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How to Replace a Solar Battery System

October 21, 2020

New technological advancements have prompted many households to use solar panels and batteries as the primary electrical energy source. Solar battery systems provide efficient backup during emergencies and sudden power outages, preventing you from experiencing a complete power outage.

Moreover, many solar panel users have managed to take their homes off-grid and even sell electricity to electricity transmission companies. They do this using a more advanced solar battery arrangement that can power household utilities consistently while storing backup energy for future use.

A solar battery system is essential if you are considering efficient electrical management. However, you want to replace these batteries per the manufacturers’ recommendations to ensure that you operate on a healthy system that does not discharge saved energy. The average lifespan of a solar battery is ten years.

Replacing a solar battery system is a simple procedure that requires high-level skills and extreme caution to prevent safety hazards. Typically, replacing a solar battery system alone is challenging because of the amount of work needed. This article offers tips on how to replace a solar battery system.

How the Solar Battery System Works

When you install a solar panel system in your home, you rely on the sun’s energy for power. Usually, these panels are mounted on roofs or open grounds for optimum sun exposure and harnessing maximum sun radiation. The photovoltaic panel converts the sun’s energy into electrical voltage using small transistors inside the panel structure. Afterward, you can connect different home appliances and enjoy their usage.

However, most solar panels will harness more solar energy that ends up unused due to the lack of a proper storage system. Thus, installing a solar battery system that stores the excess electric energy converted in the solar panel for later use is advisable. Thanks to the solar battery system, you can therefore rely on the harnessed energy to power your home in case of a blackout or even change from sourcing electrical power from the electricity grid to use the solar-generated control instead.

Different types of batteries operate on varying voltage and power supply, meaning that you will have to work with specific information, depending on the kind of solar batteries you want to be replaced. Regardless of this, the technician handling the battery replacement process will take you through each step to ensure that you understand different operations’ reasons.

Types of Solar Batteries

Different efficient solar batteries are available in the market, thanks to technological advancements. Choosing one type over another could affect the installation, maintenance, and replacement process based on various specifications. Learning about the different types of batteries will be beneficial in providing you with several options to choose from during the replacement process, primarily if you would like an upgrade from your current system. Some of the common types of solar batteries are:

  1. Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are light batteries that offer better compact storage compared to other types. They are common because of their long battery life that can last anywhere between thirteen to eighteen years, based on the number of times the battery charges and discharges. Most Lithium-ion batteries can provide decent solar energy power support for an on-grid household, therefore acting as a backup or alternative source of power during on-peak hours, when on-grid power supply charges are the highest. Lithium-ion batteries also incorporate a lifePo technological system that provides a safer option for households, as it is not prone to explosions and other safety hazards.

  1. Lead Acid Batteries

These are the most common types of batteries used in a solar panel system, mainly because of their affordability and wide availability. Moreover, Lead Acid batteries are reliable, as they have been tested and improved over the years. Therefore, most buyers choose them over other types because of the assurance of their efficiency that comes with years of use and reviews from different purchasers.

However, a lead-acid battery does not have a long life span as an average battery system lasts between two to eight years. Moreover, these batteries are large and will occupy significant storage space, prompting you to make enough room for the entire battery system. It is also important to remember that Lead Acid batteries emit Hydrogen when in use, which requires you to store the battery in a secluded storage spot that will prevent interference of the gas with other items.

  1. Flow Battery Systems

Another type of battery to consider is the flow battery system best known for its 100% Depth of Discharge (DoD). With such a high DoD, the battery makes it safe for you to discharge it entirely without worrying about any unsuitable effects that may later arise. Such a feature is highly advantageous for households that use a lot of electric power at a given time, as it reduces the need to ration the solar energy to maintain the level of battery discharge to a certain percentage.

The flow battery system also has a zinc bromide solution as a significant component in changing and discharging it. Thus, the zinc bromide solution reduces the risks of fire hazards on the battery because it makes it fire resistant. As a result, you do not have to worry about accidents caused by flammable elements affecting your flow battery system.

Lastly, you will enjoy the ease of refurbishing a flow battery compared to other types of battery systems. The flow battery system also retails at affordable prices, meaning that you can acquire several of them to create an efficient off-grid solar panel system.

