Proper battery cycling and maintenance.

Shawn-HShawn-H Solar Expert Posts: 107 ✭✭
edited November 2015 in Solar Beginners Corner #1
Ok recently I had a battery issue. And I realized that there's not a lot of information on proper maintenance and cycling of batteries I would really like if some of the more expert off graders and solar installers for off grid systems you're willing to discuss their standpoints. On proper charging discharging and specific gravity readings as well as some of the maintenance and preventive measures that can be taken to prolong battery life and keep us offgid.
Thank you guys for your time and the invaluable information you bring to this community.
Thx shawn.
100% Off-grid in the White Mountains of Arizona. 36 Kyocera 265w mounted on four DPW 9 module pole top mounts, midnite solar combiners, breakers, & lightning arresters, 1 midnight solar classic 150, & 3 classic 150 lights, 3 x 1574 AH GB Industries forklift batteries total of 4722 AH @24v. Feeding a Outback power systems FW500 with 2 x VFX 3624, with the x240. 2 Honda EU3000is gensets with the 240 combiner and control box running LP, and 1 Honda EU2000is Gas. 
System #2 is a off grid water system @ 1590w (6 Kyocera 265's) on a 6 module DPW top of pole mount. Feeding a Granfas deep well pump and pump controller at 580 feet. 2 x 2800 gallon above ground poly storage tanks, and 1 x 1200 gallon underground  cistern and a Granfas 24v booster pump feeding a 90 gallon carbon fiber pressure tank.
Vag woodstove for heat.
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  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,984 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Shawn,

    There are many variables in battery care and maintenance.   And,  seems that what has been working fine for a period of time will sometimes need to be changed a bit as a battery  bank ages.

    A few thoughts;

    Battery EQ voltage should be temperature compensated  --  set your chargers to do this as a default,  or do the compensation manually,  based on battery temperature,  if the charger does not have the compensation of EQ as an option.

    EQ voltage should be near the minimum  recommended by the battery manufacturer,  unless you are having an issue with the bank,  that an EQ might be able to resolve  --  too great a variation is SGs between cells in the bank,   concern about Stratification,  etc.

    Try to only add water (Distilled)  to the bank fairly early in an Absorb,  or when doing an EQ,  to allow thorough mixing.

    Follow manufacturer's guidelines on Absorb,  Float and EQ voltages,  and EQ duration.

    Make sure that every charge source uses a Remote Temperature Sensor (RTS or BTS).

    Measure SG readings of each cell in the battery bank and record those readings in the Battery Logbook.   Marking each cell with a unique number/letter (or similar)  will allow consistency ...

    And,  so on.   Just to get things rolling.     Good Luck,  Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Well the important thing with lead is that you charge it to 100%  SOC regularly. How you do that is a matter of experience, but gettnig the right absorb voltage, and using the best tech you can find (WBJr) to trigger float is a good start. The alternative is to monitor some charge cycles and assess charge acceptance and/or SG to get the absorb duration. They also like water. For FLA diligent maintenance, for VRLA diligence with avoiding over charging. Thats about it.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,

  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭✭✭
    Victron have on there site a thing on batery maintenance  amoungst other things.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . victron battery monitor . 24 volts 450 ah surette batterys . off grid  holiday home 
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