This is a good question – Is there proof that thin film solar panels can actually last and work for 25 years?
Before we start, a few words on thin film panels themselves.
Don’t get the misleading picture that thin film solar panels will be like loose films fluttering in the wind! No, thin film solar modules are also cased within glass and have enough protection to stand firm for 25 years or longer, just like crystalline solar panels. It is just that the semiconductor cells in thin films are of much lower thickness than those in crystalline solar cells/panels.
So, in theory – which has also been substantiated from lab tests – thin film solar panels should be equally robust for 25 years.
That said, however, there is no solar power plant in the world that had hosted thin film solar panels for 25 years or more, whereas there are at lease a few documented cases where crystalline solar panels have lasted 25 years and even higher.
As mentioned earlier, in order to assure you that thin film solar panels can last 25 years, companies making those do a number of laboratory tests to prove that these panels can last 25 years. That is pretty much the closest assurance you have that thin films can indeed last for 25 years – whether on rooftops or on large solar farms.
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