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Thread: Battery Not Charging

  1. #1
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    Question Battery Not Charging

    Dear All,

    This is a very weird problem i am facing for the last couple of days.

    My company installed a solar powered street light couple of days ago. The details of it are:
    Solar Panel - 2*60W@12V = 120W
    Charge Controller - 10A@24V (PWM)
    Battery - Maintenance free sealed Lead Acid Deep Cycle Batteries 140Ah@12V*2

    Now the problem is the battery is not charging. The Controller has sensors installed in it which shows the level of battery charge. Initially it operated very smoothly for 2 weeks operating for 8/9 hrs per night. But now it turned off after 3/4 hrs and today while i checked the system i found the controller is showing very low battery charge. There is abundant sunshine and the battery voltage is 11.5V respectively with total system voltage 23V.

    So i badly need to know whats wrong here. Also i need a urgent solution. I have already changed the batteries once but the new ones are also causing the same problem.

    Please help me quickly.

    Thank you and with best regards,
    Shapath

    We must be the change we wish to see in the world - Gandhi

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shapath View Post
    Dear All,

    This is a very weird problem i am facing for the last couple of days.

    My company installed a solar powered street light couple of days ago. The details of it are:
    Solar Panel - 2*60W@12V = 120W
    Charge Controller - 10A@24V (PWM)
    Battery - Maintenance free sealed Lead Acid Deep Cycle Batteries 140Ah@12V*2

    Now the problem is the battery is not charging. The Controller has sensors installed in it which shows the level of battery charge. Initially it operated very smoothly for 2 weeks operating for 8/9 hrs per night. But now it turned off after 3/4 hrs and today while i checked the system i found the controller is showing very low battery charge. There is abundant sunshine and the battery voltage is 11.5V respectively with total system voltage 23V.

    So i badly need to know whats wrong here. Also i need a urgent solution. I have already changed the batteries once but the new ones are also causing the same problem.
    OK you have some conflicting information.

    What voltage is the system configured as? 12 or 24 volts?

    My first educated guess is the charge controller failed assuming the system was properly designed and sized to handle the load.

    However something does not quite sound right. You say you have a panel wattage of 120 watts operating a street light right? Tell me a couple more things.

    Street Light Wattage?
    How many hours per night does the street light operate?
    Location like city state?
    MSEE, PE

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank you Dear Mr. Sunking for your reply. Here are the information you want to know.

    What voltage is the system configured as? 12 or 24 volts?
    Sir the total system voltage is 24V. Now after the problem started, i have checked the system voltage and found it 23.1V. I have also checked the voltage of the individual batteries and it is 11.5V respectively.

    Street Light Wattage?
    The Street Light is HID Light of 50W.

    How many hours per night does the street light operate?
    It is set to operate 12 hours per night.

    Location like city state?
    Location is Dhaka City, Bangladesh.

    Sunking, is there any way I can test whether the battery is charging or not?

    Regards
    Shapath

    We must be the change we wish to see in the world - Gandhi

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shapath View Post
    The Street Light is HID Light of 50W. It is set to operate 12 hours per night.
    There is your problem, you do not have enough solar panel wattage to generate 600 watt hours of usable power daily.

    December and January are your areas lest amount of insolation of 3.2 hours, and right now you are only receiving 4 Sun Hours per day. with a 120 watt panel using a PWM controller you can only generate 120 watts x 4 hours x .5 efficiency factor you can only generate 300 watt hours per day. So you have been operating in deficit and now your battery is dead and you cannot generate enough power to recharge it.

    Battery systems have to be designed to work under worse case scenario which for you is December of 3.2 Sun Hours. So your panel wattage needs to be 1200 wh / 3.2 h = 375 watts. . You should be OK all the way down to 350 watts using a PWM controller. If you switch to a MPPT controller you can use 280 watts of panel wattage with a 15 amp MPPT controller.
    MSEE, PE

  5. #5
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    Default sinking; please convince

    dear sunking

    you said the following :

    1)batteries must be small to fit soalr panels; bigger batteries will cause the battries dead.

    convince me?
    why solar panel cant charge haf of the batteries only?

  6. #6
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    Default

    You are using more light, than the solar panels can charge.

