How long does a solar inverter last?
This study says that at least 15 years.
Photovoltaic installations have one of their critical points in the inverters. A vital component is to take advantage of the economic investment and which is also one of the most expensive. That is why many wonder how much their investor will gild.
The answer can be varied both for the brand and quality of the inverter, even for the type of use made it. But to have an orientation of the duration of this element, researchers from the University of Applied Sciences in Bern have surveyed different users to investigate the useful life until the failure of the inverters used in private homes.
The survey has collected data from 1,195 photovoltaic systems with 2,121 investors. Most of the inverters used in these systems had power ratings between 10 and 15 kVA, and some of the best-known brands have been included, such as Fronius, Huawei, Kostal, SMA, SolarEdge, and Sputnik.
Those responsible for the project have indicated in any case that the inverters analyzed are not representative of the current photovoltaic market since they were purchased several years ago. A time when technology has advanced a lot.
To collect and interpret the data, the researchers used the Kaplan-Meier estimator, which is commonly used to estimate the survival function from incomplete figures or with some error to account for the different working conditions of each investor.
The survey showed that more than 65% of the inverters have not had relevant failures after 15 years of work and that the general reliability of an inverter is proportional to the reduction in the number of power electronic components. In inverters with power optimizers, the first failure usually occurs earlier than in devices without optimizers.
Results that increase the confidence of customers when it comes to making the investment that involves installing a photovoltaic system in their homes or businesses, where in terms of panels the guarantee is usually very long, at least 20 years, and as We see, the look of the inverter should not show any faults in a fairly long term either.