Battery maintanance

   Batteries Maintanance  
       Most 'grid-tie' (connected to the power company) systems do not use batteries at all; only a small percentage of these homes use batteries as emergency back-up power storage.
(Example of a solar battery)
Homes hooked to the power company that do use batteries as back-up typically use four batteries. 'Off-grid' homes (homes not hooked up to the power company) use MANY more batteries,giving the home all of its power day and night.
About batteries in 'off-grid' homes:
Solar panels do not 'power'anything in the home.
Everything in the home is powered by a battery bank.
Solar panels are there just to charge up the battery bank.
The battery bank is like a 'bank account':you can only 'take out' (use for lighting, etc) what you 'put in' (charging from the sun).
we can inspect batteries for any visible sign of imperfection, especially corrosion or leakage
we can measure the condition of each individual cell of each battery (not available for all battery types)
Did you know:
A '12-volt' battery that tests to having 12.0 volts is only about half-charged;fully charged is closer to 14.4 volts!
we can check all battery connections
we can verify that your battery rack has proper spill containment, rack  seismic security, and nearby  neutralization (for spill clean-up).
we can verify, per code, that all livebattery parts are guarded we can verify, per code, that no top  of a lead-acid battery case is within  six inches of metal
The 3 main types of solar deep-cycle batteries:flooded lead acid, gel, and AGM.we can check all individual cells ofeach battery via hydrometer(not available for all battery types)
Boring, but important:
A metered voltage test of a battery is not a reliable indicator of its condition; sulphate can cause a 'resistance to charging' and also give a 'false high-voltage reading'. Only a specific gravity test (hydrometer)of each cell will give accurate results.
Don't work on these batteries without eye protection and while wearing clothes you don't want destroyed!
we can fill to proper level each  individual cell of each battery with distilled water (NOT tap water)
The fluid in new 'wet' (lead acid) batteries is 1/3 sulphuric acid, 2/3 distilled water;in 'gel' batteries, it is more like a paste.
Later, and fully charged, wet batteries become about 1/4 sulphuric acid.
we can charge any weak battery, in hopes of 'reviving it' and eliminating the need to replace it
Battery Facts:
1- Batteries discharge more in winter.
2- The outer cells lose the most electrolite.
we can inspect battery enclosures for proper upper and lower venting  to the outside and for proper spillage retention capability we can clean & adjust all interconnects
we can re-torque battery connections
we can verify that your battery bank has the low-price option that increases battery life: a temperature-sensor that adjusts charging rate. Without this option, batteries often overcharge during the summer and undercharge during the winter.
< a battery temperature sensor)
A 'secret' about using battery 'temperature sensors':
If you don't have a temperature sensor on a battery in the battery bank, the charge controller will default to the temperature sensor built in to the controller itself. So, if the controller is located indoors where it is warm in the winter, but the battery bank is located outdoors or anywhere where it is at least 10 degrees colder than where the chargecontroller is, and if there is no temp sensor on the battery bank, then the controller will 'think' that the batteries are 'warmer' than they really are in the winter-temperature months.
This will cause the batteries to be undercharged in the winter. The same dynamics in reverse, in the summer (where a house interior-mounted controller might be in air-conditioned comfort while the battery bank is outside in the heat), will cause the batteries to 'overcharge', causing gassing and electrolyte loss, shortening their life.
Did you know:
Batteries kept on average near 90% charge should last about twice as long as those kept at 50% charge
we can perform a 'corrective equalization  charge' on the entire battery collection. This 'controlled overcharge' of all cells refreshes the entire collection and brings all cells to equal strength. (Not available for sealed batteries) This process does cause heat and 'gassing', and should be monitored.
we can help you extend the life of your battery collection by rotating thepositions of the batteries within the pack. This more evenly distributes the charge between the cells.
A 'secret' why some solar batteries die sooner(snow bound areas):
1: Fully-charged batteries don't freeze until -100°.
2: Fully-discharged batteries freeze at only +32°.
Note: not all services available for all battery types. 'Gel' or 'sealed' batteries can not be equalized or have their electrolyte level corrected. Nor can their individual cells be tested.
we can perform a monthly or an every- other-month 'battery servicing'(important if you have a battery- bank that costs $10,000 to replace when it eventually dies).
NOTE: we have the factory-issued User Manuals for virtually all major solar batteries in use.



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