Types of Solar Panel Warranties
What Is Solar Panel Warranty?
The warranty of a solar panel is an agreement from a solar manufacturer, dealer or installer that assures the buyer that he is protected against panel failure and the losses and strain that come with it. The agreement which becomes effective upon purchase assures the buyer that the panel can be expected to be reliable and function optimally for a specified duration and under certain conditions. Warranty offered on solar panels vary between products and solar companies. Warranty is measured in years. Depending on the choice of solar panel brand, warranty offerings from solar panel manufacturers range from 10 to 25 years.
A warranty is in some ways a measure of the quality of the solar panel. It is an expression of the faith of the manufacturer in their product. A comprehensive warranty lasting years, even decades, not only gives customers confidence, but it shows the confidence the manufacturers have in their product. A company producing unreliable and shoddy equipment would not be able to offer a 25-year warranty on its products. Read our article on how to tell the best solar panel brands here.
Types of Solar Panel Warranties
There are two types of warranties for solar panels:
1. Performance guarantee and
2. Product guarantee.
A solar panel’s product warranty insures the integrity of the panel itself and protects the buyer against problems such as manufacturing defects, environmental issues, premature wear and tear and others.
Product warranties are to protect the buyer from defects in material or workmanship issues during the manufacturing process. The manufacturer may choose to repair or replace the product at their discretion.
Product warranties typically last from between 10-15 years for most panels and up to 25 years for premium brands.
The linear performance warranty guarantees a minimum production performance of a panel over the warranty period. This assures you that the panel will continue to have the capability to produce a specified percentage of power during the warranty period. If the panels drops below this at any time during the warranty period, a performance warranty demands that the manufacturer will fix or replace the panel.
The common industry standard is 90% and 80-83% power output production capacity retained after 10 and 25 years respectively. Premium manufacturers such as Sunpower/Maxeon and LG guarantee 88-92% power output on most modules after 25 years of use.
What Warranties Do Not Cover
It must be noted that warranties do not necessarily cover all kinds of failures. They do not cover defects or malfunctions caused by misuse, mismanagement, domestic accidents, abuse or improper maintenance. They also do not cover malfunctions from failure to follow operating instructions or operating appliances with which the system is not intended to be used. All these void the warranty agreement. Some manufacturers' warranty offerings include shipping and handling while others cover only the replacement panel.
Also, a warranty will only remain in force as long as the system is designed and installed correctly. Warranty agreements do not cover failures due to oversizing of systems and use of faulty components.
A warranty may also be voided if an unlicensed technician makes repairs on the system before the warranty claim is made.
Product and Performance Warranty According to Brand
Premium brands like LG, Q Cells, LONGI Solar, Hyundai, Huawei, Panasonic, REC Solar, Sunpower, offer up to 25-year warranty on their solar panels. LG offers up to 90.4% on performance