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 lifespan of a solar battery can also be affected by factors such as the type of battery, surrounding temperature, frequency of use, and maintenance. 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’s lifespan can be from 5 – 20 years. Depending on the brand and product you have purchased.

However, several other variables affect this as well. For example, to determine how long a battery can last, many people in the industry split the life into two components. These are; the useful life of the battery and the warranty life of the battery.

What is the useful life of the battery? 

Each solar battery can only be used several times before its useful life ends. A battery is considered to have reached the end of its useful life when it cannot meet its nominated percentage of storage capacity, which is usually- as per industry norm 60%.

After this, the battery will still be able to function, however, only at lower percentages which will eventually not be enough charge to meet your needs. The annoyance factor will win out, and you will want to change the battery.

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.

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 battery, the surrounding temperature, frequency of usage, and with some battery technologies – how often it is maintained.

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

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

Thirdly, how often and how deep the battery is cycled is a critical component in determining 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.

Therefore, how long your solar battery will last cannot be answered with a clear-cut number. Instead, if you want to know how long your solar battery will last. Ensure you understand the two concepts of a solar battery’s lifetime and external factors that can increase or decrease the expected life.

In summary

In general, expect a small solar battery of 3 to 7kWh with a 6-8 year lifespan. For larger batteries, which are not worked as hard, expect 10 years plus. As home storage batteries become more established and improved technology over the years, more accurate actual lifetime data will allow us to answer this question more accurately.

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