When you invest in a solar panel system, you inevitably want it to last as long as possible and to perform effectively in order to maximise your investment. One key way of doing this is to extend the life of your solar battery. You can do this by keeping it clean and well-maintained. In addition, it is a good idea to learn how to use it properly in order not to place undue stress on it or cause it to deteriorate more rapidly. Here are some ways to ensure your solar battery remains in tip-top condition for longer.
Get It Right From The Start
Always follow an expert solar panel installer’s guidance when choosing how many solar batteries to install and how much power you need them to be able to store and discharge. Overloaded systems can be very dangerous. Always choose the best quality solar batteries you can afford. It is better to buy batteries capable of more capacity than you think you need. You may end up needing extra capacity later on as power requirements increase. Voltages change over time, and adding newer batteries with different voltages can adversely affect a system’s overall performance.
Depth Of Discharge
Depth of discharge means how much power you can get out of your battery before you need to recharge it. This can vary from type to type, depending on the chemistry of each battery. Your solar panel system installer can tell you which chemistry your solar battery has, and how best to charge it. Some are designed to be recharged daily to gain energy from the sun during the day and discharge it to power your property after dark. Others may need to be charged for a longer or shorter time period to be more effective. Once you know this, it will be easier to work out how to use your solar battery and panel system most efficiently.
Storage And Temperature
Some batteries are designed to be stored indoors only, while others can withstand being kept anywhere. Again, check with your installer what you need to do to protect the particular solar battery your system incorporates. You may need to install your battery somewhere enclosed, such as a garage, outhouse or cellar. If you position it in the wrong place, exposure to harmful temperatures can seriously affect its performance and even cause safety issues. So, avoid scenarios where it could freeze in sub-zero temperatures, or overheat in the summer months. Also, avoid overly damp or brightly lit locations. Make sure it is accessible for maintenance, repair or cleaning.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Speaking of which, keeping your solar battery clean and well-maintained is also important. This can be carried out by solar power engineers during their annual servicing visit. However, in between appointments, there are other ways you can ensure your solar battery remains free from dirt and debris.
- Disconnect the battery for safety before starting to clean it.
- Use a damp cloth to gently wipe the battery surface.
- Don’t let any water pool on the battery, especially not near the top, as this can cause damage.
- Always wear gloves and safety goggles, as there could be acid on the surface.
- Allow to dry naturally or pat with a dry cloth. Keep the general area free from dust, garden debris etc.
- Never attempt battery maintenance without expert input and advice.
Cleaning can go a long way to help prevent corrosion – a major problem for batteries of all kinds. However, there are also other ways to help prevent your solar battery terminals from becoming corroded.
- Wipe away any dust or moisture regularly with a dry cloth.
- Avoid locating batteries where the rain can get in and make contact.
- Keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Aim to bring the batteries to a full state of charge roughly every three weeks. This helps to reduce internal deterioration and corrosion and stops the battery from degrading through lack of use.
- Avoid spilling anything on the battery’s surface and wipe anything that does fall on it away immediately.
- Include the solar battery in your annual solar panels maintenance appointment – ask for a corrosion check and a full clean and service.