Battery charge and discharge cycle

What happens when solar batteries are charged and discharged?

When batteries are full the acid is at its strongest and at it’s weakest (diluted) when empty. Simply put the process of charging and discharging a battery involves the transfer of sulphur from the acid solution to the plates and vice versa.

If you’ve heard someone say that their batteries are exhausted because they are badly sulphated that’s when the sulphur has been on the plates for too long. If your solar battery is frequently flat, or partially charged for extended periods of time they get sulphated. The longer the sulphur remains on the plates the harder it gets to remove it by charging them.

This is why it’s vitally important that the renewable energy source (solar panels / wind turbine) must be capable of regularly fully charging the batteries. Similarly the loads or appliances connected must not frequently fully empty them.

Choosing the right power and type of batteries for a solar power kit is very important. This process is often referred to as system sizing.

If the batteries are exposed to freezing temperatures they are more likely to freeze if the liquid (electrolyte) is less like acid and more like water. Keep your batteries charged to stop Jack Frost form ruining them 🙂

How to design your own solar power or lighting kit