what is covered and what is not?

When you compare LG, Panasonic, SunPower, Canadian Solar, or other types of solar panels, you may notice that all of these manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty on their products.

However, simply comparing warranty terms doesn’t give you the full picture: what’s included and what isn’t included in a 25-year warranty actually differs quite little from company to company. And when you’re making a long-term investment in your home, like buying a photovoltaic solar panel system, go with your eyes wide open to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

For this reason, today we are going to break down the most important factors of a solar panel warranty, as well as what is typical in the industry. And it is that the solar panels have two different guarantees.


Industry standard.

  • Product: 10 years.
  • Potency: 80% at 25 years.
  • Labor costs: No
  • Manufacturing: Yes
  • Parts Shipping: No
  • Limitations and Exceptions: Variable.
  • Compliance with manufacturer’s warranty and reputation: variable.

Product warranty.

Also known as a hardware warranty, the solar panel product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself. If any of your solar panels have a defect, mechanical problem, or excessive wear and tear, that’s where the product warranty kicks in.

Fortunately, when these types of problems arise, they are usually apparent “from the start”: you or your installer should be able to quickly detect something wrong and fix the problem quickly, even before the panel fails. reach your roof.

When looking for the perfect solar panel, you should expect each one to have a product warranty, and of course, the longer the product warranties, the better.

Today, most manufacturers offer at least 10 years of product warranty, while some premium options offer 25 or 30 years of product defect protection.

Panel replacement: what happens if your module is no longer for sale?

Unlikely, but suppose your solar panel fails after nine years: by then, the manufacturer will likely have a stock of new products. Will they be able to replace your broken panel?

Many companies will keep older products in stock for a long time or offer to replace your panel with a newer comparable module. In addition, some manufacturers guarantee that they will financially compensate you for the loss of electricity production in the event that they cannot replace the product.

Power guarantee.

Industry standard: 80% by year 25; 3% the 1st year, 0.7% from the 2nd to the 25th year.

Whether it’s cell phones, televisions, or other home appliances, you can expect the performance of electronics to degrade over time; Of course, solar panels are no exception to this rule.

For this reason, solar panel manufacturers offer a power (or performance) guarantee that guarantees that their products will not fall below certain output levels after certain periods of time.

Any power guarantee has two fundamental elements to pay attention to: the duration and the guaranteed degradation rate.


Manufacturers also offer a power guarantee for a certain period of time. Frankly, there’s not much variability when it comes to power supply warranty terms; Nine times out of ten, your panels will come with a 25-year power warranty. However, some manufacturers -like Silfab- offer 30 years of protection.


Solar panels degrade at slightly different rates depending on the technology used to capture sunlight. In general, most solar panel manufacturers guarantee at least 80% of the original output at the end of the warranty period, or 0.7% degradation each year. However, you will notice that most warranties provide for the greatest number of degradations (2 or 3%) in the first year. Interestingly, this is because the panels degrade faster when first exposed to solar radiation. After an initial adaptation period, the degradation of the panel stabilizes.

After the first year, manufacturers typically guarantee that output power will not drop an additional 0.5-0.7% each year of the warranty term (or, for Sunpower, up to 0.25% each year ). When comparing one panel to another, remember to look not only at the guaranteed year-end 25 production, but also at the protected degradation rate year over year.

Also keep in mind that the guaranteed degradation rate is different from what you will encounter in real world conditions. All solar panels go through rigorous performance testing, and when manufacturers set their power guarantees, they stick to conservative numbers they feel confident in. Whatever guaranteed degradation rate you estimate, think of it as the upper limit of expected degradation over the warranty period.

Labor for diagnostics, repairs or replacements.

Industry Standard: Most manufacturers do not cover labor costs as part of their warranty agreement.

As mentioned, a solar panel manufacturer may offer a 25-year product or performance warranty that will cover a replacement panel if you need one. However, even if the manufacturer covers the replacement part, this does not necessarily mean that they will cover the labor costs required to reinstall this equipment. In fact, most manufacturers do not cover the labor associated with the replacement or repair of their products.

There are many local installation companies that cover this type of warranty under their own contract. That said, installer warranties also vary from company to company, often only covering their own work, but not the costs of maintaining properly installed equipment.

Unfortunately, most solar panel warranties do not cover labor costs. The best solar panel warranties cover these costs in full or up to a certain amount.

Parts Shipping.

Industry Standard: Most companies will pay for a replacement part, but may not pay the costs associated with shipping that part to your doorstep.

Let’s say your solar panel breaks and you’re covered under warranty for a free replacement panel from the manufacturer, but what about the shipping of that part?

This is an aspect that is often overlooked in panel warranties. Many manufacturers cover the material costs associated with the replacement part, but not necessarily the cost of shipping the equipment. Or they may ship the product to a local or regional dealer, but require you or your installer to pick it up. And, as with labor costs, some may offer to cover shipping costs, but have a maximum spend limit on what they can pay.


Industry Standard: Most solar panel manufacturers leave the manufacturer’s warranty to the installer.

In most cases, solar installers are solely responsible for providing manufacturing warranties for their solar installation; after all, they are the ones doing the installation work.

However, a small number of solar panel manufacturers offer additional protection by adding their own labor warranty coverage. When applied, this is usually only an option if you work with specific installers on the manufacturer’s certified network: they put their brand and reputation behind the work, and they want to make sure that they can stand behind the installer performing the installation.

Limits and Exceptions.

Industry Standard: Every warranty – including solar panels – has limitations and exceptions.

If you’ve bothered to read a warranty document, solar panel or otherwise, you won’t be surprised to learn that manufacturers include limitations and exceptions in their warranty agreements. These limitations are not intended to make it difficult for you or other customers to take advantage of the offer; After all, companies need to protect themselves from unreasonable claims.

Warranty limitations and invalidity clauses vary from company to company, but here are a few to keep an eye out for:

  • Transferability: If someone buys your house (and therefore your solar panel system), can you transfer the warranty to them?
  • Installer Approval: Need to work with one of the manufacturer’s certified installers to qualify for the warranty offer? If someone outside your network repairs your system, is your warranty claim voided? And can you benefit from the warranty if you do the installation yourself?
  • proximity to the sea: Do you live in a house facing the sea? If so, please confirm that this will not void your warranty. Salt water corrodes solar equipment faster, so some panel manufacturers void their warranties if their products are within a certain distance of salt water.
  • fortuitous acts: Most solar panel manufacturers do not cover damage caused by extreme weather events beyond their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Fortunately, solar panels are quite durable and can withstand most storms without the need for additional protection. And even better, in the event of a claim during a storm, most home insurance covers solar panels.

Compliance with manufacturer’s warranty and reputation.

Industry standard – there really isn’t one! Reputation and warranty compliance standards/processes vary from company to company.

Suppose you have to file a warranty claim: is it easy to do? And can the manufacturer retain its warranty?

When comparing the warranty of one solar panel to another, keep the following in mind:

  • How old is the company offering the guarantee? There is a difference between a 100 year old company offering a 25 year warranty and a 5 year old company offering a 30 year warranty, and both exist in the solar industry. Is it a solvent company and does it have its own insurance policies guaranteeing the maintenance of its guarantees even in the event of bankruptcy?
  • Who is responsible for guarantee compliance? Does the manufacturer have a parent company or subsidiary that supports warranty or handles claims?
  • Is it easy to claim the warranty? Does the manufacturer allow you (the product owner) to file a claim directly or do you need to contact your installer to do so? Does your installer need to come to your home and do an assessment before submitting a claim?

Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not always found in warranty documents.

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