We recently published a blog ‘Do Solar Panels Last Forever?’ which delved into how long we can expect a solar panel installation to last and what we can do to ensure they work to their optimum for as long as possible. The short answer to the question was that no, they don’t last forever but you can expect them to have a long lifespan of 25-30 years. Now we’re looking at their hardworking bedfellow, the storage battery which, comparatively speaking does not last quite so long.
There are different battery types on the market and their longevity varies. Not all batteries are made equal, so let’s break out the options. As a general rule, solar batteries can be expected to last between 5 to 15 years, this is somewhat dictated by their chemical composition and performance metrics.
To gain a better understanding of battery strength we not only look at lifespan but also at the amount of power it can discharge (or depth of charge -DoD) which is then compared to the batteries’ full kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Lead – Acid Batteries
Typically used for energy systems designed to work off-grid, lead-acid batteries are one of the more economical options on the market. But, always seems to be the case, where there’s good there’s a balancing act to to follow. They also tend to have one of the shortest lifespans.
At the moment, lithium-ion batteries are the preferred source of energy storage for solar systems. They tend to be seen as the top tier battery in solar due, in part, to their lightweight and compact design. They also have a longer lifespan and a higher DoD.
The name nods quite nicely to the way this battery works. Saltwater batteries don’t contain any heavy metals, they produce energy by using saltwater electrolytes and are recyclable. This makes them the most environmentally friendly option. Unfortunately, there is yet to be any substantial research as to whether these batteries can be fully relied upon.
Usage and Temperature
We’re all aware of the fact that we shouldn’t overcharge or allow batteries to get too warm or too cold but we don’t often pay this much heed with products like our phones and laptops (unless they start making unusual noises or shut down sporadically). Usage and temperature heavily impact the longevity of your storage battery regardless of what battery you are using . It’s important to ensure that how you use it and where you install it is considered. At Caldor we will advise you on what works best within your set of requirements and location.
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