Solar batteries lifespan in Australia | Payback calculation and tips to increase life

Find out how long solar batteries last in Australia and what you can do to increase the its life so you can get the most out of your investment.

The average lifespan of a home solar battery can range between 5-15 years depending on various factors like the geographical location of the house, the climatic conditions as well as the type and frequency of use.  In comparison to solar panels, solar batteries tend to degrade faster. Towards the end of its life, the storage capacity drops down to close to 60% of its actual capacity. Let us look at the various factors that contribute towards the durability of solar batteries in Australia. [Source 1][source 2]

Solar panels and batteries have been in the market for a long time now. These batteries are a lifesaver when you are looking for ways to reduce your energy bills. Solar batteries are storage units that help reserve energy so that you can use it whenever you need to. You can use the energy stored in these batteries when

  • There is a power outage
  • During peak energy demands
  • In the evenings or nights

Recently, we have seen a growth in the demand and usage of solar batteries. You can pair up these batteries with solar panels to store extra energy. The battery size also helps to determine how much energy it can hold.

All you need to know about Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular solar batteries in the market today. This technology is stable, durable, has low self-discharge rates, a high voltage capacity, and energy density. The extended retention capabilities make them an efficient and preferred choice.

Advantages and Disadvantages of opting for Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are beneficial to homeowners in many ways. Let us look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of opting for lithium-ion batteries for your home.

Advantages of lithium-ion batteries

  • Low Maintenance

In comparison to lead-acid batteries, Lithium-ion batteries don't require much maintenance. There is no need to check the water level in these batteries.

  • High energy density and storage

Lithium-ion batteries can hold more energy and have a higher battery energy density.

  • Longer life

Most lithium-ion batteries can last for at least ten years before you need to replace them.

  • Longer life cycle

These sorts of batteries have a high depth of discharge, meaning they have a longer lifespan.

  • Safe to use

Lithium-ion batteries are safer and reduce the possibilities of chemical exposure and accidents.

  • Environmentally friendly option

These batteries are an eco-friendly option and reduce the impact of carbon emissions.

  • Pocket-friendly

In the long run, these solar batteries are cheap and reduce your expenses/bills.

Disadvantages of opting for Lithium-ion batteries

  • Installation

These batteries can catch fire due to thermal runaway if you do not install them correctly.

  • Expensive

Lithium-ion batteries are expensive as an initial investment. So, you may have to consider stretching your budget to install them.

What are lithium-ion batteries best for?

Lithium-ion batteries are a good choice for residential purposes. These batteries have a better storage capacity and offer longer usage cycles.

Factors that determine the lifespan of a solar battery

Solar batteries have become more accessible and popular in recent times. Even builders and construction companies are focusing more on eco-friendly buildings. Homeowners are slowly converting their homes by opting for solar batteries. Let us look at the factors that determine the lifespan of a solar battery.

  • Usage

The usage cycle is an essential element that determines the lifespan of a solar battery. Since they are deep-cycle batteries, you can recharge them once you have used 80% of the stored energy.

  • Battery type

Even the type of battery that you install helps to determine its lifespan. So far, the lithium-ion ones are said to be the best as they last longer and are durable as well. Still, it is always advisable to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

  • Storage Environment

If you live in an area that has mild temperatures, then such batteries are suitable outdoors. The indoor option is for people living in harsh temperatures or extreme temperatures.

  • Maintenance and servicing

Solar batteries do not have maintenance or service issues. But, if you want, you can always get them checked regularly by an expert. Get the batteries checked as soon as you notice any problem for better longevity and use.

  • Charging and discharge

It is crucial to figure out the right time when you need to consider charging the batteries. Pay attention to the instructions provided/advised. Do not forget the discharge percentage before recharging the battery. Similarly, overcharging the batteries can affect the battery's lifespan.

Understanding the payback period of solar batteries

The payback period means the time you take to break even the investment that you made. Generally, the payback period can take around 7 to 13 years, depending on the type of battery you choose. But, there are some other factors as well that determine the payback period. They are as follows

  • The size and number of solar batteries installed
  • Your energy consumption during the day and night
  •  Addition of new batteries to cater to your needs
  • The kind of appliances or gadgets are linked to the batteries
  • How often and duration of power failures in your area.

Important factors to keep in mind while purchasing solar batteries

The various solar battery options in the market can make it very confusing to decide. Many people tend to have a tough time selecting the proper battery because of the choices they have. It is advisable to make an informed decision while investing in solar batteries. Speaking to an expert will help you to understand the type of battery that you should go for. Here are a few critical factors that you should consider.

  • The manufacturer or brand

The brand or company is the first thing that people consider while choosing a battery. Every brand offers a set of perks or benefits when you buy its product. It would be best if you did proper research before deciding which company to opt for.

  • The battery chemistry

It is not only the brand but even the battery chemistry that plays an important role. Batteries for residential use are very different from the options for commercial purposes.

Lithium-ion batteries are best for daily use. They are heavy-duty and are a lot sturdier. Moreover, these batteries can withstand various kinds of weather conditions and use.

  • Battery life

Pay attention to the average lifespan of the battery before investing. Like all other gadgets even solar batteries have a lifespan before it starts to degrade. It is also best to find out the upgrading and replacement options in case the situation arises.

  • The consumption requirements

The consumption needs help to determine how many batteries you would need for your house. If you have high usage, then you would need to install larger-sized batteries. Similarly, if you want your entire home to run on solar power, you need to invest accordingly.

  • Other essential information you need to know

Solar batteries come with different kinds of warranties offered by the manufacturer. Before purchasing solar batteries, be sure to get information on the

  • The warranty life offered
  • If the company is offering life cycle warranties
  • The depth of discharge
  • The energy throughput.

Tips to improve the lifespan of the solar batteries

As a user, there are many ways that you can take care of to extend the life of your solar batteries. Small details can make a big difference in many ways. Here are a few tips to help you extend the life of solar batteries.

  • Avoid exposure to extremely low and high temperature

The environmental temperature where solar batteries are installed makes a difference. Storing the batteries at an optimal temperature will help to maximize the lifespan. It will also help to improve its efficiency.

Under extreme temperature, the solar batteries may either stop working or malfunction. The capacity of solar batteries tends to decrease during extremely low and high temperatures. These fluctuations can hamper and intact the overall lifespan of the battery in the long run. During the winter, store the batteries at proper room temperature.[source 1, source 2]

  • Avoid extreme states of charge

Extremely low and high states of charge can be stressing the batteries. You need to ensure that you minimize the charging time by considering a partial charge of 80% instead of a full charge. If you decide to go for a full discharge, make sure you take it out as soon as it hits 100%. [source 1, source 2]

  • Charge the battery properly.

To get the most out of the battery, make sure you charge it well. Pay attention to charging time. It is advisable not to use battery desulfation as a way to increase the lifespan of the battery.

  • Make sure of proper ventilation.

Ventilation is another important factor that you can never overlook. Every gadget needs to have proper ventilation to prevent overheating. Even while installing solar batteries, you need to install them in a ventilated space.

A final note

The nitty-gritty plays a vital role in the life and durability of a solar battery. It is not about choosing the correct solar battery for your home; but also, about how you use them. You do not have to fuss over all the details. Taking the appropriate action at the right time improves the battery's performance. Moreover, it also helps you to save and avoid any unnecessary expenses.

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