear degradation is applicable for any type of photovoltaic solar panel and is unfortunately inevitable.

The best way to protect your panels is to check their racking system to make sure the panels and wiring are secure. The biggest threats to the life of your panels are physical damage or electrical failures due to improper installation.

What is the lifespan of solar inverters?

The inverters operate 10 to 15 years before repair or replacement is required. This is explained by the fact that inverters have more electrical components than solar panels (to convert the direct current from solar panels into alternating current) and that they are more sensitive to heat than all other parts of the whole photovoltaic system, making them even more prone to equipment failures.

Knowing that the lifespan of solar panels is 25 years, warranty extensions for inverters are a smart investment. If your inverter breaks down 15 years later, it will likely be replaced by a newer and better model.

What is the lifespan of accumulators?

The accumulators have a lifespan ranging from 2 to 5 years depending on the storage conditions, the intensity of the discharge current as well as the depth of the average discharges.

  • The storage conditions refers to the place (indoor or outdoor) as well as to the ambient temperature (20 ° C is ideal; the greater the difference, as much negative as positive, the less the lifespan of the ‘accumulator).
  • The intensity of the discharge current corresponds to the call for power generated by the use of one or more devices. The higher the intensity, the shorter the battery life in the long run.
  • The depth of average discharges corresponds to the amount of energy drawn from the battery before recharging. The greater the depth of the discharges, the shorter the lifespan of the battery in the long term.

The choice of technology also has an impact on service life. Some technologies are more resistant than others to deep discharges and high demands on power than others (lithium> lead-acid> AGM> Gel).

In the same logic as for the linear warranty of solar panels, the batteries do not stop working after 5 years, but rather have a lower energy density. In other words, if a battery has a capacity of 100 Ah when purchased, it can have 60 Ah after 5 years, or even 40 Ah. The accumulator still works fine, but stores less energy. That said, unlike solar panels, the decrease is not linear and is more difficult to predict since it depends on several factors. It is therefore difficult to precisely predict an accumulator lifespan.


To conclude, investing in solar energy is a long-term commitment. The initial cost can be high, but the investment pays for itself over time with monthly savings on your energy bill. The fact remains that solar energy systems have a very long lifespan and require very little maintenance if the decrease in the performance of the equipment does not matter to you.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information, we will be happy to assist you. Our affordable, reliable and turnkey solar energy systems will fully satisfy you. Give us the chance to impress you and share our solar expertise with you.