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How Long Will My Solar Battery Last?

Written by Madelein Kroukamp

When making use of a solar system, the next logical step would be to look into solar storage. Your solar PV system won’t supply you with electricity during loadshedding or any other power outages, at night, or during poor weather. An obvious solution is to invest in a solar battery bank to cater for these occasions. A battery bank can also be beneficial in controlling your Eskom bill if you choose to use your battery during peak power usage hours when the cost of electricity is much more expensive. Solar batteries offer free energy generated by your solar system for use when you need it most.

Asking “How long will my solar battery last?” can refer to two important questions. One is to look at the lifespan of your battery and the other is to look at how long you will be able to run your home off of the battery. In this article, we will look at the lifespan of your battery and the factors that influence this. Stay tuned for our article on how long your home can run off of battery power. Batteries are a substantial expense and a significant long-term investment for your home. So looking at the lifespan of one is crucial to establish what is best for you. 

Solar batteries’ lifespan is between 5 and 15 years, depending on several factors including battery type and how much it is used, among others. Batteries need to be replaced once their lifespan is over, increasing your initial financial investment. With the advancement of technology, these numbers will increase, of course. Let’s discuss the factors that will affect the useful lifespan of your solar battery so that you get optimal performance for longer.

Battery Type

There are several types of batteries available, the most common being lead-acid batteries, AGM batteries, Lithium polymer batteries, and Lithium Phosphate batteries. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Read our article on how solar batteries work for a more in-depth look at these points. Below is a table comparing the different specifications each type of battery has:

BATTERY

PRICE EACH

PERFORMACE

WARRANTY

  LEAD

R2 500,00

>500 CYCLES

1 YEAR

  AGM

R4 000,00

>800 CYCLES

1/ 2 YEAR

  LIFE

R19 000,00

>4000 CYCLES

3 – 5 YEARS

  LIFEPO4

R25 000,00

>5000 CYCLES

10 YEARS

A battery’s lifespan is based on the number of cycles it is capable of doing. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how many years your battery will last. A cycle is from the point where the battery is fully charged until it needs to be charged again. This brings us to the next factor.

Battery Usage

When making use of a solar system, the next logical step would be to look into solar storage. Your solar PV system won’t supply you with electricity during loadshedding or any other power outages, at night, or during poor weather. An obvious solution is to invest in a solar battery bank to cater for these occasions. A battery bank can also be beneficial in controlling your Eskom bill if you choose to use your battery during peak power usage hours when the cost of electricity is much more expensive. Solar batteries offer free energy generated by your solar system for use when you need it most.

The more you use your battery, the shorter its lifespan will be. If you rely on battery power often, or you use the charge on many appliances at once, the fewer years it will last you. Just like a cellphone or laptop battery, your battery will become weaker over time. With time and use, the battery doesn’t hold its charge for as long as it used to. An aspect that helps this degeneration is that the batteries are usually deep-cycle batteries that can be used for up to 80% of its charge before it needs to be recharged.  

Temperature 

Temperature is the number one enemy of solar batteries. There are heat restrictions in the warranty of your battery that have to strictly be adhered to. A battery’s lifespan can be lengthened significantly by not exposing them to overly hot or cold temperatures. When a solar battery drops below -1° C, it will require more voltage to reach maximum charge; when that same battery rises above the 32° C threshold, it will become overheated and require a reduction in charge.

Proper maintenance and informed usage decisions are vital to your battery’s useful lifespan. By keeping just a few factors in mind and adjusting them as you see fit will see you enjoy the maximum output and performance of your solar batteries.

Thank you for reading this article. If you feel we have left out any important information or would like to contribute to this site and content, please get in touch with us by leaving a comment or emailing us.

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