How To Preserve Your Photo voltaic Battery Accurately

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Purchased a brand new photo voltaic battery system? Contemplating buying one? Simply inquisitive about batteries? Regardless of the case this text will reply your questions relating to photo voltaic battery upkeep.

The solar is a pure supply of vitality, which we are able to harness through the use of photo voltaic panels. Nonetheless daylight isn’t all the time accessible, that is the place photo voltaic batteries come into play. They retailer the vitality generated by your photo voltaic panels and convert it to electrical energy whenever you want it. 

Nonetheless, with out correct care, they’ll shortly turn out to be broken and even die in a matter of months; leaving you with costly repairs and no energy.

Due to this fact, photo voltaic battery upkeep is vital to maintain your battery operating optimally, for so long as potential. So as to take action, you could know easy methods to care to your photo voltaic battery accurately.

By following just a few easy tips, you possibly can maintain your photo voltaic battery in good working situation and get probably the most out of it. 

On this article, we’ll talk about photo voltaic battery upkeep intimately. Correctly sustaining among the newest photo voltaic battery applied sciences — particularly AGM, Gel, LiFePO4, and hydrogen batteries — will obtain particular consideration. 

Foreword

We put a whole lot of work into designing, researching, writing, modifying, and reviewing these articles. Please think about supporting us by making a purchase order from one of many affiliate hyperlinks included on this put up.

Photo voltaic Panel Blueprints Made by specialists

We all know how scary working with electrical energy may be, so we had our senior in-house electrical engineer design 3 fool-proof photo voltaic panel wiring schematics only for you!


Do Photo voltaic Batteries Want Upkeep?

The most recent photo voltaic battery applied sciences are sometimes marketed as “maintenance-free”, however there’s extra to it than meets the attention. Why? We’ll clarify shortly.

The principle forms of photo voltaic batteries are:

  • Flooded Lead-acid (FLA); generally known as “moist lead-acid battery”.
  • Valve Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA): Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) and Gel battery. 

Moreover, hydrogen Batteries are beginning to turn out to be accessible for home-usage.

Though they’re a dearer possibility to your photo voltaic battery system, they provide nice benefits. They final for much longer, don’t contribute to carbon emissions and are extra highly effective and energy-efficient than fossil fuels. What’s extra, these batteries acquire hydrogen from water.

Other than the flooded lead-acid battery, all the opposite battery applied sciences are marketed as being “maintenance-free”, since you don’t must do something for them to work after set up.


Lead-Acid Batteries: Flooded And Sealed

For those who don’t carry out photo voltaic battery upkeep on a flood-lead acid battery occasionally, it’ll be broken and cease working.

That’s as a result of the electrolyte is misplaced within the charging course of; hydrogen gasoline is launched and lead electrodes turn out to be uncovered. This causes sulfation of the battery’s lead plates, which reduces the battery’s usable capability.

Conversely Valve Regulated Lead-Acid batteries (additionally referred to as sealed lead-acid) don’t endure from this drawback. In AGM batteries, the electrolyte is soaked within the glass mat materials, in order that electrolyte and separator basically turn out to be one.

In Gel batteries, silica mud is added to the electrolyte to type a combination that thickens right into a putty-like gel when injected between the cell’s plates. This gel acts as a separator, as an alternative of the glass mat.

Very like the AGM, this know-how is spill-proof, that means you possibly can mount it in any orientation. Moreover, it doesn’t require venting (to vent the hydrogen gasoline).

Nonetheless, simply since you don’t must carry out any upkeep to ensure that them to work, it doesn’t imply that they may work ideally and final so long as they’ll.

To maintain your battery operating at prime efficiency and for so long as potential, there are just a few practices you possibly can comply with.


How To Preserve An AGM Battery?

A 12V 135 Ah deep cycle AGM battery.
A 12V 135 Ah deep cycle AGM battery.
Supply: sunwatts.com

Respect The Beneficial Depth of Discharge (DoD)

Producers suggest discharging AGM batteries solely 50% for those who want to acquire the optimum variety of cycles your battery can carry out. Due to this fact, it is best to all the time discharge your AGM battery solely till 50% state of cost, then absolutely recharge it earlier than utilizing it once more.


Use The Beneficial Charger

This ensures the supply of the proper charging voltage to your AGM battery, which is essential to maximise your battery’s efficiency and life cycle.


Charging Levels

Lead-acid batteries undergo completely different charging phases (bulk, absorption, float, and equalization). These are vital to take care of your battery’s efficiency and guarantee your get probably the most out of them. So utilizing a sensible charger that controls these completely different phases may be actually advantageous.


