Can Solar Batteries Overheat And Explode?
You might have seen videos of batteries catching fire and exploding. Some kinds of batteries are known to overheat and cause devastation. Keeping such incidents in mind, one can question the reliability of solar batteries; whether solar batteries are the same for your home or not? And can they also overheat and explode?
It is normal for solar batteries to heat up to 50 degrees Celsius during operation, but overheating beyond this temperature can be devastating. They can overheat and explode at extreme temperatures, but this is rare.
Solar batteries overheating and exploding depend on factors like type, technology, installation, inverter, and maintenance. However, with proper selection and care, it is very unlikely that a solar battery will explode. In this article, I have shared all the details you need to know to ensure your battery never explodes.
Before proceeding to all the factors that can cause batteries to overheat or explode, let’s first discuss all the common types of batteries and how their technology contributes to this situation.
Types of Solar Batteries
Below are the three most common types of batteries used in solar power systems. Due to technological differences, all these solar battery types have different lifespans and sensitivity to high temperatures.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are generally considered among the safest battery types. However, lead-acid batteries produce a combination of hydrogen and oxygen gases during charging. These gases can cause hazards if proper ventilation is not provided. Though, the possibility of such events happening is insignificant.
Most of the batteries’ burning videos that we see are of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries generally heat when used, but They can burn and explode if they overheat beyond a certain temperature.
Like in lead acid batteries, the chemical reactions occurring in lithium-ion batteries cause a temperature rise. But since lithium-ion batteries have several sub-types, some of them, like the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, are safer than the others.
Moreover, in the case of lithium-ion storage batteries, some brands add a special protective layer against thermal runaway risk by sealing off potentially unstable cells. This is why the brand you choose also impacts the safety of your battery.
Saltwater batteries are the safest as they are non-flammable and non-explosive. This is because these batteries are incapable of thermal runaway, making them least likely to overheat and explode.
So far, we have discussed that some solar batteries can overheat and explode, and it varies from type to type. Now let’s discuss how to know when your solar battery is close to any such situation.
Short-circuit, Over-voltage, And Over-Charging Can Cause Solar Battery Explosion
What Are The Signs of Solar Battery Overheating?
If you ever encounter any of the following signs, know that your battery is unsafe and should be unplugged from the system immediately.
What to do If Your Solar Battery Overheats?
First, do not panic; as already mentioned, solar batteries are unlikely to explode. Even if a solar battery overheats, it does not necessarily mean that the battery is about to explode.
The second thing you should do is unplug the battery and ensure nobody comes closer to the battery. After disconnection, its temperature will start falling within minutes. However, if you notice the battery is not returning to normal or taking too long, consult the service center and contact the emergency department for help.
Generally, such a battery is unsafe to use as it can cause such a situation again. Moreover, the problem could be with your inverter; if the inverter’s output voltages are high than the battery, it is most probably the inverter’s fault. Another possibility is that the battery management system is faulty, causing overcharging leading to overheating. This is why you should also get your inverter inspected.
Similarly, a short circuit can occur if the installation is faulty, leading to such conditions. Ensure your batteries are properly installed, and the cables and connections are properly insulated.
Precautions to Avoid Solar Battery Overheating
Generally, solar batteries overheat when they are frequently charged or discharged. The chemical reactions and conversion of energy from one form to another form. Keeping solar batteries in a cool, dry, and airy space helps regulate their temperature. Also, keep your batteries away from any other equipment that dissipates heat.
Keep Solar Batteries in Cool, Dry, And Airy Space
Since solar batteries require minor maintenance, keep them maintained and get your solar batteries and inverter checked once in a while. It will also help prolong the life of your battery.
Lastly, the brand you choose greatly impacts your battery’s safety; choose wisely. Some brands offer cheap and below-standard batteries that are prone to such incidents. Such batteries are always a risk.
Choose a reliable solar battery manufactured by a well-reputed brand like Bahoo Power that invests in R&D and ensures its batteries are according to international safety standards.
Even though solar batteries can overheat and explode, the probability is very low. If you take precautions, you can avoid such situations. But considering there is still a chance, should we stop using solar batteries?
Multiple incidents have occurred in which batteries were rolled out in the market, and upon such incidents, the entire stock was recollected by the companies. Brands and concerned institutions are paying special attention to the safety of solar batteries.
Over the past few years, the safety standards of solar batteries have drastically improved. So, today, solar batteries are far safer than most people think.