Switching to solar energy is one of the smartest investments you can make for your wallet and the environment. Although, a lack of awareness and caution can ruin your experience. That’s where solar panel warranties come in. It protects users in the event of defects, damage, and other unexpected issues.
If you are looking for a 6.6 kW solar system, you’ll want to ensure you understand solar panel warranties before making your purchase. In this guide, we will help you understand the types of solar warranties available, what they cover and how to ensure that you have the protection you need.
What are the types of Solar Panel Warranties, and what to look for?
Solar panel installers often sell you the system stating the panel has a warranty of 25 years. Although it defines the industry standard performance of solar panels, you still need to understand the different solar panel warranties required to protect the entire solar panel system. It mainly comprises four Solar Panel Warranties:
1. Manufacturer/Product Warranty
The manufacturer’s warranty is crucial for solar owners as it covers them against material defects that can cause solar modules to underperform. This warranty reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in its product and can typically last between 10 and 25 years. Higher-quality systems can even have warranties that last up to 25 years.
Before installing a solar panel, it’s necessary to check what the product warranty covers. Usually, it includes the defects in material or manufacturing which can affect panels’ performance, such as issues like cracked glass, faulty electrical connection, and other problems hindering panels from working over a period.
However, there may be limitations to warranty, such as requiring the panels to be installed by an approved installer or not covering damage from acts of nature such as hail or wind. Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of the manufacturer’s warranty to understand what is covered and what is not.
2. Performance Warranty
This type of warranty guarantees the performance of the solar panels over a certain period. For example, a 25-year performance warranty may ensure that the panels will produce a minimum amount of power over that period. Typically, all high-quality panels have to deliver at least 80% of the rated output, or it can divide the number into 90% of the original power in 10 years and 80% after the first 25 years.
Generally, a Performance warranty helps ensure that the solar panels will perform as expected and protect you from systems that degrade quicker, affecting the panels’ performance in the long run.
Moreover, it’s essential to carefully read the terms and conditions of the performance warranty to understand if it may have limitations, such as the minimum level of sunlight required for the panels to perform as expected.
3. Inverter Warranty
Inverters are more prone to damage due to their continued working at high voltage, making it necessary for you to get the appropriate inverter with a long warranty period. Generally, a high-quality inverter will have at least a 5-10 years warranty if installed with enough ventilation and as per the manufacturer’s instructions, or else it will become void.
This warranty will protect you against the cost of early failure of the inverter, which can happen due to numerous factors, like dust, heat, ambient temperature, large electricity spikes from charging electric vehicles, ventilation, power quality, or grid voltage. So taking the appropriate coverage can offer good value and give you peace of mind.
4. Solar Installation Warranty
Solar installation warranty is a crucial warranty offered by the installer of the panels and is separate from the manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty covers the workmanship during the installation of the solar panels, including any problems with the mounting system, electrical wiring, and other components.
The duration of the installation warranty can vary between 1-10 years. This warranty is important because it protects the homeowner in case of faults in the installation of the panels.
Whenever you decide to install solar panels, make sure the solar panel suppliers offer an installation warranty and carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure that you will get assistance from the installer if there are any issues with the installation of your solar panels.
How to make a warranty claim?
If you found any issue with your solar system, you can make a warranty claim by following these steps:
- Contact your solar installer or retailer if you suspect an issue with your system.
- They can help diagnose the problem and arrange an inspection if necessary. If the fault is found with the panel and is within the manufacturer’s warranty period, the installer should file the warranty claim for you.
- If you can’t reach your installer or retailer, contact a solar specialist to inspect your panels and provide advice.
- If you can’t get ahold of both, contact the manufacturer directly using the information on your warranty documentation.
- The manufacturer will likely require documentation of the issue, including photos, reports, and installer details.
- If the manufacturer locates the issue due to faulty installation, they may reject the claim.
- If the warranty claim is approved, the manufacturer will arrange for the panels to be repaired or replaced within a reasonable timeframe.
Solar panel warranties are important to protect your investment in solar energy. That’s why you need to know about different types of warranties, their limitations, and the process to claim them. We hope this guide will help you briefly understand solar panel warranties so you can make a great investment.