High Impact of Solar Cell Degradation on Solar Panel Working Life

Commercial Solar Longevity:

Cell Degradation and Solar Panel Working Life

When it comes to commercial solar, the longevity of the panels is of critical concern. We have accumulated a wealth of experience in solar energy and in this article, we will discuss in detail the concepts of solar panel working life and solar cell degradation, focusing on the stark contrast between generic panels and the premium SunPower Maxeon panels.

  • Understanding Solar Panel Degradation and Working Life:

Solar panel degradation refers to the gradual decline in a panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Every solar panel loses some of its efficiency each year, causing an increase in the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) over its working life. The working life of a solar panel, on the other hand, is defined as the period during which the panel can still produce a substantial percentage of its initial output—commonly set at 80-85% of its original efficiency.

  • Impact of Solar Cell Degradation on Working Life:

The solar panel degradation rate has a direct impact on a solar panel’s working life. Higher solar cell degradation rates lead to shorter working lives as panels reach their defined end-of-life efficiency threshold sooner. For commercial solar projects, a longer working life is preferable as it allows the business to generate more electricity from the same initial investment, thereby reducing the overall LCOE.

  • Comparative Analysis: Cheap Panels vs SunPower Maxeon Panels:

Let’s now compare a typical cheap solar panel with a SunPower Maxeon panel to understand the significant impact of solar cell degradation rates on working life.

  • Cheap Panel:
    • Solar Cell Degradation Rate: 0.7% per year
    • Working Life: 25 years (reaches 80% of its initial efficiency)
  • SunPower Maxeon Panel:
    • Solar Cell Degradation Rate: 0.25% per year
    • Working Life: 55 years (still performs at 85% of its initial efficiency)

By comparing these two options, it is apparent that the SunPower Maxeon panels offer a significantly longer working life due to their lower solar cell degradation rate.

  • The Compelling Case for Premium Solar Panels:

The longer working life of the SunPower Maxeon panels significantly impacts their LCOE, despite the higher upfront cost. Over their 55-year lifespan, they can produce 85% of their initial output, providing considerable value for commercial solar investments. Conversely, cheaper panels might have a lower initial cost but reach only 80% of their original efficiency after 25 years, resulting in a higher LCOE over their shorter lifespan.

  • The Economic Perspective:

From an economic standpoint, it is vital to consider the implications of these longevity differences. Even if cheap panels appear to be the less expensive option initially, their shorter working life and higher solar panel degradation rate could lead to higher costs in the long run. By choosing a premium option like SunPower Maxeon panels, businesses can achieve greater savings over time, making them the more economical choice for commercial solar projects.

  • The Sustainability Factor:

In terms of sustainability, choosing panels with a longer working life also contributes to less waste and lower environmental impact. With SunPower Maxeon panels’ impressive 55-year working life, companies can significantly reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying the economic benefits of solar energy.


In the complex world of commercial solar, understanding the working life of solar panels and the impact of solar cell degradation is crucial. As our comparison demonstrates, the longer working life and lower solar cell degradation rate of SunPower Maxeon panels translate into significant long-term savings and environmental benefits, despite a higher initial cost. It is a compelling argument that favors premium solar panels like SunPower Maxeon in the commercial solar landscape.

At Lumenaus Commercial Solar, we have a deep commitment to offering only the best solutions to our customers. After extensive analysis and experience, we strongly recommend the SunPower Maxeon panels for commercial solar projects. With their impressive working life and exceptionally low solar panel degradation rates, these premium panels are designed to maximize the return on your investment. Choosing SunPower Maxeon panels is choosing superior performance, durability, and value that stand the test of time. As your trusted solar solutions provider, Lumenaus Commercial Solar is ready to partner with you in making this valuable, long-term investment towards a more sustainable future.