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Deep cycle batteries for solar power systems

- Feb 08, 2018 -

Deep cycle batteries for solar power systems

Solar Batteries (Deep Cycle Batteries) are a key component in a stand-alone renewable energy system. If you are installing a wind, solar panel or hydroelectric system that will be tied to your utility grid, you will still need deep cycle batteries if you are trying to use power in the event of an outage. Without deep cycle batteries, you can only use power at the time you produce it (i.e. you will not have power when the sun isn't out if you don't have batteries in your solar electric system).

In renewable energy systems, deep cycle batteries provide the energy storage for your system. Unlike your car battery, deep cycle batteries that are used in renewable energy applications are meant to be discharged and recharged (cycled) repeatedly. To maintain healthy batteries and prolong battery life, most manufacturers suggest limiting the depth of discharge to about 20%. (That means the deep cycle batteries will be at 80% capacity or better.) At the very least, do not allow the batteries to be discharged below 50% Depth of Discharge (DOD). Often an inverter will have a Low Voltage Disconnect feature that will disconnect loads at a given set point. Low voltage alarms can provide audible warnings as well. Ammeters, Voltmeters, Battery Monitors can help better maintain deep cycle battery health and provide statistics about the overall health of the system.


When selecting deep cycle batteries for storage from your solar array or wind turbine, you'll have the option to use flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries, sealed batteries (AGM or Gel cell) or lithium batteries. Keep in mind that FLA batteries require a bit of maintenance, however, they generally last longer than their sealed counterparts. Water miser vent caps, which reduces battery watering, can reduce the frequency that the deep cycle batteries need watering. You'll need one vent cap for each 2 V cell.

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