Once batteries start to fail, the potential for power loss is increased, especially in colder climates. You can help to maximize your battery life by taking into account these 3 tips:
- Watch out for a complete discharge: If you want to do damage to your batteries then discharge them completely and let them sit that way. This normally only happens if something has gone wrong so keep an eye out for critters going after cables or problems with wiring etc. Lots of charge controllers can now offer an LVD (Low Voltage Disconnect) option which can save the batteries from draining completely by shutting down the load.
- Choose the right battery type: Do you mind doing upkeep on your bank? Do you feel confident that you can care for your bank throughout the years? Or do you want to set it and forget it? AGM batteries are a smarter choice if you don’t want much maintenance and flooded-lead acid batteries require more attention.
- Charge your batteries to 100%: Charging your batteries to 100% before use is a great way to increase their longevity. Therefore, its not a bad idea to slightly undersize your bank so that you can make sure to charge them to 100%. Charging your batteries will sulphate them, but using the batteries desulfates them. Therefore, if you are only able to lightly charge your batteries (not getting them to 100%), because you have an oversized battery bank, you wont desulfate enough which leads to sulphate build up and a lower lifespan for your batteries. That is why it can be a good idea to slightly undersize your bank!