Knowing when an application requires a simple trickle charge, or a more powerful deep recharge is a common issue that can often lead to confusion or improper battery maintenance. Today we will discuss the differences between these two types of solar inputs and when each should be used.
A phenomenon that occurs in all types of batteries is commonly referred to as Self-Discharge, or natural loss. This occurs when internal chemical reactions reduce the stored charge of a battery without any connection between electrodes. This process increases based on temperature range, cycling and age of the battery.
Proper battery maintenance is important even when not in use. By offsetting self-discharge, you not only increase the lifespan of your battery source, but ensure they are ready to perform to their fullest potential when most needed.
Solar Trickle Charging
Trickle Charging is an important part of battery maintenance. The main purpose of this type of recharge, is to offset the natural loss (self-discharge) of a battery. This is commonly required in marine, camping, RV and automobile applications, but is relevant to all batteries. Trickle chargers produce a charge that is equal to the batteries rate of self-discharge. This means they are not designed to recharge from a deficit, but to ensure your batteries are kept fully charged for their next use period.
It is important to understand the differences between trickle charging and recharging. If you were to connect a trickle charger to a battery source thinking it will operate as a standard charger, you will most likely run into problems the next time you attempt to use the battery.
Standard Solar Recharging
While there are many types of recharging methods and terms that reflect different speeds of recharge, we will simply be discussing the main differences between standard recharging and trickle charging. When a battery requires a recharge from a deficit of power, this is when a standard recharge is required.
Since trickle chargers produce a low amount of power, a source of regulation is not required. This is not the case when it comes to standard Solar Recharging. Please note the size of the required Solar Panel and charge controller will vary based on the application. So be sure to speak to a customer service technician here at Earthtech Products before choosing your solar panel recharge kit.
Proper battery maintenance and use practices are essential knowledge this day and age. This information will allow you to get the most out of your technology and machinery. As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all your Solar and Battery Maintenance needs!