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Warnings and disclaimer

Always read all of the pages and subjects before starting a solar system installation - If you are unqualified or in any doubt about your own ability then consult a qualified solar system installer.

Picture of sun and solar panel as a solar logoBattery Care

Solar Power - Free energy from natural resources

Batteries generally have a 30% band of good operation so keeping them managed by charging one way or another is vital. There are the three main ways of charging your battery/batteries:-

Charger plugged into the household electricity supply

Wind generator/turbine

Solar panels

Over charging or under charging will lead to problems so managing your battery charging is very important. Most battery charging devices will need upwards from 5 hours to fully charge even the smallest lead acid battery.There are fast charge units available but by using a good battery management regulator you will be giving your battery the best treatment. The battery is the heart of most independent solar systems so just wiring up to a solar panel or generator is not enough and will eventually lead to problems.

Points to remember:

A battery rated at 100Ah arguably will have the capacity to run a 1A appliance for 100 hours. This is not always the case as temperature and the rate that a battery is discharged can affect its capacity that can be drawn from it.

Manufacturers say that a leisure battery's longevity is considerably reduced if you don't start recharging it when it drops to 50% or less of it's total capacity. Therefore the supply period is shorter than expected. The battery condition i.e. voltage should be monitored continuously while in use. There are of course battery management products to do just that.

Always remove the negative terminal wire first

Install a voltmeter (switchable) so you know what the state of charge is. Again there are of course battery management products to do just that.

There are circuits and ready made units for indicating when your battery is getting near to the bottom of it's workable band of supply see the Leisure batteries page.

Batteries mounted externally perform less well than a similar battery installed in a warm environment.

Second batteries should be wired positive to positive and negative to negative.

Ventilation around a lead acid battery is critical.

The fuse on the live terminal should be in a sealed holder near the battery.

Some Common Sense With Lead Acid Batteries is a good idea, here is a short You Tube video showing just that!

Gel Batteries Compared With Lead Acid Batteries

Independent specialists maintain that from an electrical standpoint lead acid batteries are preferable. Gel batteries are great in situations where acid spill is a problem such as quad bikes, jet skis, aeroplanes and small boats.

A simple and cheap voltmeter available in high street electrical shops - ideal for testing your solar power system

Picture above - A simple and cheap voltmeter (£5 - £10) available in many specialist high street electrical shops. Ideal for a quick voltage check to your leisure storage batteries.

Global Warming - it's why we are making changes to our way of life!

David Bellamy has a very interesting article on global warming where he gives another point of view, Read the article

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Additional Solar Information Pages:

I Getting Started I Looking After A Leisure Battery I Solar Q&A I Links I Ohms Law I Wind Power I

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