An investment of twenty to thirty years is what you get when you invest your capital in buying solar batteries panels for your home. A solar battery has a shorter lifespan of about five to fifteen years than solar panels. These statistics inform you that you will have to change such a battery multiple times during your solar power system’s lifetime.
In recent times, the most popular batteries in the market for energy storage are secondary lithium batteries (lithium-ion or LiFePO4 batteries). These are great for a battery in solar power systems. A battery’s strength should be known so that a customer can compare them and buy as per his/her appliance’s needs. To measure the strength of Solar Batteries, it is important to look at the battery’s capacity to discharge and the amount of power it emits during that discharge. This is known as depth of discharge (DoD). The battery at its peak or full kilowatt-hours (kWh) is compared with the depth of discharge to identify the strength of the battery.
Recent research proposes that 70% of shoppers who buy solar panels express their desire also to add a battery with the purchase to complete their solar power systems. There are several advantages to keeping a home energy storage system. One of them is that you can store the excess energy in a battery while the rest can be used to power your home This stored energy is extremely useful in times of a power outage, when utility rates are high, or when it’s night.
Everyone knows that keeping a solar power storage system is a future investment for any homeowner. This is why it is important to know the life expectancy, cost, risks, and other know-how about solar storage before switching from non-renewable to renewable energy. So, we have compiled a small and simple list to help increase Solar Batteries life. These are the five factors that affect its life:
Types of Solar Batteries
You might be thinking about the batteries that will store and provide the most solar power. This is why you should know some information about these batteries. Solar Batteries can be made up of three separate chemical constituents: saltwater, lead acid, and secondary lithium battery.
Of these three types, one of them is the most popular and commonly used, secondary lithium. Secondary lithium batteries are good for home solar power systems or energy storage purposes.
Saltwater batteries are known for not containing any heavy metals. Unlike secondary lithium and lead-acid batteries, these batteries use saltwater electrolytes to operate. As saltwater does not pose any danger to the environment, the fact that these batteries utilize saltwater makes them environmentally friendly. This way they can be recycled easily. However, there is little evidence about the reliability of these batteries. Saltwater batteries are fairly recent technology and have not been tested many times in the real world. Many people would still turn to their comfort choice, secondary lithium batteries.
These batteries are not new like saltwater batteries but have been tested and used for decades. They are a cheap option for many but their inexpensiveness comes at the cost of their lifespan as they generally have short lifecycles and lower depth of discharge in comparison to the number one choice of batteries, secondary lithium batteries.
Secondary Lithium Batteries
The number one choice for any battery user, the gold standard of the market, secondary lithium batteries are popular for many reasons. They have all the ideals of a battery. They lead the Solar Batteries market due to their longer lifespan, low weight, closely-packed form, and higher depth of discharge.
Homeowners prefer a LiFePO4 battery due to the above-mentioned factors as no one wants a battery that cannot function well, and this is why these batteries are in more demand than saltwater or lead-acid batteries. The high demand has made it easy for mass production of these batteries, which decreased their cost, so now they have another advantage: a low price. This has made them the top choice for solar storage.
LiFePO4 batteries are an ideal option for stand-alone PV systems. That’s mainly because of their long cycle life (3000 cycles at 100% DoD and 5000 cycles at 80% DoD) and high efficiencies (over 90%). This depends on the use of a charge control algorithm specifically designed for long charge durations as they are common in solar PV systems.
Using Solar Batteries
No battery is made to last forever, and everyone has its lifecycle. Each of these batteries’ life expectancy depends on their usage cycles. Fortunately, LiFePO4 batteries have a discharge of up to 100% called a deep cycle. This allows them to lose 100% of their energy before they need to be recharged. But we advise discharging them to 80% for better battery life.
A few battery banks should be discharged manually by someone before they can be recharged. Some devices can automatically charge solar batteries and prevent overcharging so that the battery can have a long lifespan and is in an excellent state while working efficiently.
The Temperature of Solar Batteries
The installation of a battery storage system can change things depending on where you reside. Mostly because the installed battery storage system needs to be at an optimal temperature to ensure its warranty, lifespan, and efficiency. Generally, LifePO4 batteries have an operating range between –10°C to 60°C.
Batteries can be installed outdoors in places where the temperature is mild to warm. However, in places with blistering temperatures and harsh weather, it is better to install the batteries indoors, preferably in the basement or the garage. The battery company can advise you on where to install the battery to ensure its best performance and health.
The Warranty of Solar Batteries
The warranty of any product is important as it serves as insurance for that product and solar batteries are no exception. Battery manufacturers will provide many different types of batteries with varying warranties. The lowest warranty exists for lead-acid batteries with a warranty of one to two years. Secondary lithium batteries have warranties for ten years or more.
Maintaining Solar Batteries
Maintenance is needed for any product to ensure a healthy and long life. To increase a solar battery’s life, maintenance is important. Maintaining these batteries is quite costly, with maintenance prices ranging from $150-$300 per year. However, maintenance is not needed for lithium batteries, especially for a LifePO4 battery.
Repairs are even more expensive, costing $100-$3,200. Many companies offer comprehensive guides on their solar energy storage service, which can help you avoid maintenance or repairs of your solar batteries by taking the best care of them.