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Warranties

There is quite a variety of warranties for solar systems. What kind of damage is covered by what warranty and what do you need to do to file a claim?

Warranties

How do the warranties work with regards to solar systems?

A solar installation is covered by multiple different warranties. There are warranties for the separate components (panels, inverters, mounting systems etc.), and for the entire installation: This latter warranty is called the installation warranty (installatiegarantie)

Installation warranty

For the duration of the installation warranty period, the seller must ensure that any defect to the system is repaired without costs to the customer. The installation warranty is invalidated if any parts of the installation are altered (except by Zonnefabriek) during this period. Most companies offer a 2-year installation warranty; since 2013 Zonnefabriek offers a 5-year installation warranty. The installation warranty covers the solar installation from the main electrical circuit board up to and including the solar panels; the internet communication is explicitly excluded from the installation warranty due to the dependence on third parties such as the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Defects caused by 'acts of god' or damage by third parties are also not covered.

You can find details on Zonnefabriek's installation warranty (in Dutch) in our General Terms and Conditions.

Product and Performance warranties

The various parts of the installation each have their own product warranty, which usually continues for a longer period than the installation warranty. The product warranty is covered by the manufacturer. If the product becomes defective during the warranty period, the manufacturer must ensure the repair or replacement of the defective product, unless the defect is caused by an external act of god or by damage inflicted by a third partry. A consumer does not have to deal directly with the manufacturer, instead they can address the company that sold the product to them; in our case that would be Zonnefabriek.

Solar panel warranties

In general solar panels have two separate warranties: a product warranty and a performance warranty. The product warranty entails that in the case of a defect in the product during the warranty period, the product will be either repaired or replaced, or else the customer is entitled to a financial compensation. The duration of the warranty period varies between different manufacturers, as well as what exactly is covered by the warranty. The best case scenario for the customer is that the entire repair or replacement is covered and you can rest assured that it will all be taken care of. However in some cases the manufacturer will only supply a financial compensation for a defective panel, with the amount based on the current market value of the (increasingly old and worn) panel, and that you yourself will have to pay for someone to come and take down the defective panel and put in a new panel which you will have to pay for as well, as well as transport costs. That's why it pays to read the warranty conditions carefully.

Solar panel performance warranty

The performance warranty is meant to ensure that the power that a solar panel can produce, doesn't decrease too quickly over time. All solar panels do experience some degradation over the years, usually in the range of about 0,6% per annum. The performance warranty is there to ensure that you can get compensation in case the panel degrades faster than expected.

Now this can be a tricky warranty to claim: How can you prove that a panel degraded more quickly than expected? In order to establish that you will often need specialised equipment: Where will you get that, and: who will pay for it?

Furthermore many manufactureres state that degradation as a result of a defect is not covered by the performance warranty, but by the product warranty. That makes quite a difference: imagine you have a 10 year product warranty and a 25 year performance warranty. Your panel's performance starts to worsen significantly in year 12. After an extensive investigation (paid by yourself) it turns out that the degradation is caused by a defective solar cell within the panel. What will the warranty cover? Nothing: the manufacturer will be able to say that the defect falls under the product warranty and not the performance warranty, and since the former has already expired, there is no obligation for them to honor the claim..

Overview of solar panel product and performance warranties

In the table below you will find the warranty conditions for the most common brands of solar panel installed by Zonnefabriek. For the exact terms and conditions you can click on the links in the table. If your brand isn't included in the tabel you can contact our service department for more information.

N.B.: Warranty conditions are regularly updated by the manufacturers. For the most up-to-date versions of the warranty conditions please check the manufacturers' own websites.

Solar panel brand

Performance warranty

Product warranty

What do you get?

SUNPOWER

Maxeon solar panels installed by a certified SUNPOWER installer like ZONNEFABRIEK

 

For terms and conditions click here

40 years for panels installed from January 1st 2022 onwards

 

For solar panels from before January 1st 2022: 25 years

 

For panels installed from July 1st 2017 onwwards: for the first year 98% of the stated power, then -0,25% per year.

 

For panels from before July 1st 2017: In the first 5 years 95% of the stated power, from then on  -0,4% per year

 

40 years for panels installed from January 1st 2022 onwards

 

For solar panels from before January 1st 2022: 25 years

 

the defective panel will be either repaired, or replaced by a compatible panel with the same or more power than the defective panel. Furthermore the costs for transport of both the defcetive and the replacement or repaired panel are covered. Costs relating to removal of the faulty panel and installation of the replacement or repaired panel are also covered

SUNPOWER

Maxeon solar panels NOT installed by a certified SUNPOWER installer like ZONNEFABRIEK

 

NB: if the panels have not been registered with SunPower then the warranty period is not 40 years but only 25 years

40 or 25 years (see above)

 

For panels installed from July 1st 2017 onwwards: for the first year 98% of the stated power, then -0,25% per year.

