Your home solar battery bank may be one of the more expensive components of your photovoltaic system. And unlike most other solar components, your batteries will eventually need to be replaced.
However, with proper maintenance, you can squeeze some extra life out of your battery storage bank and reduce the overall cost of your photovoltaic system. Follow these tips to keep your batteries up and running longer.
Don’t Drain Your Home Solar Battery Bank
Home solar batteries are designed to store excess energy for use at a later time, like at night or when it’s cloudy. But the more you use your battery bank, the sooner it will begin to run down.
The first key to longer-lasting batteries is to avoid draining the bank completely.
Your batteries will regularly cycle (one cycle is a full battery discharge and recharge), as you use them to provide electricity to your home. Deeper cycles (fuller discharge) can reduce the capacity and longevity of your solar batteries.
Aim to keep your home solar batteries at 50 percent capacity or greater. Draining the bank further can cause unnecessary wear.
To prevent deep cycles and minimize drainage, it may be more cost-effective to invest in an oversized battery bank. Additional storage will reduce the strain on your batteries, which can help your bank last much longer.
Protect Your Solar Battery Bank from Extreme Temperatures
Solar batteries function best at room temperature, around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
To extend the life span of your battery bank, keep it protected from extreme heat, and don’t let it sit outside in the freezing cold. If your batteries get too hot or too cold, they may not achieve as many lifetime charging cycles as they otherwise would.
Check Your Home Solar Battery Bank Regularly
Once each month, inspect your solar batteries with an eye toward any potential problems. (Many of our customers do their check the same day they replace their HVAC filter each month.)
If you have flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries — the most common type — you may need to top off the fluid level with distilled water to keep the battery plates submerged.
With any type of solar batteries, you must also check for leakage and corrosion on or near the terminals and cables. Finally, feel around for hot spots — one battery may feel warmer than the others, or the lugs at the cable ends could fail and get hot.
If you notice any issues with any of your batteries, deal with them promptly to prevent additional damage to your storage bank.
Taking care of your batteries doesn’t require a lot of effort or time, and proper maintenance can help you get the biggest bang for your battery buck. Intermountain Wind & Solar serves commercial and residential customers in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada. Contact us today to learn more about choosing the best home solar battery bank for your photovoltaic system.