Our Contacts

47, Jayalakshmi Nagar, Moulivkakam, Chennai 600116

ram@solstrom.in

sales@solstrom.in

+91 9952054308

+91 8939978450

Category: hybrid energy

Read More

Battery Maintenance Checklist

One of the most effective ways to extend the life of your solar batteries and reduce the lifetime cost of your off-grid solar electricity system is to maintain them properly. Maintenance of batteries focuses on proper charging, electrolyte condition, battery terminals, and safety.

When you take good care of your batteries, they will last longer and perform better. Battery life relies on parameters like storage temperature and depth of discharge (DOD).

Here’s a checklist for optimal battery performance and maintenance-free batteries:

Things to Know Before Starting:

Before you start maintenance, make sure all the safety equipment is ready to go. The following is a list of typical maintenance tools you will require.

  • Hydrometer;
  • Glass bulb type thermometer;
  • Distilled water;
  • Handheld voltmeter or multi meter;
  • Anti-oxidant coating;
  • Hand gloves and protective eyewear;
  • Baking soda – for cleaning of batteries.

Prevent unauthorised access:

Batteries should be placed per manufacturer instructions. The battery bank must be safeguarded by a proper enclosure that is only accessible to authorized personnel. Proper safety signs should caution people about the risks.

Check the battery:

A comprehensive and detailed visual inspection of the battery is needed as part of routine maintenance. This inspection should also include:

  • cleanliness of batteries;
  • level of electrolyte;
  • condition of battery terminals;
  • signs of any electrolyte in the safety trays on the floor, indicating a battery leak or overfilling;
  • condition of battery containers; and
  • battery voltage level.

Charging your batteries

To maximise the life of a battery bank, it is best to ensure that it is regularly receiving a full charge. Some solar lead acid batteries can go down to a maximum depth of discharge of 70- 80% while, for some deep cycle lead acid batteries, the recommended maximum depth of discharge is 50%.

  • For flooded batteries, the battery bank also requires an equalisation charge to ensure that all individual cells in the bank are at a similar charge. This is achieved by charging the battery until bubbling or gassing occurs.
  • The period between equalisation charges is dependent upon manufacturer and typically vary from 7–28 days but some batteries can be as high as 90 days. Please check with your system supplier.

How To Check the Fluid Level

The only type of battery that requires this procedure is a flooded lead acid battery (FLA). Open the top of your battery and look inside. To ensure that no metallic lead surfaces are visible, the cells should be filled with distilled water.

Most batteries contain a “fill line” that indicates the proper electrolyte level. The maximum liquid level is about 1/2 inch below the cap. Do not overfill your batteries, since this could cause them to spill!

How To Check the Charge Level           

  • Determine the state of charge or depth of discharge (DOD) by checking the specific gravity and voltage of the battery.
  • The specific gravity table below will help you determine the state of charge of your battery.
  • If your batteries are 6V instead of 12V then simply divide the voltages by two. Similarly, double the voltage values for a 24V system.
  • If you do not properly monitor these two factors, your battery will undergo significant sulfation.

Battery Tests:

After you finish visually inspecting your batteries, there are two important tests you should do as part of regular maintenance: 

  • Open Circuit Voltage Testing and
  • Specific Gravity Testing.

Performing these tests monthly will give you with key information regarding the condition, lifespan, and charging level of the batteries. Additionally, they will assist you in identifying issues like overcharging, undercharging, and overwatering. Identifying these issues early is crucial for maintaining the condition of the battery.

Cleaning Batteries:

  • Cleaning the battery terminals on a regular basis requires a mixture of baking soda and distilled water applied with a battery terminal cleaner brush.
  • Then, rinse the terminals with water, ensuring that all connections are secure, and apply a commercial sealant or high temperature grease to the metallic components.
  • Clean up the space around the batteries; it should be dry and well-organized.
  • Call us Tel: 9952054308
  • chat with us:

Email us: ram@solstrom.in

Read More

HOW TO FIND WHETHER SOLAR PANELS ARE WORKING?

When you service all makes of turbine, all around the world, how do you make sure that safety standards are maintained at the highest level? It’s an important question – and when we talk to our customers about what’s most important to them competencies in renewable energy systems. IRecco’s extensive range of robust and reliable products backed by its cutting-edge R&D and more than two decades of expertise are designed to ensure optimum performance. Of course, it’s a given that all turbines live up to strict legislation, but that’s not really where the greatest safety challenge lies. If you look at the causes of incidents, more than 90% are caused by human behavior. That’s why we believe that keeping the highest safety record means creating a safety-first mindset.

