Batteries store electricity generated by the Solar PV Panels and thus, are a critical part of Off-Grid and Hybrid Solar PV Systems. Batteries should be regularly and carefully maintained to ensure their long useful life and the safety of the system.
Battery maintenance comprises of three major activities:
- Inspecting and cleaning regularly
- Checking the electrolyte level (not for Gel Batteries)
- Keeping the batteries in a high state of charge
Here, we shall discuss battery inspection & cleaning.
Battery Inspection & Cleaning:
A visual inspection should be regularly carried out to ascertain the general condition of the Solar PV System’s batteries. One should look out for electrolyte leaks, cracks in the batteries or corrosion at the terminals or connectors.
The batteries and their enclosure should be clean, dry and free of any electrolyte or corrosion residue. Corrosion at the battery terminals shows up as a white coating around the battery terminals, as shown below. Batteries should be cleaned at least once a month.
If you spot any leaks or corrosion residue, please consult with your installer immediately.
- Wear safety goggles when performing battery maintenance
- Wear protective & chemical-resistant rubber gloves to protect your hands from battery acid
- If any acid is spilt, neutralise it with a solution of water and bi-carbonate soda
- Always use tools with insulated handles
- DO NOT smoke or light fire near batteries.
Before any battery maintenance is carried out, each component of the Solar PV System should be isolated. The procedure is as follows:
- Disconnect all loads from the system. Disconnect all the Solar PV Panels. Turn off the circuit breaker to and from the batteries.
- Make sure the caps on the batteries are tightly sealed to keep impurities from entering the battery. Wipe the battery with a damp cloth.
- Maintenance of gel cell and AGM batteries relates only to the battery terminals and connections. Wipe them till they are shiny.
You should connect the loads and the Solar PV Panels back to the batteries and turn on the system again only when you make sure that the battery enclosure is dry and free of any spare equipment.
Click here to know more about Virtuous Energy’s maintenance services.