How to Replace a Solar Battery System

Once you find the right solar replacement battery, your technician could begin the installation. First, they assess the connection to ensure that all wiring and battery system settings are correct. The assessment process ensures that your solar panel system is converting DC from the solar power to AC that is then transmitted into the battery. This way, the assessment can establish that the battery to be replaced works well. If the connection and setting are okay, the shortened life span may have occurred because of different factors like high temperatures.

After the assessment, you may have to switch off the power supply in your house for a while to avoid creating further hazards from current flowing when the technician is handling the wiring. Consequently, it is essential to think of a strategy beforehand to ensure that you are ready for the power interruption that is likely to happen as the battery replacement process begins.

The old battery system wiring will then be disconnected by removing AC supply into the old battery to be replaced. Usually, it is advisable to discharge the battery before it is replaced by using the current in your home electronics up to the DoD percentage permitted for your battery type.

After disconnecting the old battery, you will use AC coupling to establish a connection between the photovoltaic solar panel and the battery system you are about to replace. The AC power will come from the energy converted in the solar panel cells that is usually ready for transmission as soon as the conversion is complete.

Upon securing the AC, you can then place the new battery system in place and introduce the solar panel’s AC system on the roof or the ground into the battery. It helps to note that allowing current to flow through the new battery does not affect the solar panel. Thus, be alert to ensure that the personnel handling the process does not undo the entire system unnecessarily, as it will incur more costs.

The replacement process should also involve changing your old battery inverter that functions to recharge the battery system. Without a proper inverter, your new system may undergo a shorter lifespan than intended, as there will be insufficient recharging capacity. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the original inverter functions appropriately before moving to the next step.

If the new battery receives the AC from the solar panel correctly, you can then move to connect the new battery system to a critical load panel. The panel’s importance is that it serves to supply constant power to home appliances and keeps the emphasis on even in cases of sudden power outages.

Connecting the battery to the panel may take a significant amount of time, depending on the battery system you intend to install. Suppose you aim at increasing the number of batteries in your entire solar panel system. In that case, it is crucial to ensure that the critical load panel receives current from each battery system for efficient power supply.

The concluding step involves nearly tying up the wiring and trying out your replaced solar battery system. If the correct procedure is in use, there should be no errors or mishaps to report. Thus, you may turn the power back on and check whether your electrical appliances function regularly under the new battery system.

Safety Hazards to Look Out For When Replacing the Battery System

The battery replacement process is not void of safety hazards that require the application of care during different procedures. Some risks you need to avoid are:

Inhaling Non-flammable Gases

In the replacement of a lithium-ion battery, it is essential to avoid inhaling the lithium gas that is likely to escape, especially during the old battery’s replacement and transportation. Once you inhale the gas, it could be toxic for your health and cause severe health risks. Thus, it is advisable to wear a gas mask and avoid shaking the battery to prevent poisonous gas leaks.

Risk of Explosions

Most solar batteries consist of flammable and explosive materials that only require minimal ignition to cause severe damage. Consequently, it would help if you considered avoiding smoking near a solar battery to protect yourself from any explosion hazards. Moreover, it helps avoid placing the batteries close to hot vehicle exhaust pipes for a long time, as the high temperatures may also increase the risk of fire or explosions.

Spillage of Harmful Battery Chemicals

You also want to avoid corrosion from harmful battery acid and other chemicals like the zinc bromide solution found in flow battery systems. They can cause skin injuries on the victim. The chemical spillage can also promote wearing out of other items near the spillage area, creating further damages. Thus, it is vital to handle the batteries with care, even undergoing a significant life span depreciation, to ensure that you are not at risk of damage and injury from spillages.

Contact a Solar Installation and Maintenance Company Near Me

Solar battery systems have helped many households cut electricity expenses. After installation, the batteries have respective lifespans, after which you need to replace them. Other times, you could replace the batteries to upgrade your solar panel system or take your home off the grid.

Regardless of the reasons to replace your solar battery system, consider contacting a qualified professional or solar panel technician. In doing so, you will benefit from a safe transition as the battery systems are replaced to improve your home solar panel system’s overall efficiency.

At Sun Solar Electric, we provide the best personnel and tools to facilitate a proper and safe solar battery replacement. We also provide you with all the aftercare tips to help you manage your new system. If you need a solar battery system replacement in Northern California and the Bay Area, call us today at 707-658-2157.

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