Batteries can fail for many reasons, so it is important to make the right choices during design, installation, charging setup, and maintenance. Here is a list of the most common causes of battery failures.
Poor system design. Incorrect ratio of charging source to load; not enough or too many batteries for charging source and load; incorrect cable sizes or type.
Poor installation practices. Inadequate ventilation of battery box or putting it in direct sunlight; loose crimps on cables; loose connections at terminals; no initialization charge; incorrect battery temperature sensor placement.
Overcharging batteries. Incorrect inverter or charge controller setpoints; no temperature compensation; excessively hot environment; too high a charge rate for the type or size of battery.
Undercharging batteries. An increase in loads; not enough charging capacity for reaching 100% SOC; no temperature compensation for cold conditions.
Not reacting quickly enough to a battery cell failure. When one battery cell fails, this often results in the remaining battery cells being severely overcharged and overheating.
Lack of maintenance. Not cleaning corrosion on terminals; lack of watering; not checking and maintaining the correct battery temperature sensor placement; not keeping cable connections tight.
Lack of training. Not providing the appropriate instructions and materials to end users or maintenance technicians; not providing an easy-to-understand operator guide in the local language with clear, graphic instructions.
Overdischarging batteries. New loads added to the design; loads used for more time than the original design; new people interfacing with the system who do not understand the system’s limitations.