How to Improve the Performance of Solar Batteries in Winter
Winter weather can be very harsh on the performance of Solar Batteries. They can drastically reduce the battery capacity and lifespan. But we have a solution. With proper storage, maintenance and DOD, you can easily improve the performance of your Solar Batteries.
As you may already know, Solar batteries play an important role in charging Solar street lights when the sun goes down. Solar Panels store the energy collected in these Solar Batteries to illuminate the lights later.
What Happens to Solar Batteries in Winter
During the winter season, the days are shorter. Thus, it is of great importance for solar batteries to work effectively. It’ll get the desired results in that short time span.
You may not know this:
Most batteries have a rating of 77℉ and operate between 50-85℉. Now solar batteries lose around 10% capacity for every 15 to 20℉ below 80℉. Their internal chemistry slows down. Resistance increases causing charge acceptance and battery capacity to drop.
This is quite a normal phenomenon. But in winters, it can become a hindrance. As solar production becomes lower and there is the highest load when capacity gets lower.
You can implement a few mechanisms and improve the performance of your Solar batteries instantly.
Here’s How to Improve Solar Batteries’ Health in Winter Season
1. Better Storage Solutions
Most common battery storage solutions include in shelters, handmade boxes or refrigerators. These battery storage spaces don’t provide enough protection from the harsh cold weather. Furthermore, in summers these closed spaces tend to overcharge the batteries. It can lead to battery deterioration and shorter life span.
To improve the battery life, you should keep the Solar batteries in a well-insulated storage. This storage should have appropriate thermal mass and protection from direct sunlight.
If for any reason, the batteries can’t be protected, you may have to buy extra batteries for compensating the reduction in battery capacity.
For unused batteries like Li-ion batteries, discharge them to 40%. Then, store it with temperatures ranging between 41-68℉.
2. Use High-Quality Charge Controllers and BMS
Solar Charge Controllers act as a monitoring mechanism to optimise the charging process. Also, they prevent your solar batteries from overcharging. High-quality smart charge controllers detect when the battery temperature is about to drop. Further, they help the solar cells to reach 100% state of charge.
Now, this is very important in winters.
FYI: Cold batteries need a higher-voltage charging than warm batteries to achieve the similar state of charge.
BMS or a Battery Management System is a necessary for Li-ion batteries. A BMS prevents the lower-capacity solar cells from overcharging. Also, it maximizes the overall capacity of solar batteries. Not just that, A BMS can even help protect batteries against extreme weather conditions.
3. Checking the Batteries for Regular Maintenance
Checking the solar batteries for regular maintenance is an activity that you must perform even for zero or low maintenance batteries.
Check the battery manuals for guidelines on regular maintenance.
Maintenance steps vary on the basis of the type of batteries. The general maintenance steps may include checking fluid levels, voltage level, adding distilled water or just checking if the terminal connection is secure.
As an example, for Li-ion batteries we use in our Solar Street lights, dissipative techniques can be used for periodic maintenance of solar batteries.
Whichever Solar Batteries you may be using, these expert tips will effectively improve the performance and lifespan of your batteries throughout the winter season.
If you are interested to learn more strategies and care techniques for your solar batteries, you can talk to our solar experts and they will properly assist you with all the solutions.