Life Expectancy of Battery Storage Systems

Life Expectancy of Battery Storage Systems

When considering a home battery storage system, you’ll want to have a good base knowledge of how it works, plus how it’ll benefit you and potentially the environment. This is what our battery storage guides are for. 

Another important factor to understand is the system’s life expectancy. A short lifespan would make battery storage inaccessible to most and inefficient in terms of cost and energy use. 

Battery storage systems can exist with or without solar panels, which last for up to three decades. It’s fair to say that battery storage systems have a shorter lifespan than PV panels, however that doesn’t mean they’re worth passing by. 

Let’s take a look at the average lifespan of battery storage systems and how to maximise their life expectancy.

Average Lifespan of Battery Storage Systems

When it comes to the longevity of battery storage systems, you can generally expect them to last between 10 and 12 years. That said, some premium models can keep going for up to 15 years or even longer with the right care and maintenance. 

With batteries compatible with or without solar panels, you can expect the same sort of lifespan with solar battery storage too. 

Rather than just counting the years down, another useful way to measure the lifespan of these battery systems is by looking at the number of charging cycles they can handle. This is arguably more accurate, as each home will use their batteries to differing degrees across the year.

A quality battery storage system should be able to manage 6,000 to 10,000 cycles before you start to see a dip in its capacity. At one cycle a day, that’s roughly 15 years plus. 

It’s worth noting that the frequency of cycles you get through varies depending on the energy consumption patterns of your home. A battery that’s being charged up and drained on a regular basis will naturally go through more cycles in a shorter time frame compared to one that’s not being used as intensively.

The type of battery also plays a role in determining its lifespan. These days, lithium-ion batteries are the go-to choice for most battery storage systems, thanks to their superior performance and longer lifetimes than older, more inefficient batteries like lead-acid. 

What affects battery life expectancy?

Not all batteries are made equally and not all of the same batteries exist in the same environment. This is important to know as several internal and external factors can impact the longevity of a battery storage system. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Battery type: As mentioned above, the type of battery and material used directly affect how long it lasts for. Lithium-ion batteries currently dominate the market and are known for their extended lifetimes compared to alternatives.
    Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries currently hold around 60% of the battery energy storage market share, which is expected to grow further as the technology advances. Two more types of lithium battery – LiFePo4 and NMC – are also popular and have good life expectancies.
  • Depth of Discharge (DoD): A lot of batteries can’t be completely discharged of all energy. This can cause long-term damage. So, each battery has to retain a certain amount of charge. How much it can let go is known as its DoD. Going above your battery’s recommended DoD can lead to faster degradation of its capacity over time. Thankfully some modern batteries coming to market are hitting 100% DoDs. 
  • Environmental conditions: You don’t want to expose your storage battery to extreme temperatures and harsh conditions. This can negatively impact its performance and longevity. Battery storage systems operate most efficiently in cool, dry locations with good ventilation. A leaky, freezing cold loft might not be the best place. 
  • Maintenance: Whilst lithium-ion batteries require minimal maintenance, it’s good practice to regularly check the battery, control box and cables for any obvious damage. Monitoring the system’s performance data can also help identify any potential issues.

How to maximise battery storage system lifespan

Based on the factors that affect a storage battery’s lifespan, we can consider the following tips to help maximise how long it lasts for. The last thing you want is to invest good money into a battery system, only to have to replace it early doors. 

Storage batteries do come with warranties (which we’ll look at below) but here are the best ways to maximise the life expectancy of your battery:

  • Proper installation: It almost goes without saying, but you’ll want your battery installed by a professional who knows what they’re doing. Batteries should be installed in a cool, dry location with good ventilation, out of the reach of extreme conditions and any moisture. Well-sealed loft spaces, large cupboards and utility rooms are all good spots.
  • Regular cycling: It’s good practice to go through regular charge and discharge cycles. One per day is a good figure. This helps to keep the battery in good condition and working order without causing excessive wear and tear or leaving it without charge for extended periods.
  • Stick to DoD Guidelines: Make sure you know what the manufacturer’s guidelines are regarding the depth of discharge. This will change from battery to battery. As mentioned, completely draining the battery each time can negatively impact its long-term performance, so stick to the DoD.
  • Routine Checks: Have a regular check of the physical condition of your battery from time to time to make sure all looks good and as it should be. 

Signs your battery needs replacing

As your battery storage system approaches the end of its lifespan, there are a few telltale signs that it might be time to start thinking about a replacement – hopefully we’re talking at least 10-15 years in the future here. 

One of the most obvious indicators is a noticeable change in charging times. If you find that your battery is consistently taking longer to charge up than it used to, or on the other side, it’s charging more quickly but not holding its charge as long, these are signs of decreasing capacity and performance.

Another red flag to watch out for is a significant decrease in the amount of time your battery can power your property before running out of juice. If you’ve noticed that your battery doesn’t seem to be lasting as long as it once did under similar use conditions, it’s another sign that it’s reaching the end of its lifespan.

Of course, any visible damage to your battery, such as leaks or corrosion, should be addressed immediately by a professional. Not only can this impact performance, but it could also pose a safety risk if left unchecked.

What kind of warranties do storage batteries have?

  • Enphase IQ – 15 years
  • Giv Energy All in One – 12 years
  • Tesla Powerwall 2 – 10 years
  • LG Resu – 10 years
  • Huawei Luna – 10 years free, option for 5 year paid extension

A good warranty gives you confidence in your product. It also means your purchase is protected in case something goes wrong.

Most battery storage system makers offer a standard 10-year warranty that covers defects and malfunctions, provided that the battery has been used as intended.

However, some companies are so confident in the quality of their battery that they offer longer warranties. For example, some manufacturers like Enphase IQ offer an impressive 15-year warranty on their battery storage systems. Huawei Luna have a 10 year warranty with the option of a 5 year paid extension. Giv Energy’s All in One comes with a 12 year warranty. 

A thing to note is that these extended warranties often come with certain conditions, such as a specified maximum number of cycles or a guaranteed minimum capacity retention over the warranty period. Some warranties may include stipulations about the depth of discharge or the conditions in which the battery must be installed and maintained to remain valid. So, carefully review the terms of your battery storage system’s warranty to understand exactly what is covered and for how long. 

About the author 

Ben Hardman

Ben is a professional writer and the creator of sustainable living website
It's here where he helps people to reduce their environmental impact through simple, everyday choices. Away from the laptop, Ben loves spending time in the natural environment with his young family and Murphy the cocker spaniel.

First Class BSc Biology degree (environmental and climate change focus)
Six years of working and writing in the environmental sector, including two years working at an international sustainability consultancy
Written for Ethical Consumer magazine, My Mother Tree, Unsustainable Magazine, Happy Eco News, Emission Index,
Commented in The Independent, The Guardian, GreenMatch. Also featured on Radio 1's environmental special 'Minute of Me'

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Subscribe to get the latest updates