4 Essential Steps for Solar Battery Maintenance
All batteries will wear out in 1-15 years, even if they are rarely used, because the acid in the battery wears down the internal components regardless of use. However, you can maximize the life of your battery bank by adhering to the following practices:
- Avoid repeated deep discharging of batteries. The more a battery is discharged, the shorter its lifetime. In addition, if your batteries are deeply discharged every day, you should increase the size of your battery bank.
- Keep batteries at rated temperatures. Battery life is rated for 70º-75º temperatures. Keeping batteries warmer than this significantly reduces their life. Passive solar is a great way to heat a battery storage unit, but it must be well insulated. Keeping the batteries cooler than 70º-75º will not significantly extend their life but will reduce their capacity. Discharged batteries may freeze and burst, so maintain an adequate charge on the batteries in cold weather.
- Maintain the same charge in all the batteries. Although the entire series of batteries may have an overall charge of 24 volts, some cells may have more or less voltage than neighboring batteries.
- Inspect your batteries often. Some things to look for are leakage (buildup on the outside of the battery), appropriate fluid levels (for flooded batteries), and equal voltage. Your battery manufacturer may have additional recommendations.