    120W for 3 hours charge @ 50 % efficiency = 180 Wh harvested

    50w light for 12 hours = 600Wh consumed.


    You need to harvest 1,200 watt hours (Wh) daily, to replace what the light consumes.
    in summertime, when you have 6 solar hours, that would require 200 watts of panels. Wintertime, with 3 solar hours, you need 400W of panels.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by salah View Post
    dear sunking

    you said the following :

    1)batteries must be small to fit soalr panels; bigger batteries will cause the battries dead.

    convince me?
    why solar panel cant charge haf of the batteries only?
    I never said any such thing.

    Cannot add much more than Mike pointed out, you are bankrupt. You make $400 per day, and spend $600 per day. You are broke and bankrupt in need of a better job or a huge budget cut. Take your pick.


    • You state you have a 50 watt load x 12 hours so you use 600 watt hours per day
    • You state you have 2 120 watt solar panels using a PWM controller (50% efficiency). So in Winter with a 4 Sun hour day you generate 240 watts x 4 hours x .5 = 480 watt hours. So you generate 480 wh per day and use 600 wh per day. That leaves you -120 WH in the hole

    So basically your system is completely incapable of doing what you are trying to do, except maybe in Summer months.
    MSEE, PE

  8. #8
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    Default Eco-Pole - 60W LED Light, 120W Solar Panel and 100W Micro Wind Turbine

    Quote Originally Posted by Shapath View Post
    Thank you Dear Mr. Sunking for your reply. Here are the information you want to know.



    Sir the total system voltage is 24V. Now after the problem started, i have checked the system voltage and found it 23.1V. I have also checked the voltage of the individual batteries and it is 11.5V respectively.


    The Street Light is HID Light of 50W.


    It is set to operate 12 hours per night.


    Location is Dhaka City, Bangladesh.

    Sunking, is there any way I can test whether the battery is charging or not?

    Regards
    This Eco-Pole introduced a new 60 Watt Eco-Pole LED Street Light and Parking Lot Light powered by a patent pending unique Wind Turbine and Solar panels.

    250 Watt Equivalent
    60 Watts
    ≥0 CRI

    SavWatt Eco-Pole Spec Sheet
    "SavWatt has been working on the Eco-Pole for several months, resulting in a product that provides an average 18 month return on investment. The Eco-Pole unit will provide efficient GREEN lighting, is self energized and aesthetically pleasing looking. We registering Eco-Pole with UL, ETL, FCC, Energy Star and the US Departments of Energy and Transportation,

    The SavWatt Eco-Pole enables to take the place of a traditional 250 watt metal halide light and requires no grid hook-ups, saving 100 percent of the energy costs, maintenance and pollution associated with the energy used to power a traditional light. LED lamps lengthen lamp life from 1,000 to 50,000 hours. Not only that, they use much less energy and generate much less heat. While they’re still more expensive on an individual basis, the savings they provide in utility costs will definitely make you smile. LED provide the best deterrent for vandalism and theft is a brightly lit property. Security upgrades, which increase and enhance lighting levels, provide the most affordable way to protect against crime. A well-lit property will both draw to your business the clientele you want and keep away undesirables.


    Last edited by russ; 01-17-2011 at 01:58 AM. Reason: link removed
    Solar is the Greener Solution

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote, 'We registering Eco-Pole with UL, ETL, FCC, Energy Star and the US Departments of Energy and Transportation,'.

    Until the registration is complete and compliance is noted by the appropriate authority that statement has no use.

    Russ

  10. #10
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    Default sorry for late response and problem continues...

    sorry everyone for being late in replying to this post.

    Now I will set the timer to operate for 5 hours per night for the entire Dec and Jan and from Summer I will set it back to 8 hours. Will it work efficiently then?

    Dear Sunking, I have reduced the time to 4 hours two weeks ago. Today i went there to check the battery condition and I found it 10.6V each!!! and the guard informed me it operates for 3 hours per night. So what should I do now? I have cleaned the solar panel today with only water with the hope that removing dust will generate more power. but I am now really confused with this one. Other 19 lights I have installed works fine only this one is causing problem. i also have changed the batteries with new ones. i have taken photos of the condition of the old batteries and if u wish i can post it also. please give me a solution.

    thank you
    Shapath

    We must be the change we wish to see in the world - Gandhi

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