Solar batteries are an extremely useful power resource for several purposes. It can help with running important loads during a power outage, and you can also use them to reduce your electricity bill. With solar batteries, you can generate electricity with solar energy whenever you need it.
However, when getting a solar system, you need to spend a significant amount of money. That is why it is important that before investing in solar batteries, you should know the lifespan of solar batteries and when you need to replace the batteries. The lifespan of solar batteries depends on various factors, which we will discuss below.
What is the Lifespan of solar batteries?
Today, the average lifespan of solar batteries available in the market is from 5 to 15 years. However, you will need to replace your solar batteries somewhere between 25 to 30+ years of the lifespan of your solar system.
What Affects the Lifespan of Solar Batteries?
Some small yet important factors decide the lifespan of your solar batteries. Following are these factors that determine the durability of solar batteries:
Usage of Solar Batteries
With time, the batteries of various electronic devices start to wear off. For instance, you may have noticed that your phone’s or laptop’s battery doesn’t last as long as they did a couple of years ago. Even when your device is fully charged, it just lasts for 3 hours rather than lasting for 12 hours as it was before. This can be very frustrating for the users, but eventually, it happens with almost every device with a battery.
When you charge and discharge your battery more often, it is likely to lose its durability. When this happens continuously, a point will come when you need to replace the battery as it is no longer storing any charge. This is how the usage of batteries determines their lifespan. It doesn’t matter how long before you have installed these batteries. It depends on the usage of solar battery owners. For instance, if your solar system is an off-grid system that uses solar energy every night, it won’t last as long as a grid-tied system, which only uses its energy when the power goes out.
You can enhance the lifespan of your solar batteries by following the manufacturer’s recommendation regarding the Dept of charge aka DoD. It is the percentage of battery stored energy that you use. For instance, if your battery’s storing capacity is 13.5 kWh and your daily usage is 10 kWh, then the DoD will be 74%. This factor is important because it will reduce its lifespan if you use your battery beyond the recommended percentage. Your solar batteries will have an assigned maximum DoD by the manufacturer.
Type of Solar Batteries
Solar batteries are available in three types: Lithium-ion, lead-acid, and saltwater.
Lithium-ion batteries last longer among these three types of solar batteries. They also have the best storage capacity, but these batteries are not the cheapest option. Regardless of the cost of Lithium-ion batteries, spending some extra money on these will save your money in the long term as you will need to replace the batteries later than other options. Moreover, you can use more of the stored energy with lithium-ion batteries as these batteries have a high DoD rate of 80%.
Lead-acid batteries are also among the popular battery types these days. These batteries are most commonly used with off-grid systems because of their high watt-hour capacity. As compared to lithium-ion batteries, these are cheaper. However, they don’t last as long as lithium-ion batteries do, which means their lifespan is also shorter. These batteries have a low DoD rate which is between 30% to 50%. This means that you can’t use much of the stored energy. This option may seem a cheaper option at first, but it will cost you more in the long term as you will need to replace them more frequently.
Saltwater batteries are new battery types in the market. This battery type uses saltwater to store the charge instead of corrosive materials. These are also safer and recyclable battery options. The lifespan of saltwater batteries is longer than lead-acid batteries but shorter than lithium-ion batteries. However, their DoD rate is similar to lithium-ion batteries, which means you can use most of the stored charge.
Before buying a solar battery, also consider the warranty that the manufacturer offers. Most manufacturers offer a warranty or guarantee of solar batteries for several cycles or a specific time period. That is why you should buy those batteries that are up to par and can last for at least a reasonable period.
The environment of the Storage of Solar Batteries
Solar batteries shouldn’t be installed in extreme hot or cold conditions. Your solar batteries are more likely to last longer if they are installed in your garage or in a place where the temperature is controlled than the batteries installed in an open environment that exposed the battery to harsh weather conditions.
If your battery is installed in an extremely hot environment, the high temperature will speed up the chemical reaction inside the battery, causing wear and tear. Similarly, the cold weather will slow down the electrons, and the battery will drain more quickly than the normal conditions. It means that your battery won’t last long.
Lead-acid batteries are more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions than lithium-ion batteries. The manufacturers of lead-acid batteries recommend keeping them in the temperature between 40F to 80F. However, lithium-ion batteries can perform well at a temperature just below 0F and at a high temperature of 140F. But still, you should keep these batteries in a moderate-temperature environment. Saltwater batteries are more durable in temperature than lead-acid batteries but not as strong as lithium-ion batteries. The ideal temperature for these batteries is between 104F to 23F.
The average lifespan of solar batteries is from 5 to 15 years. At least once in 25 to 30 years, you will need to replace your batteries. The lifespan of batteries depends on several factors. But installing batteries in a controlled environment and choosing the right type of solar batteries per your usage can significantly increase their lifespan.