- What does the 20 hour rate mean?
- Why can the Solar-One® with HuP® technology be discharged so deep?
- Does “free shipping” mean that the Solar-One® with HuP® technology will be delivered to my door?
- Do I need to build a special battery box for my batteries?
- Why is the Solar-One® with HuP® technology in a steel case?
- What affect does temperature have on batteries?
- How do I dispose of spent Lead-Acid batteries
- Can the Solar-One® with HuP technology be purchased “Dry Charged”
- How large of a battery will need?
Q. What does the 20 hour rate mean?
A. All lead acid batteries need to have bench marks so they can be rated and compared equally. If a battery is discharged at a lower rate over a longer period of time it will deliver more power, on the other side of the coin, if the battery is discharged very fast at higher rates the battery will deliver less power. Because our homes have variable loads at different times of the day the Renewable Energy industry has adopted the 20 hour rate. This has been the standard for Renewable Energy for many years because it has proved to be as close as possible to the actual rate of discharge when all things are considered. Don’t be fooled by ratings of the 100 hr/rate. In our opinion it is a marketing ploy to make the battery appear to cost less and look larger on paper.
Q. Why can the Solar-One® be discharged so deep?
A. There are many factors that determine the maximum amount of power that can safely be taken out of the battery for a given number of times. This is called the “Depth of Discharge” or DOD. The first is the chemical composition of the positive plate. For deep cycling, a precise amount of antimony is added to the grid structure while it is being created. Then the active material (also called “paste”) that actually does the work is applied to the grid structure. The thickness of the the active material (paste) is the second most necessary requirement for deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries have fewer, but thicker plates than shallow cycle batteries. An example of shallow cycle batteries are car batteries that have many thin plates made with a calcium additive in the frame.
Q. Does “free shipping” mean that the Solar-One® will be delivered to my door?
A. Not necessarily. Free shipping means the battery will be shipped from the factory to the nearest business with a forklift (building supply, hardware store etc.), or compatible truck terminal.
Q. Do I need to build a special battery box for my batteries?
A. We strongly recommend that your system be installed to the satisfaction of your local building codes. Different electrical and building inspectors have the final say, but as a rule of thumb your battery box or room must be labeled, have a ventilation system, and must be able to contain a leaking battery.
Q. Why is the Solar-One® in a steel case?
A. Each 2 volt cell of the battery is built into a rugged plastic jar. The jar is very good at containing the acid, but is not suitable for supporting the heavy lead plates. The steel case does two things. It protects the battery while in shipment and also supports the side walls of the cells preventing slumping of the jar. Never leave the cells out of the case for more than a few hours.
Q. What affect does temperature have on batteries?
A. Temperature is also one of the variables found in the second faq. Because batteries are a chemical reaction, and chemical reactions change with temperatures, we need a bench mark. All Lead-Acid batteries use 77°F – 80°F to determine capacity. It also comes into play when using a hydrometer. Lower temperatures cause lower interaction of the chemicals and thereby reduce capacity. Higher temperatures have the opposite effect. Lower or higher temperatures must also be taken into account when charging your battery. Most of today’s charge controllers and inverter\chargers have temperature compensating abilities.
Q. How do I dispose of spent Lead-Acid batteries
A. Spent Lead-Acid batteries can usually be disposed of at your local landfill, but only if your landfill or transfer station is capable of handling batteries. DO NOT THROW AWAY BATTERIES. When recycled, virtually 100% of lead-acid batteries are reclaimed and reprocessed into new batteries. The second option would be to check with your local recycling company. If neither of the above are available in your area please contact us so we can help.
Q. Can the Solar-One® be purchased “Dry Charged”
Q. How large of a battery will need?
A. Here’s the formula: (Daily Power Consumption kWh) X (Days of Autonomy) X (1.2 80%DOD) x (1.3 System Losses) = Battery capacity.
Many of today’s Renewable Energy homes use between 5 and 10 kWh each day. This may not sound like much when compared to your current power bill, but with the right planning, appliance selection, proper equipment, and a mind-set geared towards conservation, 5-10 kWh can be a lot of energy. Another factor will be your location. If you live in northern climates where sunshine is scarce in the winter, we would like to see about 3 days of battery reserve. In sunny climates 2 days can be used. If your site has enough hydro power then even 1 day of reserve battery power can work. Wind power can also be considered, but depending on where you live it can be unpredictable as to when it will provide you any energy. In our opinion, a maximum of 5 days reserve can be build into the system, but we prefer 2-3 days.