Solar panels have been around for a long time now and solar energy accounts for 1.6% of total U.S electricity generation, but people still have doubts regarding energy storage, solar battery usage and solar battery’s lifespan.
However, one of the most popular questions remains the lifespan of the batteries of a solar power system.
If you want to know the lifespan of solar batteries and what are the factors that affect the battery storage and life, then keep reading.
- 1 What are solar batteries?
- 2 What should you consider before buying a solar battery?
- 3 Factors that affect the lifespan of the solar battery
- 4 How to store your battery?
- 5 What is the life span of solar batteries in general?
- 6 Summing Up
What are solar batteries?
Solar batteries are usually lithium-ion batteries that store solar energy captured by photovoltaic panels.
The panels in the system collect solar energy and convert it to electricity, which is then sent to your home via the inverter.
A solar battery is a lithium-ion battery that stores energy from solar panels while the sunlight is abundant. When there’s not enough sun to meet your power needs, these batteries can draw on this solar battery storage, preventing a dip in electric grid demand and blackouts.
They typically have a larger capacity than their counterparts.
In short, these batteries can be used to store electricity as off-grid energy systems, or while there is no electricity available, or when the user demands surplus electricity during periods of high demand.
They can often be stacked like a modular battery system or used individually in series with other cells.
What should you consider before buying a solar battery?
There are a few things that you should consider before buying solar lithium-ion batteries. These factors will help you in buying wisely. Here are a few important factors that you must consider-
Size of your PV System
Depending on your size, the number of batteries needed, and the wattage output from your solar panels will vary. You should also factor in additional utility bills since a solar battery can reduce your use of energy during peak hours so it may be an added expense on the household budget.
You also have to consider your budget. Before buying a battery for your solar system, estimate how many panels you need and how big they are. The more batteries you need, the higher the cost will be so this is something to take into consideration before buying versus waiting until later down the line when electricity rates increase or you start experiencing outages often.
Most of the batteries come with at least 10 years of warranty. You must check and buy the one that has the most amazing offer in terms of the warranty.
Depth of discharge
The depth of discharge tells a battery’s usability in relation to its entire capacity.
Hence, if a battery has a 100% DoD, it indicates you may use the entire battery storage capacity (for example, 2.5kWh) to power your home. Most solar batteries have varying DoDs, hence it is best to check it beforehand.
Power capacity or battery capacity is the total amount of electricity that the battery can store or in simple words, the energy storage capacity of the battery. You will have to consider the energy production and energy usage before deciding the power capacity you want.
Factors that affect the lifespan of the solar battery
There are a few factors that do affect how long do solar batteries work. It is important to understand these factors if you want to increase the life expectancy of your home solar battery units.
Here are a few factors that affect the life expectancy of solar batteries, have a look-
The first factor that affects the battery lifespan is the environment in which it’s being used. The higher the sun radiation and humidity, the quicker solar batteries will wear out.
The temperature also affects this – colder environments cause the chemistry inside to accelerate, so if you live somewhere with cold winters, expect your solar battery to stop working sooner than you might have expected.
Exposure to vibration, shock, and any damage to the outer casing is also a very important factor.
Type of solar storage battery
The battery types used in your solar systems will also affect the battery life. It is so because different types of batteries have varying chemical compositions.
The most common types of excess energy storage batteries are-
Lead-acid battery- Lead-acid batteries don’t have a long lifespan in comparison to lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, they are the most affordable options on the market.
Lithium-ion battery- Lithium-ion batteries are smaller, lighter, and more compact than lead-acid batteries, with a longer lifespan and better DoD.
Saltwater battery- Saltwater batteries contain saltwater electrolytes. It is a new technology as compared to the previous two and is environmentally friendly because it is easily recyclable. However, these batteries don’t perform as good as lithium-ion batteries.
Solar battery usage
The cycle life of the battery refers to the maximum number of times a battery can be fully charged and discharged to a certain discharge level. The usage cycles of the solar batteries also affect the useful life or the life of the battery.
Proper maintenance of the battery is yet another factor that affects the life of your battery backup system.
If you do not pay close attention to the maintenance your battery will wear down sooner.
The overall quantity of energy that passes through your battery, regardless of the number of cycles or the level of discharge, is referred to as energy throughout. It affects the battery life that is why many solar battery warranties also impose a limit on the amount of energy that can be transferred.
If your seller has given you a warranty period, then you can almost be sure that the battery won’t last beyond that period.
How to store your battery?
The battery stays healthy only when you create optimal conditions for it.
One of the main elements regarding optimal conditions for making solar batteries last long and well is to maintain them in a cool, protected environment. Indoor use is ideal in order to keep the batteries cool. This will help the accumulation of power and decrease degradation, maximizing the lifespan of a solar battery in the process.
What is the life span of solar batteries in general?
The general period or the life expectancy of most solar batteries is 5-15 years.
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of factors like power rating, system size, DoD, etc, that affect the life of your solar battery today. However, you can expect it to last for the above mentioned period of time. If it lasts more than that then give yourself a pat on your back!
Solar panels produce energy by converting the renewable energy of the sun into electricity. The energy produced by them proves to be very helpful when there is a power outage or extra home energy storage is required.
Solar panels help you get energy independence and be the master of your own needs. You will save a lot of money by the kilowatt-hours of energy produced by these panels. Hence, you can be sure that you are making a wise long-term investment.
However, you must not forget that without the battery the solar panels are quite useless. You must ensure that you buy the battery wisely.
Now that you know how to choose a battery, what are the factors that affect its life and how to store it properly, start with the eco-friendly way of living today!