Electricity prices have been climbing for the last couple of years, leading more people to look for cheaper alternatives. Solar power is among the top contenders for a sustainable energy alternative. But it does require some initial expenses to get started. A solar battery, for one. Before committing to switch to solar power, consider many things, including how long do solar batteries last.
Many factors influence the lifespan of a solar battery, such as the type of battery and your location. On average a solar battery lasts between 5 and 15 years. Yet, solar systems last between 20 and 30 years, so the solar batteries will need to be replaced during your solar system’s lifespan.
Many factors influence the lifespan of your solar batteries, such as the type of solar battery you purchase, what you will be using the solar battery for, how often you will use it, and where you live. We will discuss all these factors in more detail.
Which Type Of Solar Battery Lasts The Longest?
Three types of solar batteries can be purchased: Lead-acid Batteries, Lithium-ion Batteries, and Saltwater Batteries.
1. Lead-acid Batteries For Solar Power
Lead-acid batteries have been used as a part of residential solar energy systems for decades of years. There are a few benefits to using Lead-acid batteries.
- They are the cheapest solar batteries, meaning that your start-up cost will be lower.
- They are typically used to create an off-grid solar system, ideal for home-usage.
- They also have a high watt per hour capacity. These factors all contribute to their popularity as solar batteries.
Unfortunately, Lead-acid solar batteries also have the shortest lifespan. They will need more regular replacements than the other types of solar batteries. They also only output between 30-50% of their stored energy, meaning that a lot of the energy they save goes unused.
Even though Lead-acid solar batteries will ensure a cheaper start-up cost, they will need to be replaced more often and not delivered as an effective energy source.
2. Lithium-ion Batteries For Solar Power
Lithium-ion solar batteries are seen as the golden standard for choosing the correct solar battery for you.
- They are lightweight and compact.
- They have a higher energy output, about 80%. Far more than Lead-acid batteries.
- They also have a longer life expectancy.
Even though Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than Lead-acid batteries, they are more durable and provide a higher energy output, making them a great choice for efficiency and longevity.
3. Saltwater Batteries For Solar Power
While saltwater batteries are a newer option than Lead-acid and Lithium-ion batteries, they are by no means inferior.
- Saltwater batteries don’t use heavy metals to store electricity like the other two. Instead, they use saltwater and electrolytes to produce energy, making them a safer and more environmentally friendly battery option.
- Saltwater batteries also have a better energy output rate than Lead-acid batteries, making them a more effective option. They will last longer than Lead-acid batteries, but not as long as Lithium-ion batteries.
Because they are newer on the market, saltwater batteries are not yet proven to be as reliable as Lithium-ion batteries.
Choosing between these three options will depend on many things, such as your budget and what you intend to use the batteries for. Some batteries are more suited for certain tasks than others.
How To Use A Solar Battery Correctly For A Longer Lifespan
Depending on what size your solar system and the solar battery are, you could power anything from a laptop to your entire home using solar power – although this will cost a fortune. Most people want to run their critical load (the most important appliances and devices they need when the power goes out) on their solar system.
It is important to determine your critical load before purchasing your solar system. You need to know the maximum amount of electricity needed both when starting up the devices and when using the devices. Doing so will help you make a more informed choice when purchasing solar batteries.
If you wish to use the solar system to power something that requires much energy at once, such as an appliance with an element, you would want to look for a battery that offers a high instantaneous energy output. Lithium-ion and Saltwater batteries are better options in this case.
If you want to power your home for a longer time, you’ll want to buy a battery that has efficient energy output. Again, a Lithium-ion or Saltwater battery will be more suitable than a Lead-acid battery because its energy output is more.
Suppose you aim to get as many cycles out of one battery as possible. In that case, you want to invest in a Lithium-ion battery because it has the longest lifespan.
Frequent Use Of Solar Batteries Influence Their Lifespan
One more important factor to consider when it comes to solar batteries is how often you will use them. Most solar batteries are deep cycle batteries, meaning that they should discharge most of their stored energy before starting to recharge.
Like a laptop’s battery becomes weaker the more you charge and discharge it, the solar battery will do the same. The more often you use solar batteries, the less effective they will become. They will not be able to store as much energy and will not be able to output their energy as effectively.
Suppose you intend to use your solar batteries often. In that case, you should opt for batteries with a longer lifespan, which can run for more cycles, such as Lithium-ion batteries. While they might have a more expensive start-up cost, they will save you money in the long run because you won’t need to replace them as often as Lead-acid or Saltwater batteries.
If you do not intend to use your batteries frequently, for example, you only want to use a solar system in the case of power outages, you could opt for batteries with a shorter lifespan that is more affordable.
How Much Do Long Lasting Solar Batteries Cost?
The price of your solar system and the solar batteries you purchase depend on the size of the solar system and what you want to power with it.
The price of the solar system and solar batteries would differ for Lead-acid, Lithium-ion, and Saltwater batteries.
It is best to determine the type of battery you want to purchase and the size of the battery you need. Ask for quotes from different companies to get the best price. Solar system prices differ from region to region, so getting multiple quotes could be worthwhile.
Does Climate Influence The Lifespan Of A Solar Battery?
When selecting a solar battery, where you live is one more thing to regard. Not only do solar batteries and solar system prices differ from place to place, but your climate will also determine which type of battery you should use.
If you live in an area with:
- Mild climate – install your battery outside
- Extremely cold or hot area – best to install your battery either in your basement or in your garage.
- In extremely cold climates, the chemicals in the battery will not last as long, causing the battery to drain more quickly, and your battery’s lifespan will decrease.
- In extremely hot, the chemical reactions will happen quicker, so the battery will experience more wear and tear, and its lifespan will also decrease.
In general, Lithium-ion batteries are better able to withstand higher and lower temperatures than Lead-acid batteries, which can only function between 40°F and 80°F. Although Lithium-ion batteries are better able to withstand extreme temperatures, it is still best to keep them in an area with moderate temperatures, such as a basement or garage.
Many factors influence the lifespan of solar batteries, including the type of batteries, the intended use, and the climate in which you will keep the batteries.
It is best first to determine the type of batteries you will need and the critical load they will need to carry. After doing so, it would be best if you got multiple quotes to find the best price for your solar batteries. While it might be a long and expensive process, using solar energy will surely be beneficial in the long run.