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Home » SolarWise » Q: How long would a battery for my solar PV setup last?

Q: How long would a battery for my solar PV setup last?

A: The longevity of your solar PV battery is not a straightforward matter, as it relies heavily on the specific configuration and usage patterns of your setup. One of the most significant factors influencing the life of your battery is its charging cycle life, which is the number of times it can undergo a full charge-discharge cycle before experiencing significant performance degradation.

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Essentially, a full cycle begins with the battery at a full charge, then discharges to a set level before being recharged to full capacity once again. In the image above, the orange line above represents the voltage across the battery during the time when the solar panel is charging (voltage peaks), and also during the time when the battery is discharging (voltage valleys). On the top chart, the blue line represents the percentage of the total energy remaining in the battery. So you will observe that there is a recurring cycle of charge-discharge, and may differ as well depending on the current chemistry state of your battery. Depending on various elements, such as battery type and operating temperature, your battery’s cycle life can differ significantly.

The battery type you choose is the also a crucial factor influencing cycle life. There are various types available, including lead acid, lithium-ion, and gel type batteries, each with a different chemical composition.

Another factor impacting the life of your battery is the temperature at which it operates. High temperatures can reduce battery life, so it’s crucial to keep your battery cool if you want it to last longer.

Finally, the depth of discharge also affects battery cycle life. Depth of discharge refers to the proportion of the battery’s total capacity that has been discharged. If you frequently discharge your battery to its full capacity, its cycle life will decrease, resulting in a shorter overall lifespan.

Like all electronic components, batteries age over time. Even if your battery is not in use, it will lose some capacity over time, especially in higher temperatures. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your battery. Regularly checking and cleaning battery terminals, ensuring adequate ventilation, and keeping the battery charged can all help to prolong its lifespan.

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