 

For panels from before July 1st 2017: In the first 5 years 95% of the stated power, from then on  -0,4% per year

40 or 25 years (see above)

the defective panel will be either repaired, or replaced by a compatible panel with the same or more power than the defective panel. 

Costs for transport and installation are NOT covered 

SUNPOWER 

Performance panels (P3)

For warranty terms and conditions click here

25 years

First year 98% of the stated power, from then on -0,45% per year

25 years

the defective panel will be either repaired, or replaced by a compatible panel with the same or more power than the defective panel.

Hanwha Q.cells G11

 

For terms and conditions click here

25 years

First year 98%, from then on -0,5% per year

12 years

repair, replacement. Compensation for the inspection and shipment of the panel but not for installation or removal

Hanwha Q.cells G5

 

For terms and conditions click here

25 years

First year 98%, thereafter -0,54% per year

12 years

repair, replacement. Compensation for the inspection and shipment of the panel but not for installation or removal

Hanwha Q.cells G4

 

For terms and conditions click here

25 years

First year 98%, thereafter -0,6% per year

12 years

repair, replacement. Compensation for the inspection and shipment of the panel but not for installation or removal


Warranty on Inverters and Optimizers

In the table below you can find an overview of the warranty terms and conditions for the main brands installed by Zonnefabriek. If your brand of inverter or optimizer is not mentioned please contact our Service department for more information.

Brand

product warranty

What is covered?

SMA

 

For terms and conditions click here

usually 10 years

 

Since 2014 Zonnefabriek offers 5 years extra product warranty (i.e. 10 years total): Check your sales agreement

repair or replacement by a compatible type of inverter. Shipment and installation of the replacement device, and removal and collection of the defective device

SolarEdge

 

For terms and conditions click here

Inverter: 12 years,

Optimizer: 25 years

repair or replacement or a credit note worth the current value of the defcetive part. For repair or replacement, installation and collection are included.

EV-charger warranty (charger for Electric Vehicles)

The SMA EV-charger has a 5 year factory warranty. Terms and conditions can be found in the general SMA warranty document, which you can download here.

Warranties for battery systems

Batteries generally have a 10 year warranty, unless the total throughput energy (i.e. the amount of energy charged and discharged over the years) reaches a certain level less than 10 years after installation. This level depends on the capacity of the batteries. For BYD batteries you can find the warranty terms and conditions here.

Communication producs

Products used for the communication between inverters and the internet generally have a 2-year warranty. This goes for products such as Powerline Adapters or SMA Sunny Home Managers. For SMA terms and conditions please click here

Cables and electrical components

All other products used in the installation such as cables and electrical material usually carry a factory warranty of a shorter duration than Zonnefabriek's installation warranty. Zonnefabriek will replace or repair such material without cost for the consumer within the warranty period of the installation warranty, since these parts are considered to be a part of the installation.

Bankruptcies

What happens in case your installer or the manufacturer of your products files for bankruptcy?

Should Zonnefabriek go bankrupt, then you will lose our installation warranty. However you will still have the product warranty for the various parts of your solar installation. In case of a defect, the manufacturer will ask you to contact a different installer, because they generally don't deal with the final customer themselves. For instance SMA have a network of 'Advance Partners' in the Netherlands that can help out when the original installation company has ceased to exist. Zonnefabriek is regularly contacted by former customers of other installation companies that no longer exist, in order for us to help them with their warranties on SMA products.

Should the manufacturer of the products go bankrupt, then Zonnefabriek will no longer be able to source the products required for a repair or replacement of a defective part. If possible we will try to look for alternative products to keep your solar system running. Since there is no longer a manufacturer who can compensate for the costs incurred, these costs will be therefore billed to you.

Quality is your best warranty

Private consumers are well protected in the Netherlands. The Dutch government website 'Consuwijzer' (in Dutch) explains all the rules for consumer protection. The rules are different for commercial customers (business-to-business).

A final word: The best warranty is the one you never need to use. The best guarantee for a good system is a good product, much more so than good warranties. With our long experience in the world of solar energy we think we have a good view on what does and what doesn't work in the long term. This experience has led us to the selection of products in our range.

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