Each component of the solar energy system has a different useful life span depending on the type of technology. Solar panels typically have a 30-year useful life and carry production warranties through year 25. Solar panels degrade a little each year and lose their ability to transform sunlight into energy by about .5% year over year. Even at year 30, the panels may be producing as much as 75% of their rated capacity, but at that point, it’s probably best to consider an upgrade to the latest technology.
On average, inverters can be expected to last 10-15 years. Some microinverters carry 25 year warranties, to match the panels, but the consumer should read the warranty documentation to understand what the manufacturer’s warranty and installer’s warranty covers.
The solar support system or racking is comprised of steel or aluminum and typically carries a 25 year warranty.