Replace and recycle your solar system

Over the lifespan of a solar and/or battery system, some of its components may need replacement. You’ll need professional assistance to replace and recycle equipment.

When to replace solar panels, batteries and inverters

Keep an eye on your solar system’s performance through regular monitoring.

System-wide checks by an accredited installer can also help you see if parts of your solar system aren’t working as well as they should be.

A reduction in the performance of your system may not mean you need to replace one or more of its components.

If you suspect a fault in your system or it isn’t producing as much electricity as you think it should, contact your solar retailer or installer. They’ll be able to check your system and advise if you need to replace parts. If you are within the warranty period replacements should be free. 

Lifespan of solar panels, batteries and inverters

The lifespan of each component depends on how much it is used and how well it is maintained.

For example, you will need to replace a battery that is charged and discharged every day sooner than a battery only used occasionally.

The average lifespan of each component varies. Inverters often need replacing within the lifetime of solar panels, but it is rare that you need to replace the whole system at once.

Solar component Average lifespan
Solar panel 20-30 years
Battery (lead acid) 5-10 years
Battery (lithium-ion) 10-15 years
String inverter 10-15 years
Micro inverter 20-25 years

You can extend the lifespan of your solar system by maintaining it well. Learn more about how to get the most out of your solar equipment.

Recycle solar panels, batteries and inverters

Before recycling any solar system components, they will need to be removed or replaced.

It’s important to hire a licensed electrician to remove or replace components of your solar system.

To manage this process, we recommend you look for a solar installer accredited by Solar Accreditation Australia. They will know what to look for and will work safely.

Do not attempt to remove components of your solar system on your own. It's a complex piece of equipment and can be dangerous to handle if you don't know what you're doing.

Solar panels

Most of the materials in a solar panel can be recycled. Taking a panel apart for recycling should only be attempted by a professional and takes time. You may have to pay a recycling fee.

Some states and territories have banned solar panels and other e-waste from landfill.

Ask your solar retailer or installer to take away parts of your solar system you no longer need.

Batteries

Do not attempt to uninstall a battery yourself.

Most batteries are classified as hazardous waste or as a dangerous good. To stay safe, don't remove, store or transport your old battery.

Please contact your battery provider or an accredited installer to discuss safe disposal options.

When buying a battery, find out if your battery contains recycled content and if it is recyclable. It is also a good idea to prepare an end-of-life plan for your battery in partnership with your solar retailer or installer.

Inverters

You can recycle inverters as e-waste through:

  • your local council or government waste facility
  • your accredited installer
  • scrap metal collectors.

Find information about drop-off locations and pick-up services from your local council or government.