Solar Panel Installation Tips

BatteryStuff Solar Panels use high quality Poly-Crystalline solar cells. Diodes contained within the junction box insure reliable operation and no drain during low light conditions. Anodized aluminum frames add strength and durability to the modules. Includes pre-drilled mounting holes. The modules have a 20-year, 80% power output warranty.

Your solar panel will have a long black cable extending from the panel, holding both the positive and negative cables. This cable can be spliced and separated as needed by your application. The black cable is negative, and the white cable is positive. In the cases where there is a black and red cable, the black is still negative and the red is positive.

The positive and negative cables can be connected directly to your application, battery, or charge controller. We highly recommend the use of a charge controller, especially when installing large panels. This will ensure longer battery life.

Solar Panel Installation Tips:

  • Solar Panels are most efficient when they are mounted in a location where they can receive the most sunlight. Typically, they are mounted on roof tops, poles, or stand alone structures.
  • Any angle or position is acceptable, but try to find a location where the panel will receive the most sunlight all year around.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, Solar Panel should face south, and in the Southern Hemisphere, Solar Panel should face north. For angle, the simplest method is to have your panel face the sun directly at Noon.
  •  You can mount your solar panel to nearly any surface, leaving approximately a 1” gap behind the panel for air circulation.
  • Avoid shaded areas and trees, which will reduce efficiency and shorten panel life. Even partial shade will greatly reduce your panels effectiveness
  •  If mounting on land, avoid corrosive salt and sulfurous areas.
  • Solar panels will not properly produce power under fluorescent lights. It may be able to produce some voltage, but not enough current to power or charge anything.
  • Modules connected in series should be installed at same orientation and angle.
  • Do not install panel near any open flames, or flammable materials.

For more information, check out our Solar Tutorials

Or call 541-474-4421 for Tech Help.

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AGM Battery Best Practices

Lead Acid AGM batteries, also called “dry cell” and sometimes mistaken for “gel cel”, are maintenance-free. That means you don’t have to open them up every few months and add more water to the cells (even though they are dry batteries, that doesn’t make them thirsty like a wet cell battery). You can also position them on their side without worrying about any leaks.

So, let’s get down to what to do and what not to do for your AGM battery.

DO: Keep the battery as fully charged, as often as possible. No, these batteries do not develop a “memory” like some nickel-cadmium based batteries. Severely discharging  and leaving the battery discharged can cause harm and shorten life in AGM batteries. Have you heard about sulfation? It’s not pretty stuff.

Riding your vehicle often, can keep the battery in top condition. If you’re not going to use the battery for a week or more at a time, we highly recommend a charger maintainer (also called a trickle charger) to keep the battery from discharging. Battery Tender Plus is perfect for powersports and small car batteries. If you have a large reserve marine or RV AGM battery, then you’ll need a charger with a higher charge rate to compensate for the higher capacity of the battery.

DON’T: Let your batteries sit unused for the winter months. Even if you start your motor or engine every once in a while, it still doesn’t make up for the time left to drain and sulfate. No, letting your batteries go without a charger for a single winter won’t guarantee a dead battery in the spring, but it will guarantee shortened life span.

Hot BatteryDO: Keep the battery in a place of moderate temperature. It’s no surprise, extreme heat and cold can have a negative effect on battery performance. In hot climates, additional causes of failure are positive grid growth, positive grid metal corrosion, negative grid shrinkage, or buckling of plates. These essentially ruin the delicate composition inside the battery that is required to activate the chemical reaction that produces electricity. In short, batteries don’t like getting hot and sweaty just as much as you.

Deep Cycle AGMDON’T: Use a starting battery for anything other than, you guessed it, starting a motor. A lot of powersports AGM batteries are nice because they’re small. But they do not make good batteries to take with you camping and powering your radio or small television. It doesn’t take long for a car battery to lose power after leaving your lights on, does it? They are meant to produce a strong burst of current in a short period of time, and then quickly recharge what it just lost. If you need some source of power for an extended period of time, AGM DEEP CYCLE batteries are made just for that purpose.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. For pretty much everything you need to know about batteries, AGM or not, check out our complete battery written tutorial. Batteries are a good investment. Let’s make them last a little longer this time around, okay?

