A Guide to Extending the Life of Your Solar Panels
Solar energy is one of the most sustainable energy sources, converting light into electricity. Equipping a facility with solar panels is one of the greenest actions you can take. Not only are solar panels good for the environment – eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and declining the use of fossil fuel – they also save money on electric bills.
In order to get the most out of your solar panel, here are these helpful tips for extending the battery life of your solar power system.
1. Limit the Number of Batteries
Limit your bank to 16 batteries or less if you can. The more batteries equal more connections, and each connection increases resistance. Resistance can cause uneven charging.
2. Rotate Your Batteries
Rotate the batteries within the bank periodically. Batteries toward the middle of the bank may not receive as good of charge as the batteries on the outside. Rotating the batteries periodically will help balance this out.
3. Use Large Battery Interconnect Cables
Using large battery interconnect cables reduces resistance and allows for even charging. We suggest a 4/0 size cable for 12 volt (V) and 24V systems, and 2/0 size for 48V systems.
4. Properly Charge Your Battery
Batteries should never be left uncharged for extended amounts of time. Make sure to leave your charging source on, allowing the batteries to continue to charge. Leaving batteries uncharged can cause damage to them.
5. Use Only Distilled Water
We do not recommend adding battery additives or electrolytes as they do more harm than good to the battery.
6. Allow Gassing or Boiling
Your batteries should gas on a regular basis, preferably daily. Batteries will begin gassing at approximately 14.1 DC current voltage (Vdc) (12V nominal system), 28.2 Vdc (24V) or 56.4 Vdc (48V). This process will produce hydrogen and water. Therefore, it is very important for your battery bank to have adequate ventilation to avoid hydrogen buildup.
7. Battery Equalization
Equalization is a controlled overcharge of your batteries. It provides an opportunity to return all the cells to full charge. As a result, it knocks some of the sulfation off the plates through the process of gassing. Furthermore, gassing can help to mix your electrolyte to prevent it from stratifying.
Not sure if solar panels are right for your home? The experts at Berry Roofing & Solar offer a free consultation to help you decide whether you should consider a solar system. Call us today at (951) 900-1309, or fill out our online form.