The goal of battery care and maintenance is to improve the battery’s performance and life. Battery life is a highly variable property that depends on a host of factors such as storage temperature and depth of discharge (DOD). The following needs to be observed during a battery inspection:
- Terminal rusting is the main problem of all batteries. Rusting in terminals reduces the current flow to and from the battery. This will considerably affect the life of battery and inverter efficiency. Maintenance-free batteries also need care against rusting in terminals. Contacts affected by rust restrict the charging current and slow down the rate of charging, which in turn reduces the life of the battery with irreversible.
Battery sulfation (external, on the connector)
- Clean the battery terminals at least once a month. About 80% of failures are caused by sulfation (a process where sulphur crystals form on the battery’s lead plates and prevent chemical reactions from happening). When the battery has a low charge or electrolyte level then sulfation occurs. Thus, it is very important to monitor, maintain and control sulfation in flooded batteries. To do this you will need distilled water, digital voltmeter, temperature compensating hydrometer and proper safety gear.
(Ref: Best Practices in Operation and Maintenance of Rooftop Solar PV Systems in India – GERMI)