Solar lighting system is one of the most cleanest and affordable form of electricity. Despite all the advantages, solar system face a lot of limitations. Your solar lights might not be working as expected. It might lead to you getting frustrations that are avoidable. If the solar lighting system is bound to frustrate you, battery it involve the battery getting bad?
Unfortunately, your solar battery will eventually get bad. Over long time of unavoidable depreciation, your battery will loose it’s efficiency and die. In this article, we will discuss reasons that might make your battery go bad. We will also look into maintenance practices that you should apply to help your battery last longer.
Do solar batteries go bad?
Every device over long time of use tend to go bad. Solar batteries are not exceptional when it comes to depreciation. This does not mean that you should be ignore your home solar system. With proper care you can enjoy over 20 years of free power and beautiful ambiance. So what lead to your solar battery getting defective?
Apart from the natural depreciation, there are several reasons why your solar battery might go bad.
- Not properly charging the battery
Depriving your battery some charge will lead to it getting bad eventually. A solar panel harvest sunlight energy and sends the charge to the battery which is then to converted to solar energy to light up your residence. If there is a problem with your solar panel, then no charge will reach your battery.
After a long time of your battery not getting enough charge, the lead oxide diodes dry up. This makes your battery to become faulty.
- Poor quality solar battery system
It is common knowledge that cheap things are expensive. If you decide to but cheap solar lighting system, then one of the components, if not all will get defective.
Most of the time the battery is the first solar component to get defective. If the materials used are low quality, there is high chances that it will get defective very fast. Not holding solar charge for the expected time or even overcharging.
If you want to enjoy solar energy for long, it would be best you invest on a high quality solar lighting system.
- Faulty sensor
There is a probability that you don’t know the work of a solar sensor. A solar sensor is responsible for detecting darkness and lights up the lights and switch off when the sun comes during the day.
If the sensor does not fulfill its work, it might chase the battery to go bad. When the sensor does not detect sunlight during the day, the lights stays on and the battery does not charge well. Over use of the battery end up draining the battery, and over time, the battery eventually dies.
Check the status of the solar sensor regularly. Replace a faulty sensor with a good one.
- Bad weather
Bad weather is not the main reason why your solar battery might become faulty. However, it plays a major role in spoiling the efficiency of a solar battery.
When there is no sunlight energy, the battery does not charge properly. At night when the sensor detects darkness and light up the bulb, the battery might get drained. Imagine a situation where someone lives in cold places like the Antarctica. There is a likelihood their solar battery does not last longer.
You can use alternative methods of charging like electricity during the winter.
- Not using solar controllers
We have learnt the importance of having solar battery controllers in our battery charging process. Charging controllers like solar battery maintainers protect the battery from overcharging, retains some percentage of charging when the solar battery is not charging and maintains the rate of charging even on bad weather.
In the absence of a solar maintainer the batter is likely to become drained or overcharged.
There are other reasons that might lead your battery to get bad. Check them out and find out the solutions to all the problems.
Signs which say my solar battery is bad?
It is not hard to tell if your solar battery. Here are some common indicators your solar battery is defective.
- When solar maintainer does not show signals of charging when the solar panel is placed on the sun.
- If your solar lights switch off in the middle of the night.
- You might notice a pool of liquid in the base of the battery indicating a leakage.
- If the battery has finished its life span.
- In case you try to charge your battery and it does not pick any charge.
- Your lights might be dimmer that they were when the solar battery was new.
If you notice any of the above reasons, you should check the status of your battery to see if it has deteriorated completely.
What is the maximum lifetime of a solar battery?
Most solar batteries manufacturers indicate that their batteries last up to 30 years. However, if proper maintenance is not done to your battery, it might end up loosing efficiency.
Rechargeable batteries last up to 4 years, and then replaced. If your solar batteries starts acting up a few months of years of operation, then they might be defective. You can ask a replacement from the manufactures.
Is it necessary to replace solar batteries??
If the solar batteries are acting up when the are new, there is a likelihood they are defective. You can request for a replacement from the manufactures as they provide about 10 years warranty.
Again if the battery becomes defective due to your negligence, you should make an effort of replacing them as soon as possible. This will help reduce the frustration you might face depending on a defective battery.
Rechargeable batteries are replaced every four years. Good thing about reachable batteries is that they are cheap.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does a solar battery last?
If the battery is in the right condition and the battery is fully charged, then the battery might last up to 5 days of proper lighting.
Ensure the battery the sensor and the maintainer is working properly.
Can solar batteries be serviced?
If you are using lead-acid batteries, there are some maintenance practices you should regularly do to your battery.
- Check the level of fluid inside the battery.
- Clean the battery terminals to remove the coating formed by chemical reaction, and
- Ensure the battery is charging properly all the time to make the battery last longer.
Can you revive a dead battery.
A dead battery is a lost deal. Even if you use a strong solar panel, or charge controllers the battery cannot be revived.
If your battery is dead, you should replace with a new battery.
What is the life span of a solar battery?
Solar batteries can last 5-20 years without getting bad. Rechargeable batteries last up to 4 years without need for replacement.
Solar batteries deteriorate from the first time they are used. To ensure their longevity, you should practice some maintenance practices discussed in the guide above.
The guide also provide with indicators you can use to know when your solar battery new a replacement. To reduce the chances of an early replacement, invest on a high quality solar lighting system for your home.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.