Batteries and battery chargers for solar applications
We at JC Solar Panels understand that batteries can be an expensive investment for your solar or load-shedding solutions. The majority of batteries sold today, will seize to function in about 5 years from now.
Common reasons for batteries to stop working
Choosing the correct battery
Depending on your requirements, the first thing to ensure is to purchase the correct battery storage solution for your needs and also keeping it in your budget. It is a best practice to buy from trusted battery manufacturers as they are constantly working to improve and develop advanced battery technologies. Purchasing a cheap battery might result in more costs in the long run. Many cheap batteries are not guaranteed to last you for decades. This is especially true if you’re purchasing batteries for solar installations or off-the-grid solar systems. Always keep the performance of batteries in mind before you browse for pricing. A good-performing battery that offers a longer lifespan, can be a better solution than cheap underperforming batteries which will need replacement and the costs could eventually be much higher than a more expensive battery would’ve cost you. A battery can be a long-term or a short-term solution. We would recommend that you always keep the future in mind whenever you might be looking into buying a battery. Unfortunately, there is no single battery for every requirement or application. JC Solar Panels would recommend that you always do your research on specific battery types to ensure you get the perfect battery solution to meet the needs of all your requirements.
Choosing the correct battery chargers
Battery chargers can be intimidating for many people; therefore, we will do our best to clear it up.
Identify the battery type
You can find the type of battery usually on the label on the battery. The label can be found on the side or on the top of the battery. The most common battery types will be lead-acid batteries. Also, ensure that the charger you have is the correct charger for the battery type.
Determine the battery size
You can find the Ah (Amps per Hour) rating on the battery and it is usually boldly printed to be easily found on most batteries. If there is no Ah rating, you can look for CCA (cold cranking Amps) and RC (reserve capacity) ratings. To calculate the Ah rating, you can multiply the RC rating by 0.6.
Determine the correct battery charger
Charging batteries usually takes place when a batteries energy is completely depleted or the battery is flat. Charging a battery will increase the energy in the battery, therefore, the battery can operate and power your devices normally again. Battery maintenance is when a battery’s power is just a little bit depleted and it requires a topped-up charge. Here is a scenario, you have a car but you use it for only one or two times a month and you want to always have the car’s battery charged in case of an emergency. Battery maintenance would be required to keep the car’s battery charged and ready. Trickle charging would best suit this battery in this scenario.
Choosing a battery charger size
As a best practice, ensure that the battery charger is at least only 10% of the total Ah rating of the battery. For example, a 100Ah battery would require a minimum 10Amp battery charger and a maximum of 20Amp battery charger. Thus, you are preventing overcharging which could damage the battery. You can prevent overcharging by ensuring that the battery charger is within 20% of the total battery capacity.