Category: Battery

What Are the Advantages and Uses of a Solar Deep Cycle Battery?

Deep cycle batteries are designed to give you stable power output for an extended time. Here’s how to make the most of this amazing battery in South Africa.

What is a deep cycle battery?

“Deep cycle” is not necessarily a single battery type, but rather a term used to describe various batteries that can undergo frequent full charges and a subsequent deep discharge. This means they deliver 80% to 100% of their power over an extended period of time, giving you consistent and stable power supply.

This contrasts the way other types of batteries work. A car battery, for example, is designed to give users a quick burst of power to help start the engine. There are different types of batteries, such as a lead-acid battery or lithium-ion battery, that can be considered “deep cycle”.

How does it work?

The design of deep cycle batteries is adapted to withstand repeated charging and discharging cycles. They use denser active material and thicker battery plates. Thicker plates help the battery life last longer.

These plates are also solid lead instead of sponge, giving less surface area. This means less instant power such as that in a starter battery, but also allows this battery to discharge 80% of its power over and over. Even though they can discharge up to 100% of their power, manufacturers often recommend that the charge level not be dropped below 45% on a regular basis.

What are the uses of this type of battery?

Because these batteries are lightweight, quick to charge, and long-lasting, they’re ideal for a wide range of uses. Lithium-ion technology is often used in marine applications, such as watercraft. Deep cycle applications are vast because they give users sustained energy levels.

One of the biggest and most popular applications is to use deep cycle batteries for solar power storage. They act as a large solar battery bank, storing the energy you collect via solar panels but do not use. Then, on a rainy day, you can use the power in this battery to power your home.

People use these batteries in recreational vehicles, golf cars, forklifts, and other commercial applications, too. They can handle many discharge cycles and the rate of discharge is stable enough to rely on for long periods. This is ideal for solar systems and backup power systems.

Explore our deep cycle solar battery options today to find the ideal solution for your off-grid power system.

How to charge a deep cycle battery?

The way you charge it makes a major difference to the battery life. While lead-acid batteries need to be charged in multiple sessions to reach their full capacity, lithium-ion batteries can be fully charged in just one session.

A dead battery is never good, because it means it has lost all its charge. The chemical reaction inside can result in reduced battery capacity. When using a battery that is frequently completely discharged, you may notice it does not reach its original capacity. For this reason, you should aim to charge the battery fully whenever the need arises.

How to extend the life of a deep cycle battery?

Proper charging plays a big role in extending your battery’s life. Regular maintenance is also important. You can enjoy continuous power for longer by applying the below steps.

1. Avoid opportunity charging.

“Opportunity charging” means plugging the battery in whenever you feel like it for bursts of time throughout the day but not letting it charge fully. Instead of charging the battery here and there whenever you get a chance, you can extend its life by giving it a change to charge in a full cycle every day.

This conditions the battery, preventing sulfation damage to the plates. A battery that is properly conditioned holds its charge better, and the battery life does not deteriorate as fast. Preserve the cycle life of your battery by avoiding opportunity charging.

2. Know when it needs to charge.

You can protect your battery by learning about its depth of discharge specs. If you discharge it to 80% of its capacity, but always recharge it to 100%, you can generally expect to get 220 complete cycles of use out of it. If, however, you only discharge it to 50% each time before charging it, you could get 750 complete cycles!

The thing is, constantly charging it could also damage it. One should not charge it after only 10% of the load has been discharged, for example. It’s all about charging at the right time. Not too much, and not too little. In this way, you can vastly extend your battery’s life.

3. Keep it at optimum ambient operating temperature.

Keep it in a location that is room temperature and dry. Battery temperature plays a big role in the rate of discharge and longevity of the device. Battery manufacturers suggest avoiding freezing temperatures and extreme heat. Batteries stored in extreme freezing temperatures or heat break down much faster.

4. Use the best storage & maintenance.

When you aren’t using it, it’s best to keep it fully charged. Many batteries have a slow self-discharge, but deep cycle solar batteries often only have a 2-5% discharge when not in use. Battery maintenance, in this case, means checking to see how much charge it is holding while not in use. If its self-discharge level is high, it may mean you need to replace some cells.

