A rooftop PV system is made up several components each of which have their own performance parameters. We provide a list of the prominent warranties and certifications for each component in the table below.
|Modules are typically warranted against manufacturing defects for a period of 5 years. In addition, their power output is also warranted
This means that a 200 Wp panel will generate as much power as a 180 Wp panel in 10 years’ time (90%) and 160 Wp panel in 25 years’ time (80%).
|The crystalline PV module (which are predominantly used in rooftops over thin-film modules) should be certified to comply with
Panels should also be supplied with the MNRE mandated RFID tag that allows the panels to identified and tracked to the manufacturer for verifying performance.
|Inverters are typically warranted for 1 year, with optional extension up to 5 years.||
|Mounting structures are typically warranted for 1 year, with optional extension up to 5 years.|
|Batteries are typically warranted for 1 year, with optional extension up to 5 years.||While battery certifications would depend on the application for which they are required, consumers can perform simple checks to verify if the battery is genuine
Charge Controller/MPPT units
|Charge controllers and MPPT units are typically warranted for 1 year, with optional extension up to 5 years.||
|Cables are typically warranted for 1 year, with optional extension up to 5 years.||
Junction Boxes/Enclosures for Inverters/Charge Controllers/Luminaries
|Junction boxes and enclosures are typically warranted for 1 year, with optional extension up to 5 years.||
The certification for each component can be found on the datasheet for the component.
Expected lifetime of rooftop PV plant components
Rooftop PV plants have no moving parts and therefore don’t suffer from wear and tear, making them extremely reliable. The expected lifetime for the major components in your rooftop solar PV system is given below
- PV modules – These should last 25 years, or even longer
- Inverter – This is the only major component in the rooftop plant that will require replacement during the lifetime of the plant. Typical life is 5-10 years
- Mounting structures – These should last the full 25 years of the plant’s lifetime
- Batteries – Battery backups can last as long as 10 years with careful maintenance, but 3-5 years is a more typical lifespan
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Examples of component failure
While solar PV plants have no moving parts, the components of a plant can fail and require replacement due to several factors. A few examples are given here
- Modules – Leakage of current into the frame of the module, resulting in 20-50% reduction in power output
- Inverters – Capacitor failure due to ageing of electrolytic materials
- Junction boxes – Improper fixing on panel causes the box to fall off the panel, creating a fire hazard
Failures not covered by warranty
Not all component failures are covered by warranties. These are typically due to poor design of the rooftop solar plant. Examples include
- Modules – Shadows falling on the panels causes them to burn out (more details here)
- Connectors – Overheating caused by poor fastening
- Wiring – Squirrel or bird damage
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