Solar batteries used to be an expensive addition to a solar energy setup but with the drop in prices over time, more and more owners consider solar batteries. Solar batteries are used to store excess energy from solar panels. It is practical because it can be used later at night or on cloudy days. With this, it is crucial that you treat your batteries right.
Remember that if you treat your solar batteries poorly, it can go bad in a matter of weeks leaving you with an expensive off-grid solar electricity system repair. If you are not broke after the battery failure, you will surely be in the dark. With this in mind, it is important that you understand factors that affect the lifespan of your solar batteries.
The factors include the following:
- Cyclic life: you must understand that the lifespan of the battery is shown through its cyclic life. This refers to the number of use cycles a battery has. For instance, a lithium battery has 2000 cycles while a flooded lead-acid battery has 300-700 cycles.
- DoD (Depth of Discharge): this refers to the degree to which a battery can be utilised relative to its total capacity. This can affect the ability of the battery to store more energy.
- Temperature: temperature and cyclic life of solar batteries are related. When the temperature increases, the cyclic life of the battery decreases.
Now that you know the factors that affect the lifespan of your solar battery, it is time to be mindful when it comes to prolonging its lifespan. Here are some tips for extending your smart battery life:
- Try to limit the number of batteries: in your bank, you should try to limit the number of batteries. This is because more batteries mean more connections and as the connection increases, the resistance also increases. With the increased resistance, it can lead to uneven charging.
- Think about rotating the batteries: the next thing you need to do is to rotate your batteries. This is important especially if you have a big bank of batteries. It is beneficial if you rotate the batteries periodically.
- Utilise large battery interconnect cables: put in mind that utilising large battery interconnect cables will reduce resistance allowing for even charging. Ideally, for a 12V and 24V systems, a 4/0 size cable is good. If you have a 48V system, you should choose a 2/0 size cable.
- Avoid leaving it uncharged: additionally, you should never leave the batteries uncharged for an extended amount of time. As much as possible, you should leave the charging source on to allow the batteries a continuous charge.
- Charge your batteries properly: when it comes to charging your batteries, make sure that you are doing it right. It is crucial that you read the manufacturer’s label at the onset.
- Only use distilled water: it is not recommended to add electrolytes and other battery additives because they end up causing more harm than good to the battery. This is only applicable for flooded batteries.