5. Use a slow charging method.

You can extend your battery life by charging it as slowly as possible. Charging it overnight is an excellent example, or if you use it for solar power, charging it during the day to use at night. This benefits your battery’s internal components and is preferable to only charging it for a few hours at a time. Rapid charging often increases the internal temperature, which is why you should avoid it if you want your battery to last longer.

What deep cycle battery do I need?

The type you need depends on its application. You can also look at the key factor list below:

  • Type. You can choose between lead-acid deep cycle batteries and AGM batteries, Gelled Electrolyte (or gelled batteries), and Flooded (or wet cell batteries).
  • Size. Its physical size can influence things if you need it for applications where lightweight, small-sized batteries are ideal.
  • Rate of Discharge. The rates of discharge can be significant, because larger batteries may give you longer periods of sustained power use.
  • Amp-Hour Capacity or Charge Efficiency. Different size batteries give you different volumes of power or kilowatt hours. If you need more power, you may need a larger size. A 20-hour discharge when in use may be ideal for your needs if you want to use it for solar in your home.
  • The Green Factor. Environmentally, lithium-ion batteries are much safer and cleaner.
  • Charge Time. The time it takes to fully charge may matter, depending on what you want to use it for.
  • Shelf Life. Some batteries have a longer shelf life than others because of their size, the materials they are made of, their maximum voltage, and their durability in cold temperatures (etc). Longer-lasting options are ideal for electric systems that need constant voltage and are used routinely.

Battery companies can help you find the right one for your needs. Battery life and performance are key when you want to use a deep cycle battery for solar. You can speak to us about solar battery solutions and the proper care of your battery.


Further reading: relion; mkbattery;


The Need for Solar Batteries

If you believe in all things green or have decided to go off the grid due to convenience, care and cost – whichever way you view the situation you are going to need a little knowledge on how solar batteries will work for you and your solar system.

Many home owners that are planning on installing a solar panel system don’t usually concern themselves with the many choices of solar batteries that are available. But there are many home owners as well as other solar energy users who are planning on installing a solar energy system that will be 100% off the grid or that at the very least, have emergency backup power. If this is the case you will most certainly need to learn a little about solar and be able to navigate your way around solar battery systems.

When properly managed a solar electricity storage system can prove to be a reliable and affordable method of powering your home or business.

Grid-Tie and Off-Grid Battery Systems:

Did you know that there are two different kinds of solar battery storage systems – these include grid-tie with battery back-up and off-grid?

Off-grid systems are independent of the grid. When it is dark and on cloudy days, off-grid solar homes rely on their solar batteries for power.

Peak generation of solar electricity happens around about midday with peak consumption usually happening at night when lights and appliances are turned on.

To power a home reliably; a battery bank must be able to efficiently charge in a couple of hours of intense sunlight and discharge during the night-time hours.

Solar batteries designed for this environment are referred to as deep-cycle batteries.

The most common solar deep-cycle batteries are referred to as being flooded, gelled lead-acid batteries and AGM.

These are three types of solar batteries that are able to discharge repeatedly, yet have low discharge rates.

Grid-tied systems with battery backup only use batteries when there is a power outage, but during normal operation, DC power form the solar panels is passed through a grid-tie inverter that converts it to AC power.

Always check with your supplier.

PHD Powerhouse – The Myriad Uses of Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium Batteries, or Lithium Ion Batteries, are used in a wide range of applications. In a high-tech world where technology has far-reaching uses from across the board, these batteries have made great inroads.

Lithium ion batteries are found in many devices such as laptops, cell phones, PDA’s and iPods. Because these batteries are some of the most robust rechargeable batteries, they are commonly used in countless devices.

These batteries stand apart from other more commonly-used batteries as they have a high charge density and high cost per unit, and all depending on the design as well as the chemical combinations and compounds in the batteries, the lithium cells can produce voltages ranging from 1.5 Volts to 3.7 Volts.

Take note that disposable lithium batteries differ from secondary lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries which are all rechargeable – the ions in these batteries are transferred between the anode and the cathode which uses an interchangeable lithium compound instead of lithium metal as the connection material.