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Shorai Large Case LiFePo4 Batteries

Shorai 12 V 24 AHLithium Iron Phosphate batteries have been on the market for while now. Have you purchased one yet? These batteries are recognizable by their light weight  and tremendous cranking power. They do not contain any lead and will not sulfate. They’re perfect for powersports racing and high performance.

We offer, in two case sizes, 12 Volt batteries in 9 AH, 12 AH, 14AH, and 18 AH. These batteries will fit most motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, personal water crafts, and other power sport vehicles. However, sometimes you may need something a little bigger. Our Shorai Case 3 size batteries are perfect for large Touring bikes and even small cars and trucks. These batteries range from 24 AH, 27 AH, to finally 36 AH. The largest of these is able to produce an impressive 540 Cold Cranking Amps.

Shorai 12 V 36 AHAnd still, these batteries are only 6.55″ x 3.39 “x 6.10 ” and weigh under 5 pounds! That’s about the size of my lunch box (and just as heavy if I pack a good meal). It’s important to note, however, that as nice and light weight as these batteries are, they were not designed for deep cycling purposes. They make great starting batteries, not reserve RV or Marine batteries.

Don’t forget, too. If you have a Shorai Battery, we offer a Shorai 6 Volt/12 Volt Charger. Perfect for keeping your battery fresh in storage, or charged and ready for your next ride!

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Offering Optima Batteries

We are now proud to offer Optima automobile starting batteries! Optima Red tops are not only distinguishable in their appearance, they also uniquely use spiral plates in each cell. These batteries pack a lot of power in 5 seconds, great for starting your car engine every time.

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Did I Recieve a Bad Battery?

When you order a PowerSports battery from BatteryStuff, you always receive a fresh, ready to install battery. When we ship our maintenance free AGM powersports batteries, they are pre-filled, charged and ready to install. These batteries are sealed and considered “dry” batteries. Because our batteries are freshly activated you may occasionally see small acid stains on the packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGM batteries are ‘fully sealed’, but do have pressure vents sealed underneath the battery top. There are ventilation slots on the lid of the battery that are designed to let out any pressure that may build up inside the battery due to heat cycling. This prevents the battery from exploding should it be overcharged.

On these rare occasions where acid stains are visible the battery was filled and activated immediately prior to shipping, and there may be some free electrolyte that has not yet been fully absorbed. When the battery is air shipped, and possibly on it’s side or even upside down during transit, the atmospheric pressure difference may force out some of this extra electrolyte out of the normally sealed pressure vents.  This is a very miniscule amount of acid, amounting to no more than a couple eye droplets in volume. This is nothing to worry about, and WILL NOT affect the batteries life or performance. It will also NOT leak any further once properly installed in your application.

If you take the battery out of the box and give it a quick wipe down, the battery is perfectly fine. There should be no extra leaking acid and there would be no negative effect on performance. If after seeing any acid stains, you are not confident in the condition of your battery, just let us know and we will work toward satisfying you on your purchase. We want you to be fully confident in your battery!

 

EXCESSIVE ACID STAINS VISIBLE

However, if there is a pool of acid on the box or packaging this is NOT considered normal. There may have been some mis-handling of the package during the delivery, and the battery may have been physically damaged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this is the case, please contact us as soon as possible. With a few details provided by you, we should be able to replace your battery immediately.

If we require the damaged battery to be returned to us, please try to re-package the battery as best as possible. We also need to be able to verify the damage prior to it being returned to us, so be sure to follow our complete warranty procedure.

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Something New is Coming

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Preventative Maintenance

It is amazing the percentage of re-orders we receive. People call and tell me of how well the products they bought from us work! You shouldn’t expect any less. Of course some things are easier to measure than others. In dealing with mechanical devices, only so much can be done. We prefer to sell maintenance products as opposed to fix-it products. Remember, it is always easier and cheaper to maintain than to repair.

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