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How Long Does A Solar Generator Last?

Solar generators are a great way to provide power for your home or business in the event of a power outage. They can also be used as a power source for camping or other outdoor activities off the grid. 

But how long does a solar generator last? The question of how long a solar generator will last is an important one, as you want to be sure that your investment will pay off in the long run. The average solar generator will last for a few years, but this lifespan can be increased with proper maintenance.

Additionally, certain factors such as how often the generator is used and what type of battery it has can play a role in how long it will last. To answer your question in detail, let us walk you through the list of factors that determine the life of your solar generator and tips on the things you can do to make it last longer.

Factors That Determine the Lifespan of Your Solar Generator

The lifespan of a solar generator system is determined by a number of key factors, most notably the durability of the individual components and the amount of time each component is designed to last.

solar panels with generator

A solar generator is made up of many different parts, each of which contributes in its own way to the system’s overall lifespan. Some of the more important factors include: 

The Individual Components

Solar Panels

Some generators come with solar panels already integrated, while others require that you purchase and connect them separately. Solar panels are devices that convert light from the sun into electricity. 

Solar panels are very durable and have a lifespan of over 25 years, though their output may degrade slightly or lower efficiency over time due to the changing environment. However, they don’t have any moving parts, they require less maintenance.

One thing to keep in mind is to check them after frequent rain and snow. Most times, they can work well for many years with just good cleaning.

To Extend Your Solar Panel Life:

  • Look for the right solar panel from the start. The initial cost could be higher but durability will pay its price.
  • Ensure good quality case and mounting.
  • Keep them clean.

Battery

The battery for the solar generator or power station is the largest and heaviest component. The fact that batteries are made of chemicals, they will eventually stop working for this reason, even if they are well-maintained throughout their operation.

The best solar generator battery would be both large enough to hold a lot of power or large battery capacity and have a long lifespan. A basic solar battery comes in 12V but they can go for a bigger one. The voltage of your power system should be determined by your energy consumption in wattage. 

There are five types of batteries available in the market: lead-acid batteries, gel batteries, AGM batteries, lithium batteries, and flow batteries. The most popular type of solar generator battery is the lithium battery. Lithium-ion batteries are known for their high energy density and long life.

These advantages make lithium batteries a popular option. To name some, Jackery Explorer 1000 and Goal Zero Yeti 1500X are the most applauded for this type.

The lifespan of a solar battery is largely determined by how many complete charge-discharge cycles it can undergo before its capacity falls below 80% of its original. Those batteries that are charged and discharged more frequently will have shorter lifespans. 

Most solar batteries will last anywhere between 5 to 20 years, although some manufacturers. The wide range in expected lifespan is due to a variety of factors, such as battery type and model, power capacity, frequency of use, usage cycle, and environmental factors like temperature, for example. 

To Extend Your Battery Life:

  •  Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  
  • Avoid letting the battery run completely dry. 
  •  If a battery is discharged, recharge immediately, and don’t leave it that way for too long.  
  • Once a battery is charged, disconnect it from the solar panel or wall outlet. 

Charge Controller

The charge controller’s primary purpose is to safeguard your solar battery from sustaining damage. If you don’t routinely check the charge controller, you may be caught off guard when your system suddenly stops working. 

The lifespan of a charge controller is determined by the brand, with most controllers lasting between 10 and 25 years. Proper care of the solar PV system will also extend the life of the charge controller. 

Inverter

The inverter is a key part of a solar PV system. It converts the direct current (DC) energy from solar panels into the alternating current (AC) energy that our homes and appliances use. 

Solar panels have a long lifespan because they have no moving parts, while inverters typically only last 10 years because they have more electrical components which are sensitive to heat. In some cases, a well-maintained inverter could last up to 20 years, but most only have a warranty for 5-12 years.

To Extend Your Inverters Life:

  • Install them in a cool, dry area with good air circulation.
  • Keep them away from direct sunlight for extended periods of time. 
  • Have adequate space between each inverter in a multi-inverter installation so that heat will not be transferred from one inverter to another. 

The Electronics

Solar generators come in several different types and sizes, each with its own unique features. But at its core, every solar generator contains a few key components: a Printed Circuit Board (PCB), a direct current to alternating current converter (inverter), and a rectifier.

These components are relatively durable and can last for over ten years with proper care. Even if your device has internal electronic damage from a fall, it would not be difficult to disassemble the unit and repair the electronics inside.

Repair may include re-soldering of wires or replacing other smaller internal parts. 

Final Thoughts

A solar generator can last for many years as long as it is properly maintained. However, the batteries will need to be replaced every few years. The good news is that as technology evolves, battery life could still be improved in the future.

Other than that, all the other components with proper care could serve you for the next 10 to 25 years. Hope the information we hand you in and the additional tips in this article can help you maintain and extend the life of your solar generator so you can enjoy more free solar energy for the years to come.