Winter Battery Care for Your Solar Batteries
As the weather cools down and meteorologists warn about the first snowfall, now is the time for homeowners to start thinking about winter protection for their solar panel system and winter battery care. Winter is great for things like ice skating, but not so great for solar power lovers, as the season brings with it shorter days, which equate to less power generation, and colder temperatures, which equate to risky battery conditions.
While there is nothing you can do about the shortened days, there are some winter battery care and solar panel care steps you can follow to keep your system running at its best throughout the cold and snow. For example, when it comes to your solar panels, you will want to keep a soft-brushed broom or roof rake on hand to remove snow that builds up. And when it comes to winter battery care, you'll want to know the following advice:
Winter Battery Care for Solar Batteries
- Inspect the battery pack. Choose a weekend in November to inspect the entirety of your solar system, including paying special attention to the battery pack. Flooded lead acid battery packs should be topped off with distilled water and all batteries should have their connections cleaned of rust, grime, and other contaminants. If you live in a humid environment or expect that the battery packs might endure moisture, apply copper grease around the connections. Copper grease is great for preventing those sensitive components from becoming too damp.
- Add insulation if necessary. If you have your solar batteries stored anywhere but a fully climate-controlled space, then adding insulative materials is a key winter battery care tip. Start by making sure that your batteries are placed atop wood or similar material that won't transmit cold easily. A wooden pallet is great for this, as it both will provide that wooden base and offer space below in which you can add extra insulation. Either stuff the pallet itself or lie safe insulative materials like styrofoam or foil-backed bubblewrap beneath the solar batteries. This lower layer of insulation will further prevent coldness from being transmitted from the bottom and keep the batteries themselves warm. Note, however, you should not add this or any other type of DIY insulation at the top of the batteries, as it could short them out.
- Add a thermometer and invest in a trickle charger. One of the reasons why cold weather is so bad for solar batteries and why you need to follow more active winter battery care advice is because cold temperatures will elicit batteries to self-discharge. A battery that discharges too much will quickly become a dead battery or a battery that will never recharge fully again. A proactive winter battery care tip to avoid this is to add a thermometer to your battery pack and regularly inspect it for temperature changes. When you notice coldness, check the battery voltage and use a trickle charger or full battery charger whenever the voltage levels sit at or dips below 12 volts DC. Note, you should talk to your solar system contractor or the manufacturer of your solar batteries before investing in a charger, as there is a big difference between the right and wrong charger.
Learn More About Winter Battery Care & Other Battery Advice
Worried about the incoming cold weather? Not sure exactly how to follow the above winter battery care advice? In either case, our team at MK Battery is here for you. Contact us to learn more about winter battery care advice and how to buy the best solar batteries for your home energy needs.