Someone said to me the other day about the new PV panels. They said that the life expectancy is about 10 years. I thought it was longer than that, but I didn't have any facts on me at the time. Does anyone know what the life time of a PV panel is?
Also they said that once the panel is no good, they would have trouble trying to get rid of the old panel. They said that you just can't throw them away, they have a lot of bad things ( Bad for the environment that is) on/in them. You need to have a special place take them away. Does anyone know if that is fact or fiction?
The performance does tend to fall off as they age. How much is still a variable, based on lots of factors but 50% in 10 years may not be totally out of the question. It is hard to find hard data on this.
As for getting rid of bad ones, it all depends on your local land fill rules. It is not any worse than an old TV or PC board. I assume once these become prevalent, there will be a program for safe disposal but that is part of the long term cost.
Harold: FWIW, the panels on the job in the "Big" thread are supposed to be 25 years, according to the PE at the site.
As to 'disposal issues'...I have no clue.
Talking to the PE, his company requires and pays for an additional 'test' from the mfg. before the panels are shipped. He indicated that this 'test' is extra $$$ on the cost of the panels. Fail rate at the 'Big' job is expected to be at or near zero....but I hope that is not wishful thinking.
It will be a while before they begin any testing at the site, as far as performace.
Interesting reading No labor coverage and they can choose to just give you another used collector or two to run in addition to yours to get up the the percentage of rated output for the total array. You also need to show proof nobody but a certified BP person has ever worked on this system.
Needless to say we have a pretty low opinion of BP down here