Solar cells convert energy as long as there is sunlight although they do not store energy. Batteries are used to store energy produced by photovoltaic arrays and supply it to electrical loads as needed.
- For strong battery life it is recommended not to deep cycle (run the charge all the way down) repeatedly.
- Depth of Discharge (DOD)_ The amount of charge remaining.
- Battery capacity is measured in amp-hours (Ah).
- Batteries are rated by the expected number of charge cycles as well as the maximum discharge current.
- Cold temperatures reduce battery output while hot temperatures increase deterioration.
- Batteries can last between 5 to 7 years
There Are Two Types of Batteries
FLA (Flooded Lead Acid):
- More common and less expensive
- Require maintenance to add water and prevent corrosion
- Require good air circulation to prevent gases from accumulating to explosive levels or causing corrosion of other equipment
- They can deteriorate quickly if the fluid levels drop and the plate oxidize
AGM (Sealed Absorbent Glass Mat):
- Also called sealed lead-acid batteries
- Do not leak or produce corrosive gases
- Do not require vented compartments