With the installation of a new set of VRLA Lead-acid batteries (or any brand or type of battery) it is very important to program the correct charging parameters of the equipment that will be connected to the batteries. Solar equipment such as Solar MPPT Charge Controllers, Chargers and Inverter/Chargers setpoints are critical to ensuring the battery bank will perform to its optimal level and prolong their useable life.
What are setpoints? Battery Charge setpoints are voltage, amperage and time settings programmed into the battery charging equipment connected to the battery bank. Battery charging equipment can consist of one or more of the following:
- Solar MPPT Charge Controller
- Stand Alone Charger
Why is this important: If battery banks are not charged to specific voltage levels or are overcharged, not held at a voltage level for sufficient length of time the batteries are likely not going to be properly charged. Over time, incorrect or poor charging as a result of incorrect settings (not an equipment failure) will result in poor battery performance (because they are not fully charged), damage to the battery bank (If too high voltage) or battery sulfation (the result of prolonged undercharging).
How are setpoints adjusted: This depends on your battery charging equipment as the process is different across equipment brands. However, below are a few programming options that may exist on your equipment:
- An LCD display screen with menu options to adjust settings (Typical of SMA Sunny Island, Outback FX MPPT's)
- An adjustable dial to select preconfigured charge settings
- Computer software and files uploaded to the equipment via a manufacturer programmer tool (Eg. Victron VE.Config via MK3 device, Selectronic SP Link)
- Bluetooth connection to equipment via smart device (Eg. VictronConnect)
When: At the commissioning of a new battery system or after the replacement of an existing battery bank. Charge settings can always be adjusted after commissioning if they are not optimised however, it is best that the charge settings are programmed correctly from the very beginning of a new installation.
Suggested BAE 2V VRLA PVV model voltage charge setpoints are listed below:
It is important to note that equipment brands use different charge terminology and charge algorithms. The below charge stage names and setpoints are intended to be suitable for the majority of equipment.
|Absorption / Full||2.40||14.4||28.8||57.6|
|Max Absorption Time (minutes)||180||180||180||180|
|Max Equalisation time (minutes)||120||120||120||120|
|Equalisation Period (days)||90||90||90||90|
For more information about brand-specific charge set points and information, visit the respective battery model page and the datasheet specifications listed.