Solar Power Storage: Understanding the Factors Reducing Lead Acid Battery Life

Lead acid batteries are beneficial for storing the energy harnessed by solar photovoltaic panels during the day. If you install these deep cycle, solar power storage units in your home, you will be able to utilise the excess energy generated for use after the sun sets. In ideal conditions, lead-acid batteries can provide extended service after purchase. The projected lifespan is often included on the product details sheet by the manufacturer. However, the expected service can be cut short through unfavourable conditions. Here are the primary factors which contribute to premature battery degradation and ways to prevent this detriment.

Loss of Electrolyte

If your lead-acid battery loses electrolyte, it will experience premature failure. This problem is quite common in unsealed or flooded cells used in solar energy systems. In general, when the electrolyte, which is usually sulphuric acid, in the battery reduces, the plates inside the product will be dry and visible. The lack of contact with the electrolyte will reduce the performance of the product. The common cause of electrolyte loss is overcharging. This practice increases the consumption of water n the unit. You can prevent this issue by using the right charge controllers on your device.

Battery Sulphation 

When the lead-acid battery is discharging, it produces some lead sulphate crystals. These compounds are deposited on the plates inside the unit. When the battery is charged again by the solar PV system, the process is reversed. In simple terms, the liquid crystals are separated lead sulphate and lead oxide, which are harmless compounds. Unfortunately, there are cases where the crystals harden and refuse to revert to the mentioned lead compounds. These units form a hard covering over the plates and reduce the capacity of the battery. This unfavourable occurrence is called sulphation. If you would like to avoid this problem, you should not leave the battery in partial discharge.

Deep Battery Discharge

Deep cycle batteries are quite resilient; they allow the use of most of the stored charge. However, it is not advisable to continually discharge our lead-acid battery to the maximum level repeatedly. The usage of all the stored energy stresses the internal components of the unit. As a result, the capacity decreases significantly. If you would like to prevent the degradation of your battery, you should avoid deep repeated deep discharges. 

Choosing the right storage battery to increase the benefits of your solar photovoltaic system can be challenging. Therefore, you should consult your solar products supplier or installation contractor for professional advice.