How to Extend the Battery Life of your Solar Power System

Solar batteries will typically last between five and fifteen years on the market today. Despite the long lifespan of your solar system, you're likely to need to replace your panels within 25 to 30 years. Unless you recondition them. They can last a lot longer.

In order to maintain your solar panels and protect your investment, it is important to properly maintain your batteries.  Use these tips to extend the battery life of your solar power system to get the most out of your batteries.

Tips for Extending Battery life for your Solar Power System

Solar Battery Storage

Limit the number of batteries, What is the maximum number of batteries in parallel?

In parallel wiring, there is no limit to how many batteries can be connected. You can increase the amount of capacity and runtime of your parallel circuit by adding more batteries. It is important to keep in mind that the more batteries you have in parallel, the longer the charging process will take.

Remember, however, to keep the number of batteries in the bank to a minimum. As the battery number increases, so does the number of connections, and each connection increases resistance, which can result in uneven charging.  If possible, limit the number of batteries in your bank to 16 or less.

In battery banks paralleled with more batteries, the possibility of a single faulty battery affecting the entire bank increases.

Rotate your Batteries, Why should I rotate my Batteries?

Consider rotating your batteries regularly within a large battery bank. There is a possibility that the batteries closer to the center of the bank may not receive as good a charge as those further out. You can compensate for this by rotating the batteries periodically.

Use large battery interconnect cables, Why use large interconnect cables?

By using large battery interconnect cables, charging resistance is reduced and even charging is guaranteed. 12V and 24V systems require a 4/0 cable, and 48V systems require a 2/0 cable.

Can not charging batteries be damaging? How long can a battery hold its charge?

Battery life will never be extended by leaving the battery drained for long periods of time. It is important to leave your charging source on and allow the batteries to continue to charge.   If the batteries are not charged, they may be damaged.

When you're working with a new and fully charged battery in perfect condition, it will take at least 2-3 months for its power to completely deplete. However, if you let it sit idle for more than two months, you may be pushing your luck.

Can I use water instead of battery acid? Can you use regular water in a battery?

Good Solar Battery

Batteries will only consume water during normal operation; they won't consume sulfuric acid. It is important to fill your battery with water when the electrolyte in the battery is low, as this keeps the battery healthy, and safe for use.

Using bottled water is a better option than tap water since it contains minerals and natural contents that could damage the battery. Fill your battery with distilled or deionized water, as tap water contains minerals that can harm your battery. Therefore, you can be sure that adding tap water to your battery will eventually result in failure.

Battery additives and electrolytes should not be added to the battery since they cause more harm than good.

Temperature requirements and constraints, Why should Batteries be kept at room temperature?

It is advisable to keep batteries at the optimum room temperature. This means temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius are ideal. According to recent research, battery life can decrease by as much as 30% with every 10° C increase in room temperature. Therefore, it's recommended that the batteries be installed in a closed compartment that's climate-controlled, or within the house to maintain room temperature.

Properly charge your battery, Why should I charge my battery Properly?

You should not allow the batteries of your solar system to remain in the discharged state for a long time, because this will result in diminished capacity and shortened battery life. You should always charge the batteries completely every six months if you need to store them for any reason. Battery desulfators don't replace properly charging your batteries, unfortunately, there is no way to tell if they can extend their life. Desulfators are optional and you can decide whether or not they're worth the extra cost.

Allow gassing or boiling, Why is it important to allow gassing or boiling?

It is normal for batteries to gas or boil during charging, and it is a vital part of the process. Your batteries ought to gas regularly, preferably on a daily basis.  Gassing begins at approximately 14.1Vdc (12V nominal system), 28.2Vdc (24V) or 56.4Vdc (48V).  In order to prevent hydrogen buildup in your battery bank, you need adequate ventilation to prevent this process from generating hydrogen and water.

What is Battery Equalization?

The process of equating your batteries is controlled overcharging.  You may think that overcharging is bad for your batteries, but in fact, it may be very good for them.  As a result of the process of normal cycling, particular cells within your batteries can be unevenly charged over time.  Some cells cannot reach their full-charge on a regular basis, allowing sulfation to accumulate in the plating.  During equalization the sulfation on the plates is knocked off by desulfation, as a result of the process of gassing the plates.  A gassing procedure can also prevent your electrolyte from stratifying because it mixes it.  Check your battery manufacturer for proper equalization instructions and consult the owner's manual of your inverter or charge controller.

Rotate Solar Batteries

Inspections and monitoring are required every month

In order to ensure that the batteries are in good working condition, they should be regularly inspected. We recommend that you inspect your batteries every month. When you do the inspections, remember to do the following: It is clean and dry with no debris on the battery top Ensure that the vent caps are clean and tightly fitted The connections between the battery terminals are tight The battery cables are in good condition. If necessary, replace any damaged cables. The manufacturer's maintenance manual provides detailed instructions on how to maintain

 For more information about how to extend battery life. Enjoy the read.