Solar street lights offer a cost-effective and appropriate way of lighting the streets at night. Often, they will either come with individual panels per lamp or feature a battery box. They also come with a big central solar panel capable of powering multiple lamps. To enhance the performance of solar street lights, it’s important to have the ideal battery box.
Types of Solar Batteries
Solar batteries are designed to store chemical energy produced by solar panels during the day. They later convert this energy into electricity which comes in handy to illuminate street lights during the night. Two types of batteries are popularly used to power solar street lights. They are; lead-acid batteries and gel cell deep cycle batteries.
What Affects the Performance and Lifespan of Solar Batteries?
Various factors affect the lifespan and performance of solar batteries. For instance, the temperature can greatly affect the way batteries operate and how long they last. Experts opine that batteries perform well at 68ºF or 20ºC. If your battery shows signs of non-performance, you warming it up can enhance chemical reaction and prolong its life. Solar batteries produce minimal power during the cold season.
Understanding the Solar Street Light Battery Box
A battery box is an enclosure that safeguards batteries from weather elements and battery incidents. They are available both for outdoor and indoor use and may have sufficient room for various electronics. Depending on the design, battery boxes can be mounted on walls, poles, or underground.
Why are Battery Boxes Essential?
Battery boxes are often used for off-grid solar systems for various reasons. They include protection from outdoor-related elements such as weather fluctuation and people. Further, they facilitate adherence to the (national electrical manufacturer’s association) NEMA requirements and help maintain steady temperatures.
How do you know the Ideal Battery Box?
Different battery box designs are dependent on the project requirements and the application. The specifications also vary depending on the system needs and location. However, it’s worth noting that all battery boxes should be appropriately vented. Remember, VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid battery) should also be well vented.
This is because faulty conditions could trigger a buildup of hydrogen gas which can cause health risks. Both passive and active venting come in handy. A fan, however, may not be necessary. NEMA gives consumers a rating scheme which they use to establish rating schemes with ease.
How to Measure the Quality of Protection
There are two methods used to gauge the quality of protection that battery boxes provide. These are the NEMA and the Ingress Protection rating. While NEMA and IP ratings are similar, they come with differences. Experts opine that the NEMA code of protection is the same as the IP rating. However, the IP code of protection differs from the NEMA rating.
Ingress Protection Rating
The ingress protection rating is a standard analysis of battery boxes commonly used in Europe. The given value, in this case, comprises of two to three numbers to illustrate the magnitude of protection from water and other foreign objects.
The NEMA rating is popularly used in North America. This rating evaluates the IP rating and other factors such as design and corrosion details. The scale, in this case, varies from one to thirteen. The scales between seven and ten are designed for risky locations while one to six and eleven to thirteen are designed for non-risky locations.
Outdoor Battery Box Ratings
Outdoor battery boxes should come with a NEMA 3R rating to enhance protection against water. You may want to include screens and filters to enhance protection against insect intrusion and dust. Powder-coated battery boxes made from aluminum can come in handy when it comes to preventing corrosion. This way, you’re able to prolong the battery’s lifespan.
You should only use NEMA 4X rated enclosures in highly corrosive environments. Breather vents can be included to the NEMA 4X rated battery boxes to facilitate extra venting. Still, they will maintain the NEMA 4X rating. However, they are limiting and may not allow the free flow of gas. Battery boxes are available in all shapes, materials, sizes, and ratings.
What’s the Lifespan of Solar Batteries?
Depending on the handling process, a solar battery can last between five and fifteen years. Solar panels today come with a prolonged lifespan unlike was the case in the past. For this reason, chances are high that solar battery manufacturers will upgrade the batteries accordingly. With proper maintenance practices, you can prolong the lifespan of your solar battery. You want to adopt appropriate measures to protect solar batteries from the elements.
Solar Street Light Battery Box: Conclusion
Selecting the ideal battery box that works for your needs and project is an easy albeit critical process. However, you can incorporate the services of professionals. At DEL ILLUMINATION CO., LTD, we strive to give you the best services and products that meet your needs.
Check out our article on Things To Consider While Designing A Pole For Solar Street Post Lights.