How long do solar batteries last?

Fast read

The lifespan of a solar battery can vary from 5 to 20 years, depending on the brand and product. The lifespan is generally split into two components: the useful life, which is the point at which the battery is no longer able to meet its nominated percentage of storage capacity (usually 60%), and the warranty life, which is the length of time the manufacturer guarantees the battery will function properly.

The average warranty for a solar battery in Australia is 10 years. The life of a solar battery can be influenced by factors like battery type, temperature, how often it's used, and upkeep. It is important to research and compares different products and brands to determine the best solar battery for your needs.

What is the lifespan of a solar battery?

This is probably the most common question when researching solar batteries, and the answers vary between products and manufacturers.

Just like any other product, whether it be solar-related or not. Over time the efficiency will decrease. A solar battery can last anywhere from 5 – 20 years. Depending on the brand and product you have purchased.

However, several other variables affect this as well. To determine how long a battery lasts, industry experts divide its life into two parts. These are; the useful life of the battery and the warranty life of the battery.

What is the useful life of the battery? 

Solar batteries have a limit to how many times they can be used before they wear out. When a battery can no longer store at least 60% of its original capacity, it’s considered to have reached the end of its useful life.

While the battery continues to operate beyond this threshold, its capacity to retain a full charge diminishes over time. Eventually, it reaches a point where its power output is no longer sufficient to meet your energy requirements. At this stage, the functionality becomes more burdensome than beneficial, necessitating the replacement of the battery.

Watching and knowing about this decrease in performance is important for managing a solar energy system to keep it working well. Investing in good batteries and monitoring their performance helps plan for timely replacements and reliable solar power.

Understanding this lifespan is crucial for managing your solar energy system. Checking your battery regularly helps you know when to replace it, keeping your solar system working well.

If you’re considering solar energy, be aware of these battery limitations and factor them into your long-term plans. Invest in good batteries and monitor their performance to avoid surprises and ensure your solar power system works well.

What is the warranty life of the battery? 

Most solar batteries in Australia have an average warranty of 10 years. So you should expect them to last this long from the installation date.

In saying this, different brands and models may offer additional warranty aspects. For example, they might use cycle life or throughput power (the power one puts through the battery in and out) as warranty considerations.

Home storage batteries are still a relatively young product. The industry is still standardising these parameters.

In a quick overview, some storage warranties range from 5-20 years. Usually, the smaller the battery capacity – the shorter the warranted period. This is because it is expected smaller batteries will work harder.

However, as said, the warranty on a solar battery is a bit more complicated than just an expiry date.

For instance, some warranties also include the number of life cycles the battery goes through. This means the number of life cycles your battery has gone through would indicate when the warranty would expire rather than just the years it has been installed.

solar battery systems on wall
Solar battery lifetime can fluctuate depending on several factors, such as heat, usage and maintenance

External Variables which will affect how long your solar battery will last

Several external variables will determine how long your battery will last. This includes the type of solar battery, the temperature it’s exposed to, how frequently it’s used, and how often it’s maintained.

Different factors affect the performance of a battery. These factors include the type of battery being used. The temperature surrounding the battery also plays a role. The frequency of use and maintenance can impact the battery’s lifespan.

Different Types of batteries

Firstly, as explored in another one of our FAQs, there are several different batteries available. The main two for solar home storage are lithium-ion and lead-acid. However, lithium-ion is becoming the vastly more popular choice, and one of the reasons for this is that they have a longer lifespan and are more compact.

The surrounding temperatures

Secondly, the environment a battery is in will also significantly impact how long it lasts. Like any other battery, the lifespan is expected to decrease faster when operating at higher temperatures. However, extremely cold temperatures can also be problematic, especially for lead-acid batteries.

Frequency of usage

It is important to consider how often and how deeply the battery is used. This will have a significant impact on the lifespan of your solar battery.

A cycle is defined as a complete charge and discharge. How often you cycle a battery is determined by your daily energy needs. This means it’s very important to get accurate sizing for your home’s energy needs when purchasing a solar battery.

Battery maintenance

Finally, maintenance is often an overlooked component of solar batteries. Ensure you have a trusted and local installer who can check on your solar battery frequently. In addition, ensure the battery management system uses the latest software update so that all is running well.

Make sure you know how long a solar battery will last and what things can make it last longer or shorter.

In summary

When considering the lifespan of solar batteries, it’s useful to keep a few key points in mind. Smaller batteries, typically ranging from 3 to 7 kWh, tend to last about 6 to 8 years. In contrast, larger batteries, which aren’t as heavily utilized, often surpass the 10-year mark.

How long a solar battery lasts depends on its size, how much it’s used, and improvements in technology. As battery technology evolves, we can anticipate longer lifespans for home storage batteries. Manufacturers are consistently enhancing the durability and efficiency of these batteries, contributing to extended usage and improved overall performance.

Acknowledging the understanding of solar battery lifespans as an ongoing area of research and development is important. As the industry progresses, we can expect more accurate and detailed information about the actual lifespan of these batteries. This evolving knowledge will empower consumers to make well-informed decisions when it comes to choosing sustainable and dependable energy storage solutions for their homes.

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