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Causes for Degradation and Decline of Solar Panels

Solar panels and harnessing the power of solar energy is one of the fastest advancements we have done to get on the path towards sustainability & using renewable resources. But the only drawback in using this ever-present energy source is that we must consider the decline of the materials used to generate this energy. Read more to learn about some significant causes of the degradation of solar panels.

Age-Related Degradation

There is no doubt that age affects a lot of factors for the decline & degradation of solar panels, especially with the use and exposure to all types of weather. It is said that because of rain, hail, snow and other weather conditions, not counting quality control, there is a 0.5% yearly degradation for PV modules.

Back Sheet Failure

Back-Sheet Failure is among the most popular cases of premature degradation of solar panels. Using cheaper materials or having a weak core because of the fact can cause up to a 9%-16% decline in PV panels. And the principal cause for this failure is said to be delamination of the back sheet, causing cracks in the materials and exposing them to the elements for corrosion.

Light-Induced Degradation

We need sunlight to generate solar energy using solar panels. Still, we also need to understand that exposure to long hours of sunlight can accelerate the oxidation process in the panels during the first year of their use. This is a natural process when oxygen reacts with boron in the PV modules, and throughout the years, the efficiency of these panels reduces.

Besides these three major causes for the decline in solar panels, several other factors contribute to the panel degradation, ranging from the quality of materials used and if there was any corrosion, the installation of panels right from transport & handling as well as the proper maintenance of these solar panels that contribute to their longer life.

Based on these causes and more, it is important to look at the overall care & usage of solar panels to avoid filling up our landfills much faster.


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