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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Solar Power System - Positioning Batteries, Controllers and Inverters

You need to identify a suitable location for batteries. This could be a room within a building or a separate building or battery housing.

It is important to try and keep the entire solar power system – solar array, batteries, controllers and inverters – as close together as possible in order to keep the lengths of cable required as short as possible.

You are looking for a location that fits the following criteria:

• Water and weather proof
• Not affected by direct sunlight
• Insulated to protect against extremes temperature
• Facilities to ventilate gases
• Protected from sources of ignition
• Away from children and pets

Lead acid batteries give off very small quantities of explosive gases when charging. You must ensure that wherever your batteries are stored, the area receives adequate external ventilation to ensure these gases cannot build up.

Because of the extremely high potential currents involved with lead acid batteries, the batteries need to be held in a secure area away from children and pets.

Batteries should not be installed directly onto a concrete floor. In extreme cold weather concrete can cause an additional temperature drop inside the batteries, adversely affecting performance.For all of the above reasons, batteries are often mounted on heavy duty racking which is t6hen made secure usi9ng an open-mesh cage.

If you installing your batteries in an area that can get very cold or very hot, you should insulate your batteries. Extreme temperatures does adversely affect the performance of batteries, so if your batteries are likely to be in an area where the temperature drops below 0 deg.c(32 deg.F)or rise above 45 deg c(113 deg.F), you should consider providing insulation.

Polystyrene (Styrofoam) sheets can be used underneath and around the sides of the batteries to keep the batteries insulated. DO NOT INSULATE THE TOP OF THE BATTERIES as this will stop the batteries from venting properly and may cause shorts in the batteries if the insulating material you use is conductive.

Controllers and inverters need to be mounted as close to the batteries as possible. These are often wall mounted, but can also be mounted to racking. They need to be mounted indoors.

Large inverters can be extremely heavy, so if you are planning to wall mount one, make sure that the wall is a load-bearing wall and able to take the weight.

Useful information solar power systems:

Useful information Lead acid batteries:

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