The Rising Concern: Fire Accidents in Solar Systems in India

The Rising Concern: Fire Accidents in Solar Systems in India

The Rising Concern: Fire Accidents in Solar Systems in India, Understanding Solar Battery Charging: Safety and Efficiency for Your Home and Offices

As the world embraces solar power for its clean energy benefits, it’s crucial to address potential risks, particularly the concern of fire hazards associated with solar systems. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of solar fire hazards, understand the risks, identify preventive measures, and emphasise the importance of quality solar installations. Solar battery mein aag lagne ki khabren. is the topic in the google search means that fires are taking place in solar systems in India in a big way.

The Rising Concern: Fire Accidents in Solar Systems in India: They understand the cause of fire accidents in solar systems in India, especially in small cities and rural India. Recent news reports have highlighted a concerning trend: fire accidents involving solar battery systems in India. While these incidents are alarming,

Newspaper Amar Ujala report of a fire in the solar system.

Newspaper report of a fire in the solar system.

Another news story is

News report in Hindustan regarding Solar system fire due to battery explosion

Solar system fire due to battery explosion

Another news story is

News report of Dainik Bhaskar regarding fire in a hut by solar system

There is a lot of other news available online, and solar batteries exploding during solar installation is a common problem solar installer dealers face.

Understanding the root cause is essential for safe and efficient solar power usage. This article aims to educate both dealers and customers about proper solar battery charging practices, focusing on the key points:

 Designing a solar PCU (Power Control Unit) with proper panel and battery bank sizing is crucial, especially for tubular lead-acid batteries with limitations. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Tubular Lead-Acid Battery Limitations:

  • Slower Charging Rates: Unlike Lithium-ion batteries, tubular batteries can’t handle high charging currents. Forcing a high current (70-80 amps) can damage the battery and lead to overheating, water loss, and even explosions.
  • Regular Water Maintenance: They require regular monitoring and topping up with distilled water to prevent damage from plate sulfation. Overfilling can cause corrosion.

Designing a Safe and Efficient Solar PCU: We will take an example of a System that is the highest-selling product in India, especially in small towns and rural areas.

  • Match Panel Wattage to Battery Capacity: Don’t oversize the solar panels. The total generated wattage shouldn’t exceed the battery’s safe charging current.  For example, let us take the example of the 24V system of the 2 KW Solar PCU system, which is very popular in India.

Calculating Optimal Panel Size for your 24V Lead-Acid Battery System

The Rising Concern: Fire Accidents in Solar Systems in India

Here’s how to roughly estimate the optimal panel size for your 2 KW Solar PCU system with a 24V, 150 Ah Tubular lead-acid battery:

Important Note: This is a simplified approach. A qualified solar professional can provide a more accurate calculation considering factors like your location’s sunlight hours, system losses, and specific battery charging profile.

  1. Derating the Solar PCU Capacity:
  • A PCU’s capacity rating often reflects its peak output, not its continuous charging capability. To account for inefficiencies and ensure safe battery charging, deriving (reducing) the PCU capacity by 20-30% is safer.

  • Derated PCU Capacity = 2 KW x (1 – 25%) = 1.5 KW

  1. Converting KW to Amps:
  • To determine the safe charging current for the battery, we need to convert the derated PCU capacity from KW to Amps. We’ll use the formula:

  • Amps = Watts (KW x 1000) / Voltage

  • Amps = (1.5 KW x 1000) / 24V = 62.5 Amps

  1. Safe Charging Current for Battery:

    • While the derated PCU suggests 62.5 Amps, tubular batteries typically have a recommended maximum charging current of around 0.1 times their Amp-hour (Ah) capacity.

    • Safe Charging Current = 0.1 x 150 Ah = 15 Amps

  2. Panel Wattage and Battery Charging:

    • We now know the safe charging current for the battery is 15 Amps. The solar panels must generate enough power to reach this current at the system voltage (24V).

    However, there’s a catch: Not all the generated power translates to charging current due to system losses (wiring, inverter efficiency). Let’s account for a 15% loss.

  3. Panel Wattage Considering Losses:

    • Required Panel Wattage = (Safe Charging Current x System Voltage) / (1 – System Loss)

    • The Required Panel Wattage is (15 Amps x 24V) / (1 – 0.15) = 390 Watts, or we can set it at 400 watts maximum.

Therefore, in this simplified example, targeting a total solar panel wattage of around 400 Watts would be ideal for safely charging your 24V, 150 Ah tubular battery with the 2 KW PCU.

But in India, people install a minimum of 1KW to 2KW panels with the same Solar PCU. If one goes to any small city, one realizes that resellers have no idea. Companies are offering more panel systems to the user as a user think installing more solar panels means a reduction in electricity bills. The Solar system is seen as a big failure when both expectations are unmet. The Solar dealer sells the customer the solar battery, which is also an ordinary tubular battery. By branding the solar battery, the companies are not educating people on the maximum current with which this battery should be charged. Neither the dealer nor the company knows, and the customer suffers badly. Fires and accidents are happening, but no one is there to see the danger to this whole ecosystem. The customer needs to install smaller solar panels or shift to a Lithium battery Solar System, in which case Lithium Battery life and installing higher wattage is possible as a Lithium battery can take 50% of its capacity, which, compared to lead Acid, is very high. Lithium batteries are very safe compared to Tubular Lead Acid batteries.

Understanding the Cause of Fire Accidents in Solar Systems in India is very important. We request dealers and customers to understand the basics of Solar PCU systems before buying a product from any dealer or company.

At this moment, I request the Indian government authorities to look into this whole system and make some standard specifications for the Solar off-grid and Solar PCU systems before it is too late and we lose more Lives.

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