Solar lights are a better environmentally friendly alternative for electricity. However, charging and maintaining the energy might be challenging, solar companies have come up with solutions. Battery tender and other maintainers reverse the discharge process when the battery is not in use.
Tenders come in different prices, sizes, and features which influence their effectiveness. To find out more about solar tenders and maintainers keep reading this guide.
Do Solar Battery Tenders Work?
If your battery is not in use, it slowly loses its charge. To counteract that action Solar tenders also known as solar maintainers are installed in Solar batteries. Solar tenders maintain some amount of charge in the battery to prevent complete drain. So how does this component work?
Solar tenders have a built-in processor which controls the charging and discharging of the battery. Not to be confused with a solar charge trickle which enables the battery to continue charging which might lead to overcharging. When a battery overcharges, it boils the plates which kill the battery eventually.
A solar maintainer can limit the amount of charge that enters the battery. Most solar battery tenders have a light indicator that shows the status of your battery. Other tenders display the status of your system in percentage. For example, the tender might display a 75% charge. The moment the battery charge gets to 100% the tenders stop any further charging.
Tenders have some amazing features and benefits that help maintain the life span and the charging power of the battery. Some of these benefits include;
- Automatic shutoff: a tender will stop any current from reaching the battery the moment it gets to 100%. This prevents overcharging which might cause an explosion and damage the battery.
- Improve battery lifespan: when the battery is not in use some charge is still lost. Batteries that are connected with maintainers will store some charge. This will make it easy to jumpstart the battery once you are ready to use it again. You should however use a solar trickle to enable charging.
- Variety of uses: It’s not solar batteries only that need to be maintained. Most tenders are compatible with other devices like RVs, cars, and motorcycles.
Above are just some of the benefits. This technology goes a long way to give you a simple soft life. When the battery lasts longer, you will enjoy the energy from the sun without incurring any extra cost. So how does this amazing device work?
How do you use a Battery Tender?
Battery tender manufacturers are getting creative with this technology. There are quite a several battery tenders that work differently. Using a tender for your solar battery is not hard. Most tenders are plugged into the battery and left to do their work.
- The first step is to connect the tender to your solar battery. You should learn the different types of tenders which have a unique different connection process.
- Once the tender is connected to the battery, the battery automatically detects the tender.
- Some tenders allow you to choose at what time you get a notification about your battery charging. For example, you can set the tender to give you a signal once the battery gets to 50%.
- Batteries are charged when there is sunlight during the day. Once the battery starts charging, the tender monitors the charging process. It will be easy to tell if your battery is not charging correctly.
- The tender stops any power from reaching the battery when fully charged.
- A tender is flexible and can be used for other devices. You should however read the manufacturer’s manual before connecting the tender to your battery.
How much does a solar Battery Tender Cost?
Prices for battery tenders differ depending on the size, accessories, and brand. We will look at the price of tenders on a standard basis.
- Low wattage tenders: This is the most affordable type of tender. They provide around 1.8 to five watts of power. Although they are affordable, they do not have accessories such as charge percentage indicators. You can find low-wattage tenders with $20-$30.
- Medium wattage: if you want tenders with more features than the low wattage but still affordable, then medium wattage tenders are the best option. These tenders provide about 6-10watts and costs around $30-$50 watts.
- High wattage: These are the best tenders in the market. They have most of the amazing features any tender has to offer. High wattage tenders provide about 18-20watts of power. You will part with $50-$80 but enjoy quality services for years.
Before buying any solar battery tender, read customers’ reviews.
Are Battery Tenders Worth it?
If you want to enjoy a long time of using free solar energy, invest in a high-quality battery tender. Several tenders offer different features. However, the main aim of using solar tender is their function of protecting your battery.
Why do I need to Maintain My Solar Batteries?
All Solar batteries regardless of the quality deteriorate over a long time. Some factors like overcharging the battery will damage the battery before their time is over. To prevent this, tenders limit the amount of charge entering the battery when it is charging.
Tenders also keep some amount of charge in the battery when the battery is not in use. This will increase the longevity of your solar battery.
How does a Solar Battery Maintainer Work?
- Solar Battery maintainer is mounted in a battery to regulate the amount of power supplied.
- It converts the energy from the sun into electrical energy which is used to light up your residence.
- Maintainers also limit any power from reaching the battery when the battery is fully charged.
- Solar tenders limit the battery from draining completely.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is solar battery trickle the same as a battery tender?
Both devices are important components of a solar battery. They however have different functions.
Solar battery trickle plays an important part in charging the battery in any weather condition. The huge problem with solar trickle is that it cannot detect when the solar battery is full and stop charging.
Solar tenders shut off any power from reaching the battery when the battery is full.
Can I use my solar tender trickle on my boat?
Solar tenders have a flexibility usage. You can use a tender on many devices like the boat. Ensure that the tender is facing sunlight directly to collect enough energy.
Is a solar tender waterproof?
Most manufacturers state that their devices are water and rust-resistant. You should however if your choice of maintainers offers that feature. Some clients complain that their solar tenders got damaged by moisture. For this reason, read the customer reviews before making a purchase.
How long does a battery with a tender last?
The life span of most solar batteries ranges from 5-20years. This depends on the type of the battery and the maintenance done for your battery. For example, overcharging may damage the batteries even within days.
Batteries with a tender can last longer since it shuts off the charging once the battery is full, store extra charge when the battery is not in use, and boost the performance of your solar batteries. If your battery has a charging issue even after you install a tender, check-up with the manufacturers for replacement.
Using solar lights to light up your will reduce the burden of paying huge electricity bills. You will all never suffer power loss as is the case with electricity. As much as solar is a cheap alternative, proper maintenance will give you a perfect experience for longer.
Invest in a solar battery tender to enjoy more years of free solar energy. This device boosts the performance of the battery while still increasing its life span. Solar tender is designed to automatically work once they are connected to the battery.
It is common to forget about the tender once it is connected. This makes it hard to know if the tender is working. You should check the tender regularly to see if it working as expected.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as an electrical and electronic 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”.