For most people making the switch to solar energy in order to help the environment, the main obstacle is the initial investment in time and money that is required. The equipment can be expensive and you have to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and avoiding unnecessary damage and costly replacement or repair. That is one reason why solar battery charging and proper maintenance is important.
The most common type of solar battery used for solar energy systems is the lead-acid deep cycle battery. These batteries are the cheapest. They also last for years as long as the solar battery charging is done correctly. Lead-acid deep cycle batteries do require maintenance, preferably annually by a qualified solar installer or solar service representative. You can, however, perform some preventive maintenance at home.
You can start by making sure you get a proper battery to suit your energy needs. A deep cycle battery can withstand a depth of discharge of eighty percent but this is an extreme and should be avoided if at all possible. If you do this routinely you’ll discover that during solar battery charging, you’re storing less and less power and this can lead to battery damage.
Also, in the beginning, make sure you do a full solar battery charging in order to bring it up to full capacity. Also, check all the connectors and make sure that it and the vent caps are tightly screwed on. Make sure that all the cables are connected properly as well.
If you’ve done extensive solar battery charging, make sure you water them. Cover the plates with a thin layer of water if they were exposed before the charging. The water you use should be treated or distilled water, no higher than 100 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). Also, avoid overfilling the cells. When you’re doing solar battery charging, the electrolytes can overflow, leading to corrosion or damage requiring repair or replacement of the whole battery.
After you are done charging, check the acid level in the battery and make sure it is at the proper level. And speaking of acid, ALWAYS observe proper safety precautions. It is corrosive in both liquid and gaseous form so wear proper protection, including goggles for your eyes to prevent injury. There are, statistically, several thousand serious injuries a year from large batteries. Don’t add yourself to this roster.
Finally, remember to keep the battery clean of dust, dirt, and corrosion. Keep on top of things to make sure your battery lasts as long as possible. The last thing you want is costly repairs of maintenance later on.
As a last note, if you don’t like the idea of maintenance, there are other battery options that are more expensive but less trouble to upkeep. A sealed battery is one such option, as is the sealed gel battery. A sealed gel battery may be damaged by overcharging; however, so special care is required when using it. There are lots of options you can choose from when choosing solar-powered batteries and solar-powered battery chargers. So make sure you do wise decisions all the time.
Ultimately, the choice of solar battery type is up to your needs and your budget. If you properly take care of your investment, you can be sure of years of clean renewable energy and the satisfaction of contributing to the environment in a positive way.
The Build Solar Team
P.S. We think that our Solar Battery Chargers article might take your fancy as well.