The solar battery lifespan is a very essential factor that needs to be put into consideration by the manufacturers to ensure their batteries are reliable, durable and facilitate the production of energy. The design alone should enable them to resist could and heat cycles.
Therefore, various manufacturers need to have extensive knowledge regarding the solar batteries by ensuring proper steps are followed in order to increase their lifespan. The type of battery should also not be left out.
What You Should Understand?
Solar batteries have many factors and technical details that need to be taken into consideration when sizing up the backup required for a system. Battery system sizing also allows for a long life of service.
What Factor Could Affect the Lifespan of a Battery?
There are different types of batteries, where some are more durable compared to others despite having the same source of power. There are 3 main factors which may affect the durability of solar batteries. Some of them include cyclic life, their temperature, and depth of discharge.
The Cyclic Life
The lifespan of solar battery can easily be determined through its cyclic life or the number of use cycles it has. For example, a lead-acid battery which is flooded is expected to provide 300 to 700 cycles. A GEL cell battery is capable of providing 500 to 5000 cycles. Lithium batteries are capable of offering 2000 cycles.
Depth of Discharge (DoD)
The depth of discharge refers to the extent to which a solar battery can be used relatively to its total capacity. Batteries go down as they are discharged or charged. This, therefore, lowers their ability to store more energy. A battery that comes alongside a nominal capacity of 100 kWh at 60 % DoD will have a remaining charge of 40 kWh
A battery attains higher chemical activity when kept under high temperatures. This makes the solar batteries less efficient in colder climates. However, the cyclic life of a battery decreases with the increase in temperature.
How to Increase the Battery Lifespan?
Despite to design of the solar battery, it may not provide longer services if not properly maintained. The following are steps involved in extending its lifespan.
Regulate the Number of Batteries
Try to lower the number of batteries used at the bank. Use of several batteries may increase resistance and connection that is likely to result into unequal charging. Therefore, regulate the number of batteries used in your bank up to 4 or maybe less.
Enhance Equalization on Solar Batteries
Equalization of battery refers to the overcharging process of your solar batteries at a regulated manner. Unequal charging results to plate’s sulphation. Overcharging gets rid of this through gassing. There are those solar batteries that are built with a solar charge controller to suppress overcharging.
Ensure Solar Batteries do not go Uncharged for a Long Time
Solar batteries are likely to be damaged if they sit for a long time in storage. You need to ensure your source of charging is always turned on to enable the battery charge continuously to facilitate a continuous solar light.
Make use of the Appropriate Solar Batteries
Batteries sized appropriately for the application will ensure a long lifespan. Lithium batteries are starting to build up steam since they have a long lifespan and are safer and conducive for the environment. However, GEL cell batteries are still the battery of choice because of their proven life, typically five to seven years in the field when sized properly. GEL cell batteries are still a fraction of the cost of Lithium battery technology, but they are starting to become more and more cost-effective as technologies improve and their share of the market increases. Make sure the kind of battery you use has a voltage rating of 12.8V or 25.6V to make sure it lasts longer.