How Long Do Solar Batteries Last (And How To Manage Their Lifespan)?
Utilizing solar energy to generate power is one of the best solutions for sustainable living. Not only is this renewable energy beneficial for the environment, but it can also help you drastically cut down on your electricity bills. Another beneficial advantage is that you can store the excess electricity produced by your solar panels using solar batteries. However, before you add one to your solar power system in your humble abode, it is essential that you conduct the proper research.
What kinds of solar batteries are offered on the market? How long can you expect them to last, and how can you maintain them? Read further to learn everything about solar batteries from A-Z to be well aware of what you are getting into when you go out to purchase one.
The three most prevalent types of batteries used for solar power storage are as follows:
Lead-acid batteries have been used in off-grid energy systems for the longest time. While they are one of the most affordable solutions, they have a shorter lifespan and a lower depth of discharge (DoD) than lithium-ion batteries. The DoD of a reveals how much power it can discharge with respect to its full kilowatt-hours (kWh) capacity, which is the polar opposite of charging.
Lithium-ion batteries are known as the pot-of-gold when it comes to solar batteries since they are lighter, more compact, have a longer lifespan, and sport a higher DoD than lead-acid batteries. In addition, growing demand has cut the cost of lithium-ion batteries by 85%, making solar electricity more accessible.
Saltwater batteries will most certainly outlast lead-acid batteries, although not as long as lithium-ion batteries. However, these batteries do not contain heavy metals and instead rely on saltwater electrolytes to work. As a result, saltwater batteries are more environmentally friendly and can be recycled more easily. These usually hold around 5,000 cycles and are useable beyond their indicated cycles without risks, making them ideal in general to couple with solar panels.
Since all batteries lose their overall capacity with every recharge cycle, solar batteries, too, can become worn out and stop working.
Most solar batteries last between 5 and 15 years, depending on your usage and battery model. You might have to replace your batteries several times because their lifespan is quite short compared to a solar panel's, which is 25–30 years. Thus, if you want to remain hassle-free, you must focus on the proper maintenance of your solar batteries.
There are various factors that determine how long your solar battery will last, and in order to increase its durability, it is important that you are aware of them.
"How long will my solar battery last?" It is important not to think in terms of years; the ideal way to determine the lifespan is via cycles, which refers to the time it takes to drain and recharge a battery. This is crucial because solar batteries are either used at intervals or all the time. In each case, the life expectancy of solar batteries in terms of years is not a good measure.
§ The battery's performance degrades with each cycle it goes through. While degradation occurs gradually throughout a battery's lifespan, it accelerates significantly near the end, which means the discharge is quicker with each increment, and the battery loses its usefulness.
§ However, paying strict attention to your manufacturer's recommended depth of discharge is the best way to extend the life of your solar battery. The charge remaining in your battery is measured as a percentage, similar to what you'd see on a smartphone.
For example, if your battery's manufacturer suggests a DoD of roughly 40%, don't deplete the battery any farther than that. If you completely deplete your battery every time, you risk drastically reducing its overall lifespan. You will get the most value from partial-discharge cycles. You can extend the life of your battery by only using 20% or 30% of its charge at a time. Furthermore, avoid fully charging your battery to increase its durability.
Battery care is one of the most important aspects of determining how long your battery will last. It's possible to wind up with a faulty battery in a matter of weeks if you do not take proper care of it. Double-check your wires and terminals to ensure that they are all snug and secure. Furthermore, dust off your batteries to prevent them from overheating.
Use a refractometer to determine the charge state of your battery. This appliance checks whether or not your battery can maintain a charge after a cycle.
Manufacturers provide a warranty period for all types of batteries, including solar ones. As you may assume, a solar battery with a longer warranty period will survive longer than one with a shorter guarantee period. To put it another way, a solar battery with a 10-year warranty is preferable to one with a 5-year warranty, so make sure you choose wisely.
Temperature is a continual consideration in anything that uses electricity. Batteries do not perform well under extremes of temperature. A solar battery should be kept in a climate-controlled environment where it will not be exposed to excessive heat or cold.
§ The chemical reactions inside the battery will speed up when exposed to high temperatures. This will shorten its lifespan and speed up wear and tear, necessitating more frequent replacements.
§ Cold, on the other hand, causes chemical reactions to slow down. This slows electrons and causes chemical reactions to stop sooner, discharging the battery faster than usual, which requires more drain-recharge cycles.
With these solar battery specifications, you should be able to estimate how long your solar panel batteries will survive now. If you are looking for a robust and durable battery for your high-performing solar set-up, refer to Brava Batteries, a one-stop battery procurement company specializing in VRLA and Lithium batteries. The leading company uses advanced technology to provide consumers with safe, cost-effective, and high-performance batteries.