Solar batteries are a great way to increase your energy independence and get even more use out of your solar power system. Like the rest of your solar equipment, you want your batteries to last as long as possible to get the most out of them. But there are several things people do that reduce the life of their solar batteries. Please keep reading to learn what those things are so you can avoid doing them yourself.
Flooded and non-sealed batteries rely on electrolytes in their fluid to conduct energy through the storms. If the batteries experience a loss of electrolytes, it impacts their overall performance and decreases their lifespan. High charging currents and overcharging are two common causes of electrolyte loss, so it’s essential to have a charge controller to prevent these issues.
High temperatures can also cause high charging currents. This means you should keep your batteries stored in a cooler climate if at all possible. Cooler conditions will prolong the life of your batteries as well as increasing their efficiency.
As lead-acid batteries discharge, lead sulfate crystals deposit onto the plates. This is a normal part of the chemical reactions that occur within your batteries. However, when the battery is charged, the chemical reaction happens in reverse, converting the sulfate crystals back to lead and lead oxide. However, if the battery is left only partially charged for an extended period, those crystals can harden. This prevents them from converting back into lead and lead oxide during the charging process.
The buildup of these lead sulfate crystals is known as sulphation, and it reduces battery capacity significantly. Your system should be designed so that batteries don’t maintain a partial state of charge for an extended period. Again, higher temperatures can accelerate sulphation so that cooler storage temperatures will help.
Discharging Too Deeply
Discharging your batteries too profoundly is a fast way to reduce their lifespan. It would be best if you never discharged a battery below its maximum discharge depth, as this can cause permanent damage. However, you should also do your best to avoid discharging a battery up to its maximum depth. Even if you have a deep discharge battery that can discharge to a depth of 80%, you should try only to discharge it to 50% unless it’s an emergency. The lower the discharge on your solar batteries, the longer they’ll last.
Avoid these three battery killers, and your Victron Energy batteries will last longer and provide higher efficiency throughout their lifespan.