One of the key components of a home solar power system is the battery bank. All the power generated by the solar panel will go to the charge controller and end up in the battery.
The kind of battery used for a residential solar power system is the deep cycle type or marine boat batteries. The number of battery needed will depend on your energy requirement.
Since you are going to spend substantial amount of money on the battery bank, it makes sense to take good care of them. One way of doing so is to regularly check the fluid in the battery. In order to do this, you will need to learn how to use a battery hydrometer.
How do you use the hydrometer?
The battery hydrometer is a glass tube with a suction bulb that draws the electrolyte from the battery into the tube. When that happens, the float inside the tube begins to rise.
On the float, you will see some markings on it. You can see a long red strip, a narrow white strip and then a little wider green strip.
How do the markings work?
Well, if it floats off and it’s in the green marking, that means the battery is in pretty good shape. When more of the float sticks out of the electrolyte in the glass tube, meaning the stronger the battery is.
If it floats up until the white strip, that means the battery is only in a fair shape. If the electrolyte goes up into the red strip marking, the battery really needs to be reconditioned.
When that happens, the charge controller may not be able to charge the battery to its full potential with the energy from the solar panel. You may have to pull out the battery and send it for servicing and to get a full recharge.
What will happen if you were leave the battery there?
If you were to do so, the battery will reached a critical level of discharge and it may damage the battery permanently. As a good practice, a battery should not be discharged beyond the 50% mark before recharge.
Although a deep cycle battery can handle deep level discharge, doing it too often will reduce its efficiency.
If you are looking for a battery hydrometer for your home solar system
battery bank, check out the Imperial 5991 Battery Test Hydrometer. You can get it cheaply from Amazon.com.
Related web pages:
1) Michael Harvey Earth 4 Energy Review – Reviewing top selling DIY home solar power system guide on the web.