Solar Battery Adjustments for Seasonal Changes
Charge controllers are an important part of your solar battery array. Without proper settings, you run the risk of over charging or under charging your solar battery system.
Initial Charge Control Settings
Your goal is to fully charge your solar battery array after each use in order to optimize battery life. This requires monitoring the state of charge for the first few weeks of solar battery installation. Optimally, you should fully charge your solar battery bank 4 hours before you put them into use. We want this so the batteries have time to cool before you pull power out again.
For more information on initial settings, please visit our Solar section of the website:
Seasonal Changes and Its Effect on Your Solar Battery Array
Let’s say your charge controller settings are set up in the summer. Typically, you have good sun from 7 AM to 7 PM. This gives you 12 hours to provide power to your house and charge your solar battery bank. As we stated earlier, you want your bank to fully charge 4 hours prior to use, so you want to be in float by 3 PM. This gives you 8 hours to get your battery bank fully charged. This is plenty of time with a properly configured system.
As the seasons change, the amount of available sun changes. And, as it gets colder, your electrical loads tend to increase. Because you have fewer hours of sunlight, you also have less time to get a full charge. Since the sun sets earlier in the winter, you might only have 6 hours of charging. This could require a higher absorption voltage, longer time or a combination of the 2.
Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
The bottom line – Be diligent in checking for a full charge. Check the Specific Gravity and true Open Circuit Voltage readings after a change in seasons. In order to keep your battery bank at peak efficiency, you will most likely need to adjust your charge controller settings. You have invested a lot of money into your system. You owe it to yourself to keep it running at peak capacity. It won’t take long to ensure your settings are correct. A $12 hydrometer, 30 minutes and a log is all you need!
As always, American Battery Corporation is here to answer your questions and concerns. Give us a call or stop by – we love to solve problems. Remember, “We Sell Batteries – Knowledge and Service Are Fee”.