What is the first thing that comes to your mind when we talk about solar power plants? It is the solar panel installed on the rooftop and the cost associated with it. Well, that is the surface you see. Solar power plants are not limited to solar cells.
When solar cells trap heat energy and convert them into power, where do you think that power is stored? It is a battery. Without a battery, you won’t be able to use the power you have accumulated using solar cells.
Hence, no matter how you see it, batteries form an important part of your solar power plant. In fact, they make a majority of the investment you make in installing solar panels.
While the lifespan of a solar panel is considered to be at least 20 years, and with proper maintenance, it can exceed 30 years, the lifespan of a solar battery is between 5 years to 15 years. That means you will have to replace the batteries eventually. This will only increase your budget.
To ensure battery costs do not put a massive dent in your finances, follow different practices to expand your life.
Factors That Determine The Lifespan Of The Solar Battery
There are many factors that affect solar battery storage. Below we have listed the most common factors that determine the lifespan of a solar battery.
Frequency At Which Battery Is Used
You had probably noticed that your laptop’s battery does not stay as it was when it was new. This is because, when a battery is not used, its health remains at 100%. But, the more you use the battery, its health starts deteriorating.
This is frustrating, but it is an undeniable truth. If the battery is used frequently, then the chances of them being used for a long time are short. They will erode faster, and hence, their life will be shortened.
The Battery Type To Install
There are three types of batteries that are commonly used for solar storage. They are –
- Lead-acid battery.
- Lithium-ion battery.
- Saltwater battery.
Out of all these options, Lithium-ion batteries last the longest. In addition, they also tend to offer the best storage capacity at an affordable price.
If you are using batteries other than Lithium-ion batteries, their lifespan will be comparatively shorter.
The Environment In Which Battery Is Stored
For a battery to perform at its best, it needs an environment that is neither hot nor too cold. If you are able to store your solar battery in a garage or a basement where the environment temperature is moderate, you can expand the lifespan of the battery.
In warmer temperatures, the chemical reaction in batteries will happen more quickly. This will increase the chances of wear and tear from inside the battery, thereby deteriorating the health of the battery.
On the other hand, in extreme colds, the electrons tend to slow down. Once the electrons slow down, it affects the health of the chemicals present inside the battery.
Tips To Increase The Battery Life Of Solar System
Solar panels are an investment. And to protect that investment, you need to ensure that they are properly maintained. In order to get the most out of your battery, follow these tips.
Limit The Use Of Batteries
Try to limit the number of batteries in the bank. The more batteries you have in the solar power system, the more connections will be needed to connect them. As the number of connections increases, so does the resistive. The increasing resistance can cause uneven charging of the battery.
Hence, experts advise limiting the use of batteries in one bank to ensure even charging of the cells.
Watch Out For A Complete Discharge
If you want to damage your battery completely, then discharge them completely and let the battery sit like that. Then, your solar battery will be completely damaged. This normally happens when something has gone wrong with the cables, and the battery has discharged completely without you noticing.
To ensure this never happens, you can install an LVD to save the battery from draining completely.
Charger Your Batteries To 100%
It is important that you charge your battery 100% before using it. This is because if you are not charging your battery completely, it will leave some unused electrons in the solar battery. These unused electrons will slowly dissipate because they are never used, reducing the battery’s health.
Charging a battery will sulphate them, and discharging will desulphate. Therefore, if you are not completely charging your battery, you are not completely desulphating it. The sulphate will build up, lowering the lifespan of the battery.
Choose The Right Battery Type
There are three types of batteries used in solar cells. Each battery comes with different features and offers a different lifespan. Out of the three types, the most durable is lithium-ion batteries. They are good for storing power for a longer time and even come at an affordable price.
Other than lithium batteries, the other two types are lead discharged batteries and saltwater batteries. Although these batteries cost less compared to lithium-ion batteries, their lifespan is also short.
Regular Watering Requirements
There are certain batteries, such as flooded or wet battering, that need to be watered regularly. While you are at it, ensure that you are not using any regular water; use distilled water without any impurities. Ask your watering manufacturer to know the schedule of watering and strictly follow the schedule.
Battery Lifespan Summed Up
With an expected solar battery life of 5 to 15 years, solar batteries need to be replaced every decade to maintain the efficient energy generated from solar panels.
While this is the normal battery life span, a few methods can be practiced to expand the battery’s lifespan. This includes opting for quality batteries from good manufacturers and installing batteries in a climate-controlled environment.
Although batteries have become affordable in recent years, they are still an element of the solar power system that will constantly need investment.
So, it is important that you choose the right battery for your needs and place it in a secure location to get the most out of it.