Batteries have been the most difficult challenge facing any back up or primary energy system. This challenge is hardest for people with limited funds. If money is no object you can buy your way into battery nirvana.
What is a battery? Batteries are devices that convert stored chemical energy into useful electrical energy. I guess that simplifies it enough.
What types of batteries are used for renewable energy or back up? VRLA or Valve Regulated Lead Acid (commonly called Sealed or maintenance free), Flooded lead acid and Lithium Iron Batteries. The most commonly used today are sealed or maintenance free batteries. They come in two technologies. AGM or Gel. Gel add silica to the acid to make it putty like minimizing spills. AGM or absorbed glass mat uses fiber glass between the plates to trap or contain the electrolytes. Lithium Iron is similar to what is used in your laptops and hand held devices. The other type of battery that is used is the flooded lead acid battery. They have electrolyte covering the lead plate and are not spill proof and require that you check and periodically top up the batteries with distilled water.
AWPS Energy LTD uses flooded lead acid batteries for a number of reasons. They can tolerate the abuse of being discharged and recharged better. As long as you fully charge them once a week they are fine. The AGM and GEL require that you fully charge them daily. As a battery goes through a charge and discharge cycle you are bound to lose some electrolyte. In your maintenance free batteries you are not able to replace the electrolyte you lose. If you over charge them and they vent, you have lost some gel or putty. This shortens the life of the battery.
What voltage does my battery have to be charged to for daily use? It varied from manufacturer to manufacturer. Trojan recommends a daily charge 14.8 V for your 12 V battery. Most people believe that at 12V a battery is fully charged. At 12 V your battery is 55 to 60% discharged. It is fully charged at about 12.75 V.
To get your batteries to last a long time, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and charge them properly. If you frequently run out of batteries we advise you to increase your battery bank