Like people, solar batteries also age. Some faster than others, with their general lifespan ranging from 5 to 15 years. And considering how solar power systems tend to function up to 30 years on average, changing your battery every 5 years is certainly not a cost-efficient option. Luckily, there’s good news. Just like sticking to a healthy diet, exercising, and religiously slapping on sunscreen helps you put off the signs of ageing, there are also a few things you can do slow down the deterioration of your batteries.
Get a Battery Enclosure
Solar batteries are vulnerable to many factors if left out in the open. A good battery enclosure can protect your battery bank from all kinds of weather conditions, corrosion, dust, and damage, thus prolonging its lifespan. They are also crucial for maintaining a consistent temperature which prevents the battery from overheating and premature deterioration. And considering how many battery enclosures also come with locking mechanisms, they can also prevent any pets or children playing with the dangerous battery terminals.
That being said, battery enclosures can keep your batteries protected while also keeping you and your family safe from any dangerous battery malfunctioning or leaks. But what kind of enclosure to get? When it comes to materials, the best battery enclosures are moulded from high density, corrosion-resistant polypropylene. You also need to consider where the battery will be located. Depending on the location, there are enclosures suitable for indoor and outdoor use. There are also different types of mounts to choose from – pole or ground mounted.
Properly Charge Your Battery
Your battery should never be left uncharged, especially for a long period of time. Doing so can cause significant damage to them. Generally, it’s advisable to fully charge your batteries every 3 weeks, regardless whether they still have some power left. Additionally, make sure that the charge controller comes with a temperature compensation feature. This is a very helpful feature as the charge voltage limit of a battery increases when the temperature drops and decreases when it goes up.
Limit the Number of Parallel Battery Strings
The more battery strings, the more connections. And the more connections, the higher the chance that something will go wrong. As each connection increases resistance, it can cause uneven charging. This means there will be a greater chance of losing equalization, which can result in cells dying prematurely. If you think a single series of cells in your battery bank is not enough, at least try to limit it to three parallel battery strings.