Your solar battery not working as expected is the most frustrating thing you can experience as a solar lighting system owner. The lights switch off in the middle of the night, sometimes your appliances cannot get enough current for charging. Most of the time the solar issues are associated with the solar battery. If you experience this issues, can you fix a defective battery?
Among the issues we will dissect in this article include;
- How you can recharge a dead battery.
- Factors that determine if you can recharge a dead battery.
- How to tell if your battery is faulty.
- Reasons why your solar battery is failing.
- Maintenance tips for your solar battery and others.
By the end of this guide, you will be able to take good of your solar battery. You will also know if you need to replace a battery when its not changing.
Can a solar battery be repaired?
A solar battery can become faulty because of various reasons. One of the reasons might be as a result of your negligence. You need to take good care of your battery for it to last longer. Incase you notice the battery is not charging properly, or discharging at a high rate. Your battery might be dying. Here is how you repair a solar battery;
Low fluid level
Your solar battery might be having an issue because the fluid is depleted or below the required amount.
If that is the case, add distilled water inside the battery. Do not pass the marked line. Putting excess distilled water will cause a spillage.
Your battery might be having issues from a coating formed by chemical reaction on the terminals.
In that case, have a deep clean to remove the coating. You will also need to replace the fluid during a deep clean.
Charging a solar battery is one of the useful battery revival techniques. If the battery is drained completely, connect it to the solar panel and leave it to charge for 72 hours.
These are some simple methods you can use to revive a dying battery. You should however know that a battery that entirely dead cannot be repaired. A replacement is needed in that case.
Can you recharge a dead solar battery?
A solar panel primary function is to charge a solar battery. Most of the time the solar panel will be maintaining the charge in the battery rather than charge a dead battery. It is however possible to recharge a solar battery in case;
- The battery is in serviceable condition
You might think your battery is dead but it is only drained. The only solution for a dead battery is a replacement.
If your battery is drained, then you can leave the battery connected to the solar panel for at least 72 hours. Ensure you are using solar battery controllers when charging the battery for that long.
- The solar panel and the battery have the same voltage
If the solar battery and panel are from the same manufacturer, there is a likelihood they have the same voltage. The solar panel can therefore charge the solar battery in that case.
- If there is enough supply of sunlight energy
During hot days, the solar panel can harvest sufficient energy to charge your solar battery. This is when both the battery and the panel are in a good condition.
- When using a solar charge controller
Solar charge controllers improve the performance of the solar panel. A solar battery maintainer and a solar trickle charge harvest sunlight energy to charge even a dead battery.
If you are using solar charge controllers its impossible for your battery to drain completely.
How can you tell if a solar battery is bad?
If you are not knowledgeable about solar batteries, then it might be hard for you to tell the battery is bad. However, indicators of a bad are straightforward.
- Your battery is not charging properly
The solar battery cannot store charge for long. A fully charged battery can last up to four days of service.
- If there is a pool of liquid at the base of the battery. This indicates a leak.
- If the battery has bulged outside.
- Explosion or a fire.
- In case the battery cannot charge even when all other devices like solar panel are in the right condition.
What causes solar battery fail?
The first reason that might cause your solar battery to fail is negligence. If you ignore your battery for long, it will eventually cost you heavily. Your solar battery might be overcharging without your knowledge. Other factors that cause your solar battery to fail include;
- A defective solar panel and solar battery sensor.
- Poor quality solar lighting system.
- Not using a solar charge controllers.
Wrong set up which might be draining your battery.
These are just but a few reasons. There are other indicators that show your solar battery is failing.
How to get most out of solar batteries
Using solar energy to light up your residence is a lifetime investment. You will never have to part with any coin as electricity bills. To enjoy a longtime supply of the free energy, you should take good care of your solar battery. Below are four ways you can use to get most out of your solar battery.
- Charge the battery properly during the day
Solar batteries only charge during the day when there is sunlight energy. Ensure your solar panel is exposed to the sun. You should also use your solar appliances during the day when the battery is charging.
- Use only one appliance at once
You can charge a phone and other low power appliances during the day. For the big appliances, you should use one at a moment. For example do not connect the washing machine and take a shower simultaneously.
- Regularly check the condition of your home solar system
Checking if all the components of a solar lighting system is working properly at all times will save you a lot of frustration. Fix any issue you find and clean your solar panel.
- Use apps to monitor your solar lighting system
Latest solar lights can be monitored digitally. Providers like Powershop offers services that can help you monitor the use of your solar lighting system. You can check the current fed to the battery, and the charge level of the battery. You can check at what time your battery receives an overflow of power. You might decide to set up the washing machine to run when there is an overflow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does a solar battery charge last?
A fully charged battery will last up to 4 days of service if the battery is in good condition.
How long does a solar panel charge a drained battery?
It will take 5-8 hours to charge a drained battery when there is sufficient supply of sunlight energy.
How often should I clean my solar panel?
If you live in dusty area, you should wipe the solar panel frequently. However, proper cleaning should be done once or twice an year.
How often should I replace rechargeable batteries?
Rechargeable batteries last up to 4 years without need to replace.
Proper maintenance of your solar batteries will improve the performance of your batteries. Ensure you are using solar charge controllers and monitors to check the progress of your batteries.
A dead battery cannot be revive.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.