If you live in an area with frequent power outages, it’s advisable to invest in a battery backup for your solar panels. While the initial costs may seem daunting, batteries last much longer when they don’t always have to be charging, like during times of consistent power generation from your solar panels.
According to solar installation Sydney owner Mina Gilto, the average life of a solar battery is between 10 and 20 years, and components will deteriorate over time, taking away from the efficiency and output of your energy system. When you purchase solar batteries, or any product for that matter, you want to make sure that your money is well spent on a quality item.
Prolong the life of your solar batteries with the following tips.
Drain Your Battery From Time to Time
One of the most common mistakes people make is not allowing their batteries to fully drain now and then. Allowing your battery to deplete completely will maximize its lifespan because this mimics a natural cycle where a cell will recharge itself after a full depletion. Regularly draining your batteries can also ensure that any harmful material in the battery will not have a chance to build up, which can also add to a shorter lifespan.
Keep Your Battery In Cool Areas
For optimal performance, your batteries should be kept in an area with a constant cool temperature. Ideal temperatures are between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius for best results when it comes to battery life. While most modern-day batteries are equipped with internal cooling systems or fans, keeping them in cooler spaces can help ensure they don’t overheat at any point during the day.
Disconnect Your Solar Batteries When Not Using Them
If you have an external solar panel system for your home’s power generation needs, many people recommend unplugging their batteries altogether when you’re not using them. You may think this isn’t ideal because it can require you to spend more money on batteries, but the overall lifespan will be increased if you make this small sacrifice.
Don’t Keep Solar Batteries Plugged In For Long Periods
Another common mistake is keeping your battery plugged in when not actively charging the battery—for example, when it’s depleted and ready to charge again. The problem with this practice is that over time, the constant power generation from solar panels can slowly seep into your grid cell storage, which will eventually diminish its lifespan. To keep this from happening, unplug your batteries after they’re completely charging and before they start powering any of your appliances or home systems.
Ensure Your Battery Is Manufactured With Quality Brands
Buying a battery from a poor-quality brand or company is another mistake that can shorten your batteries’ lifespan and performance in general. If you aren’t sure what brands are the best to work with, look at online reviews beforehand—the most reputable companies will often have plenty of positive feedback from customers who use their products on an everyday basis.
Avoid Frequent Discharges And Recharges
Although it’s important to fully drain your battery now and then, overcharging your batteries will also reduce their lifespan and effectiveness. Over time, frequent recharges and discharges can reduce the number of charge cycles your solar panels manage to perform before they need replacement. A good rule of thumb is to not recharge or discharge until the grid cell storage is at 50%—this will ensure you won’t deplete the storage too much during a recharging session.
Ensure You Keep Your Batteries Clean And Dry
Whether it’s smoke, dirt, or dust particles in the air, your batteries should always be kept clean and dry to avoid any unnecessary damage to their internal components and wiring. For example, if you notice streaks of smoke residue on your battery case, use a damp cloth and distilled water to wipe them away gently—avoid using tap water because it can contain harmful minerals that can deteriorate your battery over time.
Avoid Frequent Short-Cycle Recharges/Discharges
Many people choose to recharge their solar batteries frequently when there isn’t a constant need for power—for example, when the house is at rest. This isn’t a good idea because it can shorten your battery’s lifespan and performance, so be sure you’re only recharging when there is a legitimate need to do so.