The people I meet who service our turbines are special: They’re proud of what they do, and they take their jobs very seriously. It’s not an easy environment to work in. When you’ve experienced standing on the top of an 80m high turbine, swaying in the wind like a ship at sea, you really respect what they do. It takes a cool head and a lot of courage.

Solstrom

Why it Might Be Time to Visit Wind Farm Self-Performance

But not all the people who are attracted to this lifestyle – because that’s what it is – are not natural-born rule followers. And to secure a high safety level for all, we spend a lot of time developing watertight safety procedures and protocols which must become second nature for them. Because not following rules has serious consequences. Secondly, training is vital, both technical safety training, turbine specific training as well as Safety awareness training. Adding to this leadership needs to be strong and leaders perform safety walks to check first-hand what our engineers will encounter. Even our executive leadership takes part, and our CEO has climbed the ladder and walked the roof of a nacelle… so when they talk safety they can speak from experience.

“ There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning failure ” -Tina Retina

Our goal is to create the same service documentation for each and every turbine, in a standardized, user-friendly format. Our engineers already have enough to think about without having to navigate convoluted directions! With this global service manual, we’re able to give the same training round the world to make sure all our technicians stay safe. Performance and target-wise we don’t distinguish between brands and expect the same safety performance when servicing all makes of turbines. Because safety comes first. It’s that simple.

Read More

Off Grid Vs On Grid

On-Grid vs. Off-Grid Solar Power Plant.

When it comes to the topic of solar panel installation, you may have heard about the terms grid-tied (a.k.a on-grid) and off-grid solar Power Plant. These two are such important concepts to learn when installing solar power systems.

Depending on your location in India, power requirements and grid availability, you will have to choose which one to install. In this article, we will further elaborate on the differences between these two systems.

What’s the main difference between on-grid & off-grid solar systems?

The simple answer to this is that on-grid / grid-tied solar systems are connected to the main utility power lines called the grid, while off-grid systems are not. An off-grid system may require batteries and, sometimes, a back-up generator; while an on-grid system doesn’t.

In a grid-tied system, there will be a lesser number of components compared to an off-grid one. It’s simply because it does not need an energy storage device, back up generators or complex control electronics.

If you want a cheaper and simpler solar power system, you will go for on-grid system. However, in places where grid power is unstable or not available at all, off-grid solar systems will provide the electricity your appliances need.

 
Solar Power Plant mounted on solstrom's aluminium single module mounting structure

Top 5 Differences: On-grid Vs. Off-grid Solar Systems

On-Grid Solar Power Plant
  • Connects to utility’s grid for synchronization and operation.
  • Can export excess solar energy to the grid depending on the utility regulations, which requires approvals and documentations.
  • Does not produce solar energy when the grid is down.
  • Lower maintenance and installation costs.
  • A simple system and has less number of components.
Off-Grid Solar System
  • Does not need any connection to the power system’s grid.
  • Uses batteries to store solar energy for later use.
  • Not affected by grid failures and shutdowns.
  • Maintenance and installation costs are more expensive.
  • Can sometimes be complex but you will learn a lot more.

Grid Connected Vs Off Grid solar - Components

On Grid Solar System components

  • Solar Panels.
  • DC Distribution Box DCDB
  • Inverters
  • Module Mounting Structures
  • AC Distribution Box (ACDB)
  • Energy meter
  • AC Circuit breaker at interface point

Off-Grid Solar System components

  • Solar Panels

  • Solar Charge Controllers

  • DC Combiner Box (AJB/DCDB)

  • Batteries

  • Off-Grid/Hybrid Solar Inverters

  • AC Breakers

  • Meters (Optional)

  • Back Up Generators (Optional)

Conclusion

The differences between off-grid and on-grid systems are presented here in this blog post. They both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost, user preference, efficiency, and dependability. However, it is up to the homeowner, or whoever is planning to install solar panels, to do an assessment.

You may want to check how to design a solar power system here. We will be adding new tutorials using different kinds of solar PV simulation software. Here are some articles you might want to read: