Your Solar Battery
Used Fork Lifts
|The success of your solar
system will be greatly determined by your choice of storage batteries.
It is important to understand the difference between motive batteries
and deep-cycle batteries.
Motive batteries (automotive batteries) are not suitable for use with solar systems because continued discharging causes internal damage. These starter batteries, used to start engines, are not designed for the continual charging and discharging of a solar collection system.
Deep-cycle recreational batteries such as R.V. or marine batteries can be used for very small systems but do not have the capacity for multiple charges and discharges over many years. Golf cart batteries are slightly more expensive but are better suited for small systems.
Industrial strength batteries are the best choice for solar systems. These deep-cycle (usually lead-acid) batteries are designed for regular charging and discharging. With proper care, they will give you many years of reliable service. The size of your system will determine the size and number of storage batteries needed.
Industrial strength batteries are of three types, lead-acid (flooded), gel, and AGM (absorbed glass mat). The nature of the construction of the industrial battery, including the thick, solid lead plates, provides a significantly longer battery life.
When planning for placement of your storage batteries, be aware that lead-acid batteries cannot be used indoors. If they are used inside an enclosure, a good venting system to expel the gas released during charging is necessary. Lead-acid batteries have caps to add water lost as expelled gas. Reasonably priced, lead-acid batteries are an excellent choice for solar systems due to their construction, long life expectancy, and charging characteristics.
Newer on the market are sealed gel batteries which can be used indoors because no venting is required. Even though they are sealed, they also require maintenance. Great care must be taken to not over-charge gel batteries as that will shorten battery life.
Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries have a woven glass mat between the battery plates to hold the electrolytes. They are leak/spill-proof and do not release gas when charging. However, they are the most expensive of the storage batteries. Life expectancy appears comparable to lead-acid batteries.
Lead-acid batteries are a good choice for economical and reliable storage for your solar system.