Forestall Sulfation

Maintaining your battery in a discharged state can result in sulfation (build-up of lead sulfate crystals on the floor of the lively materials of the battery’s lead plates). Sulfation reduces the battery’s capability to carry a cost, which consequently shortens the battery’s lifespan.


Retailer Them Accurately

Resulting from its excessive self-discharge fee, when not utilizing your AGM battery, it is best to repeatedly (each 2 to three months) recharge it to keep away from deep discharge, which could be very damaging to lead-acid batteries. As well as, ensure you retailer them in a dry, cool, and ventilated space.


Cost Them In The Appropriate Temperature Vary

Through the charging course of, excessive exterior temperatures may cause the battery to cost erratically. The interior temperature of the battery can rise till a degree the place the battery can not sufficiently obtain exterior energy. This ends in a partial cost, which is dangerous to lead-acid batteries. Ideally, AGM batteries ought to be charged between 0ºC(32°F) and 40ºC(104ºF).


By no means Partially Cost AGM Batteries

AGM batteries have to be absolutely charged to 100% as a way to keep their capability. For those who cost AGM batteries partially, they’ll lose their capability to cost to full capability over time. As an example, For those who consistently cost your AGM battery to solely 70%, it could finally fail to cost previous this level. This, in flip, reduces the lifespan of the battery.


How To Preserve a GEL Battery?

Gel batteries are a good option for solar power storage systems.
Gel batteries are a great possibility for solar energy storage methods.
Supply: meritsunpower.com

Gel batteries are fairly much like AGM batteries. The distinction between them is the separator that retains the electrodes other than one another. Due to their chemical similarity, the way in which by which it is best to take care of them can be related.

AGM upkeep practices additionally apply to Gel batteries.


How To Preserve a LiFePO4 Battery?

LiFePO4 batteries installed in an RV.
LiFePO4 batteries put in in an RV.
Supply: evansoutdooradventures.com

Listed here are just a few good practices that you need to use to take care of your LiFePO4 battery:


Use The Appropriate Charger

as soon as once more, this is a crucial subject. Every battery chemistry has a completely different charging course of, with completely different charging specs. Making use of a charging voltage completely different than the really helpful will injury your battery.


Retailer It Correctly

Resulting from its low self-discharge fee, storing this battery is just not an issue, even for longer intervals (of as much as a 12 months). Nonetheless, earlier than storing, it is best to cost them ideally between 50% to 60% state of cost. That can present the battery a very long time earlier than the voltage drops to a harmful level attributable to self-discharge. As well as, disconnect it from different units to keep away from parasitic hundreds.


Use A Cost Controller

A cost controller regulating the ability output of photo voltaic panels may be extraordinarily helpful to your photo voltaic battery as a result of it doesn’t permit over or undercharge, which decreases the battery’s lifespan.


Temperature Vary

LiFePO4 endure erratic cost or discharge in excessive temperature, which lowe their efficiency and general lifespan. Ideally, it is best to maintain your LiFePO4 battery between 5ºC(41°F) and 40ºC(104ºF).


Cost Extra Incessantly

Not like nickel-based batteries, lithium applied sciences don’t endure from the reminiscence impact. Due to this fact, the state of cost ought to all the time be between 20% to 90% to extend battery life. This manner, you possibly can keep away from the danger of overcharging or absolutely discharging your battery.


How To Preserve a Hydrogen Battery?

Hydrogen battery commercialization continues to be in its infancy. Though the science behind this know-how is fairly stable, not many firms have managed to develop and commercialize this product but.

Among the many few firms that provide any such battery are LAVO, HPS House Energy Options, and EFOY (this one doesn’t really matter as a photo voltaic battery since integration with photo voltaic methods isn’t an possibility).


LAVO

You may combine this battery into your solar energy system. It shops vitality by breaking molecules of water (2 H2O(l) → 2 H2(g) + O2(g)) and storing the hydrogen in a patented steel alloy, as a steel hydride. The gas cell then converts the vitality saved in hydrogen again into electrical vitality by combining hydrogen — from the hydride storage vessels — and oxygen from the air to type water.

An infograohic of a LAVO Hydrogen Battery — solar battery maintenance.
An infograohic of a LAVO Hydrogen Battery.
Supply: lavo.com.au

Though there isn’t a lot accessible data on photo voltaic battery upkeep relating to hydrogen batteries, right here’s what we now have discovered:


Temperature

Though this battery can function in a temperature vary of -10°C to +50°C (14ºF to 122ºF), the really helpful working temperature is between 5°C to 45° C (41ºF to 113ºF)


Set up

Licensed professionals ought to set up this battery. It ought to be ground mounted, and saved outdoor – however nonetheless shielded from exterior hurt (rain, direct daylight, and many others).


Elevation

The utmost elevation by which this battery can nonetheless function correctly is 2000m.


