The table below gives ranges on useful life of several technologies estimated by interviewing NREL experts who have been working with the technologies and also by performing a literature search. Limited information on actual lifetime studies was found. The bulk of the literature referenced included an assumed useful life for a given technology. These numbers are useful since they provide conventional thinking of experts in each field; it is important to understand that they do not include lifetime statistical data of actual projects.
Use the tabs below to navigate the charts. The LCOE tab provides a simple calculator for both utility-scale and DG technologies that compares the combination of capital costs, O&M, performance, and fuel costs.
If you are seeking utility-scale technology cost and performance estimates, please visit the Transparent Cost Database website for NREL's information regarding vehicles, biofuels, and electricity generation.
|Capital Cost (February 2016 Update)||Operations & Maintenance (February 2016 Update)||Utility-Scale Capacity Factors||Useful Life||Land Use by System Technology||LCOE Calculator|
|System Useful Life||Years|
|Photovoltaics||25 to 40 yr|
|Biomass Combined Heat and Power||20 to 30 yr|
|Biomass Heat||20 to 30 yr|
|Solar Water Heat||10 to 25 yr|
|Solar Vent Preheat||30 to 40 yr|
|Ground Source Heat Pump||20 yr for interior components
100 yr for ground loop