5 valuable tips to extend battery life of your solar system. Discover temperature, charging and inspection requirements.
Batteries make an intermittent solar system relatively constant
Batteries can form an integral part of any renewable energy power system.
Solar power systems are intermittent in nature. Intermittent means that the electrical output from the solar panels is not constant.
During night or on a cloudy day, there is no or few electricity production.
This gap can be filled by installing battery banks, which store excess charge during the day and make it available to be used during the nights, thereby providing electricity to its consumer in a non-intermittent or relatively constant nature.
5 Tips to extend battery life of solar systems
Batteries are a critical part of an off-grid solar power system, and it’s clear that selecting the right battery has a critical impact on the performance and operational costs of the entire solar system.
In the storage section of our Learning Center you can read more about the various solar battery technologies.
Besides selecting the right batteries and sizing your battery bank, maintenance is an important task. Maintenance of the batteries is often overlooked.
Generally all the best maintenance practices that are applicable to any battery are applicable to solar battery banks.
Below are 5 tips are exclusively to extend battery life of solar battery banks:
Temperature requirements and constraints.
Room temperature is the optimum temperature for batteries to perform. This means a temperature between C 20 - C25 is ideal. It has been proven that for every 10 degree C increase in room temperature, battery life may decreases by up to 30%.
For that reason it’s advisable for the batteries to be installed either in a closed compartment with adequate temperature control or inside the house to maintain room temperature.
The batteries of your solar system should not remain in the discharged state for a long period of time, as this will affect capacity and lifetime of the batterybank.
If due to any reason you need to store the batteries, make sure to completely charge them every six months.
Regular watering requirements
Certain batteries such as flooded or wet cell batteries need to be watered regularly.
Please ensure that you always use distilled water without any impurities. Ask your battery manufacturer for a watering schedule and check the levels manually.
Monthly inspections and monitoring requirements
Regular inspections are necessary to ensure the batteries are in their proper shape. It is recommended to inspect your batteries on a monthly basis. While doing the monthly inspections, make sure that:
Battery tops are clean and dry and free of any debris
Vent caps are clean and tight
Battery terminal connections are tight
Battery cables are in a proper state. Change any damaged cakes if necessary.
Follow the guidelines listed in the manufacturers maintenance manual
Do not put too many batteries in parallel if you can avoid it.
Corrosion can cause problems with your batteries. Make sure the batteries are stored in a dry place
Install a system monitor. This dashboard records and displays voltage level, current, amp-hours, time left for the battery to discharge and a log of events and shows any warning / alarms.