Getting the Most out of your Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) Batteries – Charging Instructions

The Charging Parameters for Lead Crystal/SiO2/Silicon Dioxide Batteries are a bit different than regular lead acid batteries. To Optimize your charge efficiency, if you can, it is better to manually set the charging references.

The State of Charge chart is for zero or minimal load on the batteries, if there is a load on the batteries, then the voltages would be lower.

State of Charge Parameter for EFSN Batteries

State of Charge Parameter for EFSL Batteries

Bulk/Absorption Charging voltage range is 14.4V – 14.7V, with 14.6V optimal.
Float Charging voltage 13.5V – 13.8V.

Maximum/Optimal Charging Current is 25% of Ah capacity. This can be expressed as a 0.25C, C/4, or 4-hour Charge Rate.
Charging at lower current is fine, but these batteries actually charge more efficiently at the maximum rate. This also minimizes run time for a generator, and reduces fuel use, and reduces RV and boat docking time for shore power AC charging.

When the battery is fully charged, there is often an initial “surface charge” voltage normally starting at around 13.5V with no load, and will stabilize at around 13.05V after 4-6hrs. Or you can run a small load on the battery for a brief period to dissipate the surface charge for a more accurate voltmeter reading. This is common with most lead-acid batteries as well.

This should help you fine-tune your charging and monitoring systems to get the most out of your battery.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Why do my Batteries Keep Dying in my RV? A Case Study, Running a CPAP and Electric Refrigerator from Solar & Batteries.

It is important when RV dry camping that you have enough power storage (batteries) and production from solar and/or a fuel generator to power all your needed appliances, medical devices and equipment. You need to do the math before you go to avoid unexpected problems that can result in your CPAP quitting in the middle of the night or your fridge defrosting and your food spoiling.  Know before you go. 

Background:

Customer has a new travel trailer with a factory installed 100 Watt solar panel (installed flat on the trailer roof), PWM 30A charge controller, 1000W inverter and one 12V 100Ah deep cycle silicon dioxide battery.

They tried taking it out for a weekend without plugging in (off-grid/boondocking/dry camping) and the battery ran out of power the first night. They wanted to be able to camp away from power for up to a week and to use their fridge, CPAP and fan every day. They mostly camped in the summer and were willing to locate the trailer to get good sunlight on the rooftop solar panel.

A quick analysis of the system showed why they were having issues.

The customer was a heavier power user and this system was sized for a light power user, or a user who mostly camped in powered campsites.Continue reading

PV Positioning Infographic

How to Optimize the Power Efficiency of your PV Solar Panels

Whether you have already converted to solar power or you are considering the switch, it is important to understand the best positioning and angling of your photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate the highest levels of power. Orienting your PV panels correctly varies with different locations around the world and is essential to getting the most out of the sun’s power to meet your solar energy needs. This blog post will provide valuable orientation tips as well as some insight towards the topic of solar panels and their ability to produce electricity on cloudy days.Continue reading

Silicon Dioxide Battery Excellent Performance in Extreme Cold Conditions!

Many places in North America are experiencing cold snaps this time of year. Extreme temperatures can decrease performance or cause damage and failure to most batteries.

If you are using batteries for off-grid, RV or backup power, or are planning to start, it is important to know what batteries can withstand extreme temperatures. Azimuth Solar’s Ultra Long-Life Silicon Dioxide (Lead Crystal) batteries provide outstanding performance in extreme hot and cold weather conditions, faster charging and over 10 year lifespans, at lower lifetime costs.

Silicon Dioxide batteries (aka SiO2, Lead Crystal, or just Crystal batteries) are built to last in rough conditions. These batteries can be discharged deeper, cycled more often (even in extreme temperatures), charge faster and have longer lifespans. They recover to full-rated capacity. They do not require maintenance, special ventilation or cooling, and can be stored up to 2 years without recharge.

Extreme Cold Performance

Lead Acid batteries will freeze at -25C/-13F at 50% charge. The more you power you take from the battery, the easier it is to freeze and damage. Once a battery has frozen, you cannot use it until it is slowly defrosted and checked. This usually kills the battery. Lead Acid batteries can have lower freezing temperature ratings, but that is only helpful if you don’t plan on using them. The freezing point of Lead Acid batteries rises as their charge level drops. If you need a battery during an ice storm or winter blackout, you may not be able to use your Lead Acid batteries when you need them the most.Continue reading

Battery Basics – Difference between a Starter and Deep-cycle Battery

News regarding solar energy generally focuses on solar panels, but without a battery to store the power collected from solar panels, much of the energy collected is fed into the grid for others to use. If the system is off-grid, that excess energy is wasted and there is no power to draw on when the sun goes down. A battery bank allows you to maximize the efficiency of your system and to have power to draw from 24-7.

Batteries come in two broad classifications: Starter and Deep-cycle Batteries.Continue reading

How much Solar Power & Battery Storage do I Need for my RV / Cabin / Cottage / Tiny Home?

This question can be broken down into steps that give us the information we need to make a decision.

1. How much power do I need?

Residential homes use 900 – 5000kWh a month (30-166kWh per day). To generate this much power with solar / wind and to store it, you will need a lot of space and a large budget. It is unrealistic to generate that much power with portable power or when space is at a premium. Instead, power conservation and realistic expectations should drop your power needs by prioritizing what equipment and appliances are essential.

Something we rarely do when we are on the grid, but must be much more aware of when off-grid, is adding up the power usage from all sources.Continue reading

Solar Power 101: An Introduction

150W Briefcase Mini Solar Generator System.

As concern over the increasing cost of energy grows, many people are looking into alternative sources of power, like solar. There are four main components in a basic solar setup: Solar Panels, Charge Controller, Batteries and Inverter. All components and the wiring connecting them need to be carefully chosen and sized appropriately to work together. Use this guide to demystify the terminology behind solar, and kick-start your journey to energy independence!Continue reading

The Boler Turns 50!

Matt & Shari’s Green Egg!

August 15th kicks off the beginning of a four-day event to celebrate the iconic Boler trailer’s 50th anniversary! Boler enthusiasts are set to travel from as far as Southern California all the way to Winnipeg’s Red River Exhibition park to attend the event.Continue reading