How to recondition your old solar batteries?
The world population is increasing exponentially and so is the need for energy for home, office and industrial use. Unfortunately, the non renewable energy resources and depleting with an ever increasing rate. It is estimated that we would exhaust our present resources in next 100 years. Scientists and researchers are already looking for alternatives and one of the most promising scenario is Solar Energy, the most freely available and never ending source of power.
The only downside of the solar energy applications is the yearly depletion of solar batteries which are presently an essential component of solar energy based applications. You need to replace these batteries every 5-7 years to keep your solar energy system at its optimum potential and that can be expensive. So! Is there a decent option to reduce or cut back on solar battery replacement necessity?
Yes, there is a way. Why not recondition your exhausted solar batteries rather than altogether buy new ones? Why not save money by reconditioning your old solar batteries and make them almost as good as new ones?
In this article, we would give you some smart tips about how to recondition your old liquid vented solar batteries and save some precious bucks. So here you go:
Understanding the basics
- Remember! Reconditioning batteries are implemented to revive the old batteries. Using this technique, you can save tons of money as well as eliminating the expense of replacing the old solar panel batteries again and again.
- There are basically 2 to 3 methods of reconditioning your old solar batteries. They are very simple and require little or basic technical expertise. Additionally, the process is very cheap and even if you fail, you won't lose any money in attempting it. You can even establish it as a small scale business if you are successful in your efforts.
- The very first and important thing to understand is that not all batteries are same technically. Every battery type has its peculiar reconditioning procedure and you must know about your particular battery type before attempting the process.
- Here we will explain you the reconditioning process of the most commonly used battery i.e. Lead Acid Battery.
Step - 1
Before starting the reconditioning, you need to measure the charge on your battery. This can be done through instruments like “Millimeter”. If your millimeter reads 0V, it means that your battery is completely drained and unsuitable for reconditioning process. Remember! It is not easy to recondition completely dead batteries. You can still do the process manually, but we won't recommend to recondition a totally dead battery since it contains harmful acids and need specialized equipment.
Step - 2
If your battery shows some life, then it is time to move to the second step. Most people use mechanical methods for the old battery reconditioning purpose, while you can use certain special devices as well. It is usual for 50% of the people to freeze the batteries for 24 hours before attempting to recondition them. This is done to drain ions completely for making the battery completely empty before reconditioning it.
Step - 3
It is the time to open the battery for a peek inside. In a sealed battery, you will find it covered on the top. Just remove it with a flat screw driver. Under the cover, you will find three rubber cap covered holes. Remove the caps too, and have a look inside. In most probabilities you would find the inside of your battery totally dry. This gives you a reason for the lower voltage how of your battery. The most important thing in such a case is to rehydrate your battery.
Step - 4
It is time to add in ample amounts of distilled water to your old solar panel battery to activate its acids again. Fill a syringe few time with distilled water and pour it in the battery (until the water come out from all holes).
Measure the voltage after you have poured in distilled water. You will find it increased by a certain number of volts. If not, then there is nothing to worry about.
Step - 5
After filling the battery with the water we need to make sure it's mixed with dried acid inside the battery to reactivate it. Charge your freshly hydrated battery with a 12 volts DC output (10Amps). You can use any DC charger between 12-9 V for this purpose.
After connecting your battery with a charger, wait for 5 minutes. You should see the liquid inside the battery oozing bubbles.
If you observe no bubbles for over 5 minutes, then you need to reverse negative and positive. Wait for another 3 minutes. CAUTION! This is an unsafe step so you must remain away from the battery at this time.
This time over you must see bubbles forming inside your old solar battery. Cut off the power instantly and reconnect the leads in the original correct way. Charge your battery like this for at least 24 hours to make it hold the charge. Recheck the battery charge after 24 hours with your voltmeter. It would give you a complete reading.
You have a reconditioned battery in your hands. Enjoy using it while it lasts. For other types of Battery, you will need to order the Battery Reconditioning Book.