During the early phases of the residential solar power projects we work on, we at Urban Solar get a lot of questions from homeowners curious about how their new solar panels are going to hold up against the elements. In Florida and throughout the southeast, the sun can be especially relentless, often serving up multiple days of temperatures in the nineties and even higher. So, it’s completely realistic to think that a long, flat piece of metal or other rigid material mind bend or warp over time, given enough exposure to the sun’s damaging rays.
The short answer to the question of whether or not solar panels will warp or bend on their own is no, they won’t. But, the longer answer involves an explanation of how exactly a solar panel is constructed and what materials are used to make it as durable as possible. It’s not unheard of for solar panels to last well into the 20+ year timeframe, with some solar panels still producing an electric current even after 40 years of constant use. So, how is this achieved?
First, it’s important to understand how a solar panel is constructed. The frame of most solar panels is composed of aircraft-grade aluminum. This is done for three reasons:
- Weight. A lighter panel is easier to install and puts less of a weight burden on the roof of the structure.
- Strength. Aluminum is very strong, and incredibly resilient to deforming due to heat.
- Affordability. Unlike other light, strong metals (titanium, for example), aluminum is fairly inexpensive, making it the perfect choice for mass manufacturing.
A solid aluminum frame is responsible for 95% of the structural integrity of the solar panel itself. The rest is afforded by the tempered glass and silicon substrate that makes up the remainder of the panel. A high-quality panel will incorporate the use of glass and silicon that is made for extended exposure to UV. These materials, when integrated correctly into a reliable overall panel, combine to make a sturdy, robust device that will not buckle, warp, or bend due to heat alone.
Want to know more about how to put the power of solar energy to work for you? Or, are you curious how much you could save on your energy bills every month, by switching to solar? Contact us today, and ask about our completely free energy assessment. We look forward to hearing from you!