Inverter

This battery requires a selected inverter. The LAVO unit is just suitable with a hybrid AC/DC solar energy inverter, which the LAVO unit doesn’t embody.


Water provide

the LAVO unit requires a connection to the mains water provide. It makes use of round 18L of water for a full cost cycle and it requires water to be at a potable customary. For those who put in very exhausting or soiled water, the filters will nonetheless do their job however you’ll have to switch them far more usually.


Enter Energy And Voltage

The enter energy is 2.2kW and the voltage is 48V DC.


Output Energy Of The Gasoline Cell

The height output is 6.8kW. Nonetheless, LAVO doesn’t suggest reaching the height output for the longevity of the gas cell and due to this fact the utmost output of the system ought to be 5kW.

As well as, on the LAVO web site, the corporate recommends annual upkeep of the LAVO unit by a certified technician.


5 Components That Have an effect on Battery Life

1. Depth of Discharge (DoD):

A chart showing the number of cycles is inversely proportional to the Depth of Discharge — solar battery maintenance.
A chart exhibiting the variety of cycles is inversely proportional to the Depth of Discharge.
Supply: trojanbattery.com

You shouldn’t absolutely discharge photo voltaic batteries. Every battery chemistry has a really helpful DoD:

  • AGM and Gel: really helpful DoD is 50%
  • LiFePO4 battery: really helpful DoD is 80%

Respecting these suggestions, you’ll guarantee your battery performs extra cycles.


2. Charging Course of

Utilizing the proper charger is vital to making sure your battery efficiency.

Completely different battery chemistries require completely different charging specs (charging voltage, charging present, float voltage, equalization, and many others). For instance, lead-acid batteries must be equalized. Conversely, LiFePO4 batteries don’t require balancing.

In conclusion, utilizing an incorrect charger may cause the battery to cost erratically, lowering its lifespan.


3. Exterior Temperature

Exterior temperature drastically impacts battery efficiency. Due to this fact, it is best to all the time maintain your battery within the really helpful temperature vary.

Temperatures too excessive or too low can diminish the battery’s capability to carry a cost by degrading its parts.

Conversely, LiFePO4 batteries drain a lot sooner in chilly temperatures as soon as they use a part of their vitality to maintain themselves heat sufficient to operate. That is fairly dangerous to the battery.

AGM and Gel batteries can stand up to low temperatures with out freezing, however exposing them to temperature extremes continues to be not really helpful.

Ideally, it is best to maintain your LiFePO4 battery between 5ºC(41°F) and 40ºC(104ºF). As for AGM and Gel, the perfect temperature ranges from -5ºC(23ºF) to +45ºC(113ºF).


4. Overcharge

Fixed overcharging will injury your photo voltaic battery and consequently shorten its life.

Lead-Acid may be trickle-charged, however a decrease voltage is utilized. If the voltage doesn’t lower as soon as the lead-acid battery is absolutely charged, will probably be overcharged. Likewise, the lifespan of your AGM or Gel battery decreases attributable to undercharging. 

Conversely, LiFePO4 batteries are normally geared up with a Battery Administration System (BMS) that cuts the exterior energy when the battery is absolutely charged. This avoids overcharge. Nonetheless, in case your battery’s BMS fails to take action, overcharging your battery will lower its general lifespan.

Overcharging a battery can result in unintended chemical reactions inside a battery cell, which might trigger degradation of its parts (electrolyte, electrodes, and separator). Because of this, lifespan decreases.


5. Retailer When Not In Use Use  

For those who ever have to retailer your photo voltaic battery, accomplish that in a dry area with good air flow. Retailer your battery away from daylight and keep a comparatively regular temperature. 

Producers normally suggest storing LiFePO4 batteries with a cost of round 50%. These batteries don’t self-discharge as a lot as their lead-acid counterparts, in order that they don’t must be recharged usually.

In distinction, attributable to their excessive self-discharge fee, AGM and Gel batteries ought to be increase charged each 90 days or after they attain roughly 75% state of cost.

That’s as a result of a battery can fall right into a “deep discharge state” if saved absolutely discharged. Conversely, if saved absolutely charged, a battery could lose some capability, leading to shorter battery life.


Ultimate Ideas

Photo voltaic battery upkeep is vital to making sure you get probably the most out of your funding.

By following just a few easy practices, you possibly can maintain your photo voltaic battery operating at optimum efficiency ranges and prolong its lifespan.   

This text mentioned photo voltaic battery upkeep for the principle forms of batteries: LiFePO4, AGM, and Gel batteries. Preserve this data in thoughts when selecting or caring to your photo voltaic battery system, so you possibly can take pleasure in the advantages of renewable vitality for years to return!

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