As exciting as solar batteries are, they’re not perfect. They have some limitations that make them less than ideal in some applications.
Once their useful life is over, they need to be replaced with a new one rather than fixed.
There’s also no way to store surplus solar power for later use, which means only a small percentage of solar energy can be converted and stored at any given time. This makes solar batteries a great addition to your system but not the sole focus.
Fortunately, there are ways to get the most out of your solar battery for as long as possible! Keep reading to see how long solar batteries last and how you can get more out of yours.
How Long do Solar Batteries Last？
There are many factors that determine the lifespan of it.
Factors that determine the lifespan of solar batteries
It is important to know that there is no single thing that will determine the lifespan of the solar battery. Various factors contribute to this.
To make things clear, here are the key factors that will determine how long your solar battery will last.
The type of battery
To maximize the growth of solar technology, various types of batteries have been developed. While each type has advantages and disadvantages they also come with different lifespans.
There are three types of batteries that are used with solar systems. These are lead-acid, lithium-ion, and saltwater batteries.
These are the cheapest solar batteries that you will find in the market. They are also the heaviest and have the shortest lifespan. Lead-acid batteries have a low depth of charge and discharge (DOD).
A lead-acid battery will last you between 3 to 5 years with proper maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries are much lighter than lead-acid batteries and can last up to twice as long. With proper maintenance, a lithium-ion battery will last you between 6 to 10 years.
Saltwater batteries are a newer technology and are not as widely available as lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries. Instead of heavy metals, these batteries are powered by salty water electrolytes. They are, however, the longest-lasting solar batteries with a lifespan of up to 15 years.
Now you know which one to buy in case you want a solar battery that will last you for the longest.
Of course, you will have to part with more money if you are seeking for the longest lasting solar batteries. The higher the cost, the higher the chances that it will last longer.
How well the battery is maintained
The lifespan of your solar battery will also be determined by how well you take care of it. Just like any other battery, if you don’t maintain your solar battery properly it will not last as long.
Proper maintenance of the solar battery will eventually increase its lifespan. On the other hand, poor maintenance, no matter how good your battery is will eventually degrade its quality.
How often the battery is used
Like any other machinery, the more you use it, the fewer will be its lifespan. Even take your mobile phone as an example. If its battery is fully charged and you use it frequently, it will run out of power, and eventually, its lifespan will be shorter.
This analogy applies to solar batteries. When it comes to battery usage, there is a term known as charge cycles. This refers to the number of times a battery is fully charged and then used which is technically a discharging process.
As the charge cycles continue piling up, they reduce the battery’s capability to support more energy and power during its lifetime. This means that they technically reduce the lifespan of the battery.
This is why we usually advise clients not to look at the dates of the battery installation but to be keen on how often they will have to charge and discharge them.
For example, when you install an off-grid solar power system, technically it means that you will have to charge and discharge it more frequently. This is different from a situation where you are using the battery for backup power as most of the time you will be depending on the 0n-grid power source.
Still, on the aspect of usage, you should check the battery’s depth of discharge (DoD). Pushing it beyond the required DoD will eventually shorten its lifespan.
The environment in which the battery is stored
Solar battery storage is another critical factor that will determine its lifespan. Exposure to extreme weather conditions, such as high or low temperatures, humidity, and altitude will all impact the life of a battery.
Extremely warm temperatures are likely to hasten the reaction rate of the chemicals in the battery. This can speed up the wear and tear process of the battery.
Extremely cold temperatures will also have an impact on the lifespan of the battery by slowing down the reaction of the chemicals.
Ensure that your solar battery is stored in ideal conditions, where it will not be affected by extreme temperature conditions. Basements and garages are ideal choices for storage.
Still, on the aspect of storage, lead-acid batteries tend to be super sensitive to environmental factors than Lithium-ion batteries. They are easily affected by slightly higher temperatures and even cold weather. So, when you are working out the equation on the type of battery to buy, consider the external conditions.
The manufacturing process
The manufacturing process also plays a big role in how long a battery will last. Poorly-made batteries will not hold as much charge and can even burst when in contact with high levels of voltage.
This means that you will need to replace your battery more often if it’s made with lower-quality materials.
But, how can I tell that the battery is of a quality build?
There are a few signs that can indicate that the battery is of good quality build. Firstly, the batteries will usually come with a warranty. Secondly, the material used in the battery should be corrosion-resistant and last for a long time. Finally, the battery should have a high discharge rate and be able to hold a lot of charges.
