This question is part of the Super Big Solar Panel FAQ from Solar Mango, where expert answers to over 100 important questions on solar panels are provided.


We all know that solar panels can last 25 years. In fact, they can last many more years beyond 25.

But does it mean that there’s little that can go wrong with solar panels for these many long years?

Nopes. Many things can go wrong. In fact, to a certain extent, it depends on what one means by “going wrong”.

By “going wrong,” if one implies that the solar panels might underperform, well, yes, there are a number of things can do go wrong and make the solar panels underperform compared to their inherent potential, sometimes seriously so.

Super Big Solar Panel FAQGet to know answers to over 100 important questions on solar panels from here.


Some of the more prominent aspects that can make solar panels underperform are:

  • High temperature – if solar panels have poor temperature tolerance (as defined by their temperature coefficient), their output could get significant reduced at high temperatures.
  • PID effects – Solar panels that do not have enough protection against Potential Induced Degradation can degrade fairly quickly and result in significant loss of output, and in some extreme cases could require complete replacement too.
  • Poor performance owing to poor warranty selection
  • Backsheet of poor quality resulting in higher degradation – Backsheets are often ignored components; these are the polymer sheets that form the last part of the solar panels at the back. As these are as exposed to elements as is the glass on top, poor quality backsheets can result in significant underperformance.
  • Poor IP for module junction box resulting in solar panel destruction during floods and rain – Ingress Protection (IP) is a rating of the extent of protection the junction boxes under each panel have against dust and water. Solar panels with poor IP rating could have their junction boxes damaged during rains & floods, and at very dusty locations.
  • Poor glass resulting in solar panel breaking from being hit by heavy objects – while high quality solar panels use tempered glass that has been tested to withstand high forces and heavy objects, some of the not-so-high quality solar panels might not perform well enough on this.

Some of the above can result in your solar panel being completely damaged within a few years and needing a complete replacement. Just imagine what a terrible financial and economic loss that would be.

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