Tag Archives: Kyocera

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThough many believe the lifetime of a solar panel is twenty-five years, a number of older models have exceeded this. When Kyocera tested a 30-year-old module, last year, they discovered it was still operating at 90.4% of capacity. There are 37-year-old Arco Solar (now SolarWorld USA) panels in operation. So How long do solar panels Last?

Continue reading How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Industry Leaders on SVTC’s 2014 Solar Scorecard

Originally Published in Clean Technica 

By Roy L Hales


Every year, the Silicon Vally Toxic Coaltion (SVTC) sends out a survey to PV solar manufacturers. Though companies do not have to respond, this does not stop the SVTC from evaluating them. It simply means there is less information and, consequently, they receive lower marks. The “Industry Leaders” on SVTC’s 5th annual 2014 scorecard are: Trina Solar (92), SunPower (88), Yingli Green Energy (81), SolarWorld (73) and REC (71).

Continue reading Industry Leaders on SVTC’s 2014 Solar Scorecard

The Toxic Issue of Solar Panels

By Roy L Hales


Last year Robert Lundahl and I co-wrote an article about a California PV solar factory that is not disposing of their solar panels once their lifespan expires. We could not name the company, as our source still works there, but they use a known carcinogenic called gallium arsenide. This is not believed to be a problem as long as the panels are intact. However if they end up in a landfill the panels will be broken and the toxins can leech into the soil. Environment California recently directed me to a study that puts the toxic Issue of solar panels in context and suggests areas where the industry can improve.

Amy Galland’s “Clean and Green” was inspired by companies that are not complying with environmental health and safety codes, but she found some PV manufacturers actually do more than what is required.

Continue reading The Toxic Issue of Solar Panels