Lithium metal is known to be unstable, especially during the recharging stages; therefore research has shifted to a non-metallic lithium battery whereby lithium ions are commonly used and although lithium-ion batteries are a tad lower in energy density than lithium metal, lithium-ion batteries are a safer option provided certain caution is taken whilst charging or re-charging these batteries.

Royal 100A
Use Basic, Simple Guidelines to Ensure You Buy the Right Battery Charging Units

Don’t make your battery charging units an afterthought when investing in rechargeable batteries – batteries and chargers go hand-in-glove like peas and carrots.

It is no secret that good battery charging units make an excellent base for batteries that are long-lasting and perform at their peak.

Because users are usually unaware of how important a good power source is and that it could make a profound difference, it is important to investigate battery charging units at the start of a project and not at the , after all the hardware has been completed – this is especially important under adverse conditions.

When investing in battery charging units you need to:

  • Invest in the right charger for the right battery, which will make a world of difference – and because       many chargers are able to service only one chemistry at a time, ensure that the voltage matches up with the charger.
  • Charging a larger battery will take a lot longer than a smaller package, with the same applying in reverse.
  • High wattage chargers will minimise the charging times and there are limitations as to how quickly batteries are charged – bear in mind that extra-quick charging will cause undue stress to the battery.
  • Lead acid chargers should switch over to float charge when they are full.
  • Nickel-based chargers need to switch over to trickle charge when batteries are fully charged.
  • Li-ion will not be able to switch to trickle when full as they are unable to absorb any overcharging.
  • Bear in mind that lead acid batteries should stay lukewarm, and nickel-based batteries will get warm to the touch only at the end of the charge.

Always be aware of the temperature of batteries when they are charging..

BatteryHow it works
If You Wonder How Batteries Work

For those that have always wondered how solar and batteries work in conjunction with each other, there is a simple explanation.

How batteries work:

Solar panels charge batteries.

Solar batteries work by the conversion of the AC energy that is produced in the solar panels and is stored in the form of DC power in batteries to be used at a later stage.

In some instances, though, solar batteries have their own inverter and therefore are able to incorporate integrated energy conversions. Larger solar systems will always require a battery that has a bigger capacity for storage of DC power. When solar batteries are installed as part of a solar system, excess solar electricity for the home will be stored – this is instead of being sent right back to the grid of the power utility. For those that have solar panels that produce a surplus of solar energy, the excess energy will be used to recharged the battery. That means as and when the solar panels are no longer producing electricity, the surplus stored power will now be drawn from this surplus for cloudy days or night-time use. Electricity is only sent back to the grid when the battery is fully charged and you will only draw power from the grid when the battery is flat. Solar systems that have an excess solar storage will be able to store surplus solar power on-site for later use when the sun goes down and can also offer a short period of backup power when the power goes down. The above is a brief synopsis on how batteries work.

Battery Tripping Units Will Safeguard Distribution Equipment Against Failure

Battery Tripping Units are principally used in industrial areas and applications. This is usually where DC applications in substations and switch rooms are needed for safeguarding power distribution equipment against failure. Select Battery Tripping Units that are flexible and are customised to suit the unique demands and requirements to fit into a variety of industrial presentations. The advantages of world-class Battery Tripping Units are numerous as they come complete with fully customised status, indicators, alarms and testing points. Battery Tripping Units are dependable, robust and fortified and if preferred, remote monitoring could be an option. Select professionals to install Battery Tripping Units – bear in mind that the key component of any switch tripping unit is state-of-the-art technology that is part and parcel of all applications.

This is how your Battery Trip Unit works:

If a fault is detected within the supply, a Battery Trip Unit is energised, and will trip the system to cut off the supply to the industrial equipment prior to any failure taking place. It is essential for Battery Tripping Units to be installed properly right from the outset, plus they need to be maintained thoroughly and on a regular basis. Successful operation of Battery Tripping Units is a direct result of regular and careful maintenance. Numerous industries enjoy the benefits of Battery Tripping Units which will protect their equipment against faults, plus they will be guarded against equipment failure which could result in catastrophic costs to businesses and employees.