What Is So Magical About 25-Year Warranties In Solar?

25 years. Two and a half decades. The Silver Anniversary. 13,140,000 minutes (sorry, I saw a community theater version of Rent this weekend, and I love this song).
The most common length for warranties in the solar industry.
Which begs four questions:
What’s so magical about 25 years that solar manufacturers have fixated on it as the warranty length?
Is there really reliable testing to provide hard data that the components of a system will last that long?
Were these warranty lengths chosen only to reassure the financiers that solar was a safe investment?
As President Josiah Bartlett famously used to ask — what’s next?
These questions came up in several discussion I had with manufacturers at the recent Intersolar North America 2013 show, as reliability created a huge buzz at the show (I discussed my theory about why this question is so prevalent now while I was actually at the show). And now I can’t stop thinking about it.
What will happen after 25 years? Assuming all the components last that long (I’m not saying they won’t), what happens when they inevitably start degrading? After all, everything breaks down eventually (even the human body, the most exquisite engineering feat in the history of the world).

Written by Frank Andorka. To read the full article, click here.

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