Why Warranties Matter When Selecting a Solar Provider

By August 29, 2016RESIDENTIAL, solar
Solar Providers should have good warranties.

Solar power systems and solar providers are unique in the grand scheme of utility technology. In addition to being completely clean running and inexpensive for both residential and commercial properties, the way that solar systems are constructed makes them incredibly durable and long lasting. How long lasting? On average of 30 years for solar panels!

However, this longevity isn’t the be-all, end-all. With more and more property owners opting to own their systems outright, making sure that you have the most comprehensive, long-lasting warranty can guarantee that you get the most value out of your solar power system.

What Makes Solar Long Lasting

The key to the longevity for a solar power system is that the photovoltaic (PV) cells that absorb sunlight to be converted into electricity are remarkably simple machines. The cells are arrayed as panels and these panels have virtually no moving parts. They do not require power of their own, create no noise or toxic runoff and solar owners can get by with little maintenance – simply wash off the panels periodically to remove debris.

Without moving parts and power, the risk of burnout or mechanical failure associated with most traditional technology is greatly reduced in solar power systems. Natural degradation may result in the loss of 0.5 percent efficiency annually, but panels installed in the 1970s have been found to still function at nearly 80 percent capacity without an upgrade. Try saying the same of your local electricity company!

Different Parts with Different Vulnerabilities

However, just because the PV technology is resilient doesn’t mean you don’t need a warranty. Solar systems are made up of several distinct components: Panels, the inverter, wiring, mounting brackets or tracking structures, foundations for the free standing systems, and utility-required interconnection equipment.
While the panels, as we discussed, can last up to 30 years without significant maintenance, the same cannot be said of the rest of the components. Each different aspect of the overall solar system is likely to see some wear and tear from regular use, with the inverters being the most prone to failure. Furthermore, the quality of installation can make a big difference when it comes to the longevity of your system.

A Comprehensive and Worry-Free Warranty

According to SolarEnergy.net, many solar providers claim to offer a 20 to 25 year warranty – yet this warranty often only covers the power output of the system. That is to say, most providers will warranty that your panels will produce at least 80 percent output for a specific number of years, while only guaranteeing parts and labor – which could critically include your inverter and issues caused by fault installation – for between one and ten years.

Since solar power systems are often sold and assembled piecemeal by third party providers, understanding what is covered under which a warranty – and for how long – can be tricky. You could find that your panels have a 20 year warranty from your installer while your inverter only has a five year warranty from the manufacturer. And if the racking comes loose or your roof starts leaking from penetrations made during installation, you might not be covered at all.

At Sunworks, we don’t think that’s good enough. Why should only one part of your total power system be under warranty when everything works together to generate what you need? Sunworks provides our customers a comprehensive, 25-Year Worry-Free Warranty guaranteeing not just the materials, but the overall craftsmanship of every solar power system we install.

We cover virtually all the products involved in the installation and operation of a solar power system for 25 years, meaning that, if something goes wrong, we will provide the diagnosing, repairing, or, at Sunworks’ sole discretion, replacing any component of the PV System installed by Sunworks that fails or suffers malfunction. Even better, this warranty is transferable to a second owner if you choose to sell your home.

Don’t settle for less. Get in touch with SunWorks to talk to a solar power system expert today.