Recharge and voltage rate
Batteries of different types also have different recharge and voltage rates. Li-ion batteries, for example, tend to have a high recharge rate and can be recharged multiple times without losing power.
Meanwhile, lead-acid batteries take longer to recharge and have a lower voltage rate.
These two parameters have a direct impact on how long the battery should last.
For instance, a high recharge rate means that the battery will be able to be recharged more frequently, which may shorten its lifespan.
While we have already mentioned about the different types of batteries, it is also important to consider the battery chemistry. This is simply the chemical composition of a battery. It plays a role in determining how long the battery will last.
For example, nickel-cadmium batteries are the most common type of battery and they use cadmium as their main component. Cadmium is a heavy metal and it can build up in the battery over time, causing it to lose power and eventually fail.
Lithium ion batteries are the most popular type of battery today and they use lithium as their primary component. This is because lithium is both lightweight and highly resistant to corrosion.
Solar battery warranty
The warranty on your solar battery can also dictate how long your battery is expected to last. For example, some solar batteries come with a 10-year warranty. This means that if there are any defects in the battery within 10 years, the company will replace it.
So, when in the process of buying a solar battery, it is important to ask about the warranty and whether it covers your entire purchase price or just a certain period of time.
Effective ways of increasing the life of your solar battery
We have just discussed various factors that will determine the life of your solar battery. Just knowing them is not enough. You also need to know ways of improving the lifespan of your battery.
Here are some of the effective tips that you can use to achieve this goal:
-Do not completely drain the battery: When you are not using the battery, make sure to keep it at a 50% or less charge. This will help to prolong the life of your battery by keeping it in a healthy state.
-Use the battery properly: Make sure that you use your battery as intended. This means that you should charge it fully before using it and discharge it completely before recharging. Doing so will help to improve the lifespan of your battery.
-Maintain cleanliness: Keep the area around your solar battery clean and free from debris. This will help to eliminate any potential for corrosion.
-Do not overheat the battery: Make sure that you do not overheat your battery. Overheating can cause your battery to die prematurely. As we have mentioned high heat can cause aging, stiffening, and even cracking of the battery cells.
-Avoid overloading the battery: Overloading in this context means storing more power than the battery can handle. Do not keep your solar battery running for extended periods of time during the day when the sun is not available. Doing so will only wear down your battery faster.
-Use solar battery management systems: Thanks to the technology, you can now use solar battery management systems in order to prolong the lifespan of your solar battery. These systems will monitor your battery, and will automatically shut it down if it starts to get too Stafford to handle the power being put into it.
– Let the professionals handle the battery: If your solar battery is beyond repair, it is important to get it professionally serviced. A professional will be able to measure the condition of your battery and recommend a course of action.
How to tell that my solar battery life is about to end?
You have been using your solar battery for quite a while. You think that its lifespan is almost coming to an end but you are not yet sure. What are the tale-tell signs of bad solar batteries?
Here are some;
-Lower power capacity than before: Initially, the battery could run devices and appliances for a long. However, it does not do the same in recent days. The problem could be with the cells, the wires, or the battery rack.
-Low voltage: Probably, this is one of the earliest signs that your solar battery is about to go bad. When your solar battery output drops below 12 volts, it means that your cells are not running at their optimum capacity.
-Sudden power cuts: If you notice that the power keeps cutting off suddenly, it should definitely be a red flag for you. This could be an indication that there is something wrong with your solar battery.
-Heavy corrosion: If you notice heavy corrosion on any of the metal parts of your solar battery, you should get it fixed as soon as possible. This could be a sign that your battery is about to go bad.
How can I protect solar batteries from overheating?
As we have mentioned, heat is one of the factors that affect a battery’s life. Make sure that you always keep an eye on your solar battery’s temperature, and take the appropriate measures to address any overheating. Keep in mind that overheating can lead to damage to the cells and the battery overall.
Other than monitoring, another effective way of protecting the battery from the effects of heat is by using a thermal insulation pack. This will help to protect the battery from high temperatures, and it will also help to keep your battery cool.
Where to buy solar batteries?
The best place to buy solar batteries is from reliable manufacturers and suppliers. This can be online or offline. In case you want to buy in China, it is advisable to use a sourcing agent. They will help you to find the best and most reliable solar battery suppliers in China. Contact us at ICRFQ and we will help you find a reputable manufacturer for your solar battery.
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