Batteries of any kind generally die from misuse, and very few from factory defects; the guarantees for lead batteries, for example, are very short since the manufacturer does not control the correct use of them, which means that many battery industries annually lose money and cause a considerable environmental impact due to the remains of acids and toxins that these release. In this article we will talk a little about how to charge solar batteries and which are the most used.
What is another way to charge a solar battery when sun isnt sufficient?
Quality batteries for the environment, those that are used correctly and charged properly, have a long life of at least 6 years and a maximum of 10, and industrial ones can last up to 25 years with a capacity of 80 %. But how is the life of these measured? Mainly by the cycle of charges, depending on the number of cycles of charges and discharges, the years of duration can be determined.
Causes of battery death
- Bad installation in a ventilated place.
- Temperatures below 25 °C.
- Fully discharge batteries.
- Not loading them correctly. Do not keep them charged, this is seen a lot in the stores where they are sold.
Types of solar batteries
Surely you have seen at some point in your life solar panels, at least on television, these are perfect for renewable energy, each type of these batteries has specific characteristics such as: its duration and amount of energy it can supply.
There are several options on the market, there are solar and gel ones and each one has different subtypes, for example: those that are made up of lead acid, lithium ions and salt water.
This system is used in off-grid power systems for quite a long period of time. Short average life and lower DoD than other types, but they are the least expensive options in energy storage. Used more than all in homes that need to install a large energy storage.
Currently, most solar energy storage systems use this chemical composition, as they are lighter and more compact than those of lead acid. They have a higher DoD and longer lifespan, but are more expensive, but are the best option for those who want to invest in quality and durability.
They are the newest in the industry unlike the previous two. These do not contain heavy metals, they depend on the electrolytes in the water. They are easy to recycle and do not require as many processes for their disposal.
Solar gel batteries
Solar gel batteries are widely used due to the number of benefits they offer. They come compacted in a sealed capsule that does not require any type of maintenance since the gas inside recombines, preventing the loss of water. VRLA batteries: they are deep discharge, their acronym means Valve Regulated Lead – Acid, they are designed with AGM. They have high-performance plates and electrolytes that provide much more performance.
Solar battery warranties
A good choice of solar batteries will guarantee that all the electricity you get reaches the battery without losing power, this guarantee will depend on the number of cycles and years of useful life, this is because the performance of the solar battery wears out naturally over time.
Let us remember that the duration of solar batteries that are fully charged, work when the panels do not produce energy.
Solar Battery Life
Solar batteries last approximately 5 to 15 years, once installed, it is advisable to change it once so that the useful life of your photovoltaic system lasts 25 to 30 years.
Solar battery maintenance
Proper maintenance for solar batteries will extend their useful life. The death of these batteries is generally due to temperatures, so we recommend that you take care of them in very cold or very hot seasons. If a photovoltaic battery is below 1 °C, it will need more voltage to reach its maximum capacity; also, if it is higher than 33 °C, it overheats and will significantly reduce its efficiency.
How to charge solar batteries without sun
Interesting doubt, because if they are solar batteries it is because they work with sunlight, right? Well, actually there are several techniques that have to be kept in mind for the duration of the useful life and the load itself.
Always keep solar panels clean
These panels over time accumulate layers of dirt and dust, and the rain does not have the full capacity to clean them efficiently, in fact, it is more likely to leave it dirtier. What you can do is clean them with a non-abrasive cloth and clean water, WITHOUT detergent, but it is better that you call a professional to do the maintenance correctly for safety reasons.
avoid the shadows
So that the solar battery can last a little longer and have better efficiency, avoid installing it in areas where there is shade, as they will not charge well and will present problems in the future.
Invest in LED lighting
This is the best investment that can be made in a home, LED lights are efficient, last 26 to 30 times longer than traditional light bulbs, and clearly consume less electricity.
Orient your solar panels correctly
The orientation of the solar panels is important, that is, the photovoltaic panels, especially in winter (if you live in a country with this season), as there are fewer hours of sunlight as in spring. A good technician will be able to orient the solar panels so that they are exposed directly to the sun as much as possible.
Know the charge level of a solar battery according to its voltage
To know the real charge level of a solar battery, it is very useful and recommended to measure its voltage, since it will allow us to know its capacity very precisely, as well as to know if that battery is working correctly or if it has a problem.
This type of LED regulator indicates by means of lights on a very limited percentage of charge: 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%. A solar installation can have two lights on and refer to 50% charge when it is actually at 26%, so the 50% light will also turn on since its capacity will be greater than 25%. This simple anecdote can be a control problem since the battery status can be half that expected after seeing the LED lights. For these cases it is advisable to know the voltage of the batteries since in this way we will know exactly the real percentage of charge of those batteries. If the regulator does not have a numerical voltage indication, it will be necessary to use a voltmeter or tester that you can find in any DIY store.
Keep in mind that depending on the type of battery, the voltage results offered by the tester may vary slightly, since the technical characteristics of the batteries will also vary depending on the manufacturer’s differences. However, we have established these standard voltage levels for any type of solar battery (solar monoblock, AGM, Gel or OPZS or OPZV batteries):
BATTERY CHARGE LEVEL IN A 12V SOLAR INSTALLATION
Battery 100% (fully charged) = 12.7V (volts)
Battery 75% = 12.5V
Battery 50% = 12.2V
Battery 30% = 12V
Battery empty = 11.6V
BATTERY CHARGE LEVEL IN A 24V SOLAR INSTALLATION
Battery 100% (fully charged) = 25.4V
Battery 75% = 25V
Battery 50% = 24.4V
Battery 30% = 24V
Battery discharged = 23.2V
BATTERY CHARGE LEVEL IN A 48V SOLAR INSTALLATION
Battery 100% (fully charged) = 50.8V
Battery 75% = 50V
Battery 50% = 48.8V
Battery 30% = 48V
Battery discharged = 46.4V
It is very interesting to know the voltage of a battery when it is fully charged, since thanks to this we will be able to see if a battery is damaged and does not charge well. To do this, the battery must be left charging for a day and then its voltage must be analyzed. In the event that it does not reach the voltage corresponding to 100% charge, that battery must be separated from the rest of the installation since it will impair the charging capacity of the other batteries. This fact is important to know because if, for example, we have 3 batteries in parallel ( solar battery 250AhC100 12V x 3u.= 750Ah C100 12V) but one of them does not charge correctly and only uses 80% of its capacity, then the charge regulator will only take the 80% level as the maximum allowed, and the result will be an operation of the 80% (12V 250Ah C100 x 3u. = 630Ah C100 12V). With which it is important that this type of problem does not occur in the batteries of our photovoltaic solar installation.
It is also recommended that in order to adjust the actual charge value to the maximum, the measurement is taken when the batteries are not being charged either by solar panels or by any other external power source. This means taking the measurement at night or when the action of the sun is less (at sunrise or sunset). Since as long as the batteries receive current, their voltage will be distorted and will not be the real value.
Before buying the components for the solar installation, in the case of having doubts about choosing a regulator with a screen or LED, it is preferable to purchase the screen regulator since, in addition to indicating the voltage, we will know other values that will be useful to control the operation. overall team. In this way, situations of discharged batteries due to a lack of knowledge of the charge level or due to an overuse of the energy available in the accumulators will be avoided.
If you have doubts about carrying out your solar installation or you need an installation tailored to your electrical consumption, contact Damia Solar and one of our technicians will advise you to adjust to your needs. With the guarantee of the leading solar energy store in Spain.