How Do Deep Cycle Solar Batteries Work?

There are many types of renewable energy systems that use Deep Cycle Batteries to store power. A battery is basically an energy storage tank. It is one of the key elements of such systems. Whenever the grid is down or your voltaic system fails to generate electricity, a battery bank can become a reliable source of power. Even though batteries aren’t 100% efficient, they can still prove to be a reliable and stable long-term solution to have the electricity you need for your home appliances and lighting systems.

What is The Average Lifespan Of A Solar Battery?

The internal resistance of batteries, dissipated as heat, is the main culprit for the loss occurring during the charging and discharging processes. Nonetheless, since most lead acid batteries have an efficiency of about 85 to 95 percent, we can safely say that the efficiency ratio of solar batteries is relatively high. Deep cycle batteries that are part of most renewable energy systems are built to provide many years of reliable and stable service, provided that proper maintenance is secured. The lifespan of these batteries depends on the proper maintenance and usage. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t imagine you’ll have to buy expensive gadgets or complex services to care for your battery. Among the most common factors that trigger the premature battery failing are the use of tap water, and the loss of electrolyte due to various reasons. Such reasons may include excessive vibration, freezing, overheating, undercharging and overcharging.

Deep Cycle Versus Shallow Cycle Solar Batteries

Lead acid batteries work by absorbing and releasing electricity through a reversible chemical reaction. What happens here is that a complete battery cycle occurs when the battery is discharged and then recharged to the same level. The depth a battery is able to discharge is called the Depth of Discharge.

Thanks to their thicker lead plates, deep cycle batteries have a smaller surface area than thinner SLI ones. The smaller surface area available for the chemical reaction to occur makes deep cycle batteries generate less current than SLI batteries, however, they can generate this current for a longer period of time. The safe level of discharging a deep cycle battery is 80 percent of their Depth of Discharge. However, most manufacturers recommend maintaining a maximum discharging level of 50 percent in order to help the battery last longer.

How To Make A Proper Comparison Of Solar Storage Solutions

When searching for the right solar-plus-storage solution, you need to take into consideration a wide array of parameters that are going to have a direct influence on your purchasing decision. Among the most important specifications there are the capacity of the battery, the depth of discharge, the power ratings, the full-cycle efficiency, the warranty, and the manufacturer.

The capacity of a battery is the total amount of electricity it is able to store, measured in kWh (kilowatt-hour). Most models of solar batteries are designed to be stacked. This means you can add several batteries to your solar system in order to store as much electricity as you need. Although capacity indicates the size of your battery, it doesn’t provide you with any information about the amount of electricity it is able to supply at a given moment. This is why you also need to know the battery’s power rating. When it comes to solar batteries, the power rating is defined as the amount of electricity the battery can supply at one specific moment in time. The power rating is measured in kW (kilowatts). A battery that has a high capacity and a low power rating will generate a low amount of electricity (just enough to keep the vital appliances working) for a long time. On the contrary, a battery with a low capacity but a high power rating will be able to supply enough power to run a full home, but only for a few hours.

Because of their chemical composition, most batteries need to retain a certain amount of charge at any given time. If you use your battery to the full, you’ll shorten its life. The depth of discharge (DoD) of a battery refers to what percentage of its total capacity has been used. Most manufacturers will recommend a maximum DoD for best performance. For instance, if your battery has a capacity of 10 kWh and a DoD of 90 percent, you shouldn’t use more than 9 kW before the next recharge. Briefly, the higher the DoD of a battery, the more of its capacity you’ll be able to use.

Warranty And Battery Life

Most of the time, when working in regular, day to day conditions, a battery will perform a complete cycle every day (charge and discharge). The more you use your battery, the more its ability to hold a charge will decrease. This is a gradually occurring process. In this respect, solar batteries work just like your cell phone battery – you charge it every night, but as time passes, you’ll start noticing that it can’t hold as much charge as it was capable of when it was new.

Solar batteries come with a warranty that mentions a certain number of charge/discharge cycles or years of useful life. As the degradation of the battery performance is a naturally occurring phenomenon, most manufacturers will also guarantee that your battery is going to keep a specific amount of its capacity throughout the entire duration of the warranty. The answer to the basic question “how long will my solar battery last?” is that it depends on the capacity amount it will lose over time, as well as on the manufacturer. For instance, a manufacturer may offer a warranty of 6,000 cycles or 12 years at 70 percent of its original capacity. This means that by the end of the 12th year, your battery will have lost maximum 30 percent of its original energy storage capability.

Manufacturer for Solar Batteries

There are many types of businesses that manufacture solar battery products. A reputable automotive company entering the energy storage market may have a long history of manufacturing such product, but they may not offer the most advanced technology available. On the contrary, a tech startup might use the most revolutionary manufacturing technology, but a shorter history of the long-term functionality performance of their batteries. Choosing one or another depends on your priorities and specific requirements.