Blog

8 Things to Know About Off-Grid Flooded Lead Acid Battery Maintenance


November 13, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Batteries


Share

Any Glass-Slapper getting into serious off-grid work will eventually bump up against FLA batteries. FLA batteries are time-tested, temperature-friendly, and cheap. If well-sized and maintained, they can last years.  The most cost-effective micro-grid might multiple battery chemistries, with FLA bank providing base load and more expensive, responsive batteries providing peak-shaving.

We recently specified eight Hawker FLA PV-1 batteries for a 122 kwh off-grid project. It’s now time for commissioning and we need to provide the client with instructions on battery maintenance and take a closer look at the watering kit that comes with these off-gassing batteries.

Here is the battery manual.

1. Safety First

batterywarnings

2. Let your battery charge to full and then "synchronize" the voltage

battery_synchronize

3. Your 48V battery should charge to more than 48V.

battery_settings

Our Schneider Conext XW+ inverter and charge controller system came pre-programmed for charging 48V batteries, but we still had to enter the Ah size of our battery bank. Don’t forget to check the settings in each system¬†component to make sure they’re all uniform.

4. Check the specific gravity to track the state of charge.

battery_specificgravity

One advantage of an FLA bank to sealed batteries is that you can directly measure the specific gravity. Charging the specific gravity at a full charge over time is necessary for battery maintenance logs and will indicate when it’s time to replace your batteries.

5. Use a hydrometer to measure specific gravity.

battery_hydrometer

6. Tracking specific gravity changes will also tell you when to perform your equalization maintenance.

battery_equalize

7. De-Ionize your water before adding to the battery.

battery_deionizer

8. A "direct fill link" plus a cell-to-cell battery watering system makes watering our two 48V batteries banks a simple task.

battery_directfillink

Our batteries came with a watering kit connections to connect to a watering system that makes this weekly maintenance task easier. However, we had to call Hawker technical support to identify the exact watering spout, which evidently depends on the distributor your purchase from.

6. Water your batteries after a full charge.

battery_waterspout

One advantage of an FLA bank to sealed batteries is that you can directly measure the specific gravity. Charging the specific gravity at a full charge over time is necessary for battery maintenance logs and will indicate when it’s time to replace your batteries.

9. Review your weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance tasks.

battery_weekly
battery_weekly2
battery_monthly
battery_monthly2
battery_yearly

10. Permanently record your logs the SolarCoin blockchain to support solar while maintaining public, paperless warranty compliance.

Author: John Cromer, instructor

We’re on a mission to reduce system cost and increase production value.

Comments