IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING UP A BACK UP SYSTEM FOR YOUR HOME.
- Always use a reputable supplier of batteries, inverters and charging systems.
- The use of a reputable system installer is highly recommended.
- Do not undersize the system. Remember that for every 1A of current (240W) you require on the AC side you require about 22 -24A of DC current from the batteries for a 12V system, 11-12A for a 24V system and 5.5 – 6A for a 48V system.
- Put whatever you have heard or been taught about “Deep Cycle” and “High Cycle” batteries out of your mind. Every lead-acid battery can be deeply discharged. What is important is the number of times each particular battery can be discharged at a chosen depth of discharge (DOD). For example an Excis 100 battery (102Ah) from First National Battery can give 950 cycles (load shedding occurrences) if only 30% of its capacity is removed each cycle, 500 cycles if 50% is removed and only 60 cycles if 80% is removed (based on a 25°C operating temperature and correct charging). Do not size your system so that you remove 80% of the batteries capacity each cycle and expect 2 years battery life as you will more than likely only get 2-3 months life!
- Ensure that the batteries are correctly charged. Do not overcharge or undercharge the batteries. Correct voltage regulation during charging is essential. Recommended charging is as follows:
- Charge at a maximum of 15% of the batteries capacity in A (For Excis 100 – approximately 15A).
- The charging voltage must be set to 2.45V/cell (14.7V/battery) at 25°C.
- Once the batteries reach the above voltage they must remain at this voltage for 3 hours after which the charger must limit the voltage to 2.25V/cell until the next power outage.
- Do not expect optimum battery life from chargers which cannot regulate the charging voltage accurately!
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