Solar power systems aren’t built with planned obsolescence in mind

Solar power systems aren't built with planned obsolescence in mindIn this day of disposable everything, consumers are resigned to the notion of replacing (with regular frequency) virtually everything they own. Called “planned obsolescence,” the principle is applied when, from their conception, products are manufactured with an intentional “end of usefulness” (style, fashion, function, etc.) lifespan.Planned obsolescence results in the necessity of repurchasing the same tool, appliance or gadget repeatedly, as the current version reaches its built-in termination/failure point. Some producers are incredibly overt about the tactic. Apple releases updated versions of its technologies on a regular schedule, enticing customers to continually re-buy many of the same functions to gain access to a few new ones. Not surprisingly, today’s buying public is so inured to the practice that it accepts the “fact” that every product available for purchase will fail within a few years and need replacement.

Solar power systems are different, however. A residential solar power system is unique from other power systems because it has no moving parts, and its components are intentionally designed to last for decades. For homeowners considering purchasing a solar power system, however, there are circumstances unrelated to manufacturing that can reduce the system’s capacity and sometimes even cause it to fail.

Atmospheric conditions

Because the solar panels that generate electricity usually are attached to a roof, they are subject to environmental hazards that are typical of the general atmosphere. Dirt, dust, bird droppings, etc., can cloud the surface of the panel and reduce its efficiency. Hail, rocks, tree limbs and other falling debris can crack the surface glass, which will reduce efficiency and may require replacement.

Installation materials failures

Even with the highest production standards, the substances that make up hardware of any kind can erode over time and cause a failure. Solar panels can slip off their mountings, or movable arrays can come loose, causing breakage or damage that might require replacement.

Equipment quality matters

In 2011, Bloomberg New Energy Financing issued a tiered system of rating solar panel manufacturers to identify those that consistently crafted the highest quality panels in comparison to the hundreds of other international panel manufacturing companies. The tiers established a ranking system, and companies that ranked highest were those that had been manufacturing solar panels for 5+ years, accessed significant research and development data, and used robotics over human labor in manufacturing processes. High-quality solar panels have exceptionally long life-spans without failures.

Warranties on purchased systems eliminate worries

Since 1978, RGS Energy has been installing and maintaining the highest quality solar panels available and offering warranties on all the parts and materials. From the start, RGS solar power systems are designed not to fail. The 25-year warranty is fair to both RGS and the homeowner because the panels actually do last for 25 years, and longer. However, in the event of breakage or damage to the panels or other components of the system, RGS will help the customer RMA (return merchandize authorization) the component from the manufacturer according the manufacturer’s warranty and will replace the component for the cost of their highly-skilled labor.

If purchasing a solar energy system is not for you, there is the option of a “Power Purchase Agreement” (PPA), which enables a homeowner to buy just the electricity generated by an RGS-owned solar energy system. The ownership of the system remains with RGS, so RGS is responsible for maintaining it. Any problems that arise in the system over time are addressed by RGS. The homeowner need only notify the company that something has gone awry.

Solar power generation can save homeowners and businesses thousands of dollars and eliminate thousands of tons of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. And the longevity of the systems ensures that every solar-power convert is relieved of maintenance and repair hassles and can enjoy their system for decades. No planned obsolescence here.

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