In most parts of the world, summers are scorching hot; the temperature crosses 50 ֯C. As for the winter, it experiences bouts of extreme weather spells, often touching the -40 degree Celsius mark in some parts of the world.
Year-round frequent power cuts urge industrial and household users to seek help in power backups. Often energy in these power backup technologies is stored in batteries— lead acid batteries primarily.
Extreme changes in the outside weather impact the health and performance of Lead-acid batteries, including Tubular Lead Acid and VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid), also called SMF (Sealed Maintenance Free) batteries. That’s why you frequently hear people complaining about their batteries malfunctioning even when the inverter is running in mint condition.
Extreme weather conditions result in reduced battery life, frequent need for water input, reduced battery storage solution, improper battery charge, and high electricity bills. Therefore, your batteries demand your attention during hot summers and frigid winters if you intend to use them for longer.
With the skyrocketing inflation rates, battery costs and electricity tariffs are increasing. Hence, sub-optimal battery charging and reduced battery life are a matter of concern. And knowing how temperature changes encroach on your battery charge and discharge is essential.
Read on to know about it and the possible solution too.
How does high temperature affect the battery?
To reach the heart of the problem, you must look at the battery composition. Lead-acid batteries are lead metal (Pb) plates immersed in water and sulfuric acid electrolyte. The composition of the electrolyte makes it suitable for electricity conduction.
Electrolytes are liquid; therefore, like other liquids, they change state in extreme weather. A higher temperature expands the battery electrolytes, and a drop in temperature contracts them. Imagine the state of your Lead-Acid battery when the temperature drops to zero— electrolytes in the battery are still water, but they have changed their state entirely (ice at zero degrees Celsius).
When the outside temperature, called ambient temperature, increases, the electrolytes’ movement increases, and the battery charges in lesser time, also requiring a lesser charging current too. Quite the contrary is the situation when the temperature drops. The battery needs more charging time to provide the same backup as it would in higher ambient temperatures.
But your inverter does not sense outside temperature nor detect the change in the state of the electrolytes. It supplies the same current and voltage, assuming the outside temperature is the same throughout the year. As a result, the battery fails to provide optimal power backup.
Hence, the fact is that batteries dispense ideal performance only at a controlled temperature. So, often nothing is wrong with your battery; the inverter fails to provide an optimum current for charging the batteries perfectly.
Do extreme outside temperatures impact the charging of Lead-Acid batteries?
Standard inverters are fed the information to charge batteries, considering the ambient temperature is 25 ֯C. So, even if the ambient temperature crosses 40 ֯C, the batteries will be charged as they would at 25 ֯C ambient temperature.
At 25 degrees Celsius, a boost voltage of 14.4V is set in the inverters to charge the Lead-Acid batteries, implying that if your battery is 12V, it will stop charging only after reaching 14.4 volts.
However, in no place around the world the outside temperature remains at 25◦C throughout the year. Therefore, one thing that regular inverters ignore is the ambient temperature.
At high ambient temperature, an ordinary inverter overcharges the battery. However, in low-temperature conditions, the inverter does not increase the boost voltage to charge it for a longer time to provide us with a proper backup. Here is why it happens:
The battery does not need a boost voltage of 14.4V when the ambient temperature is 40 ֯C. Instead, its requirement reduces to 4.13V to be fully charged. But a standard inverter continues to feed the battery with a high boost voltage of 14.4V. The higher boost voltage overcharges the battery, increasing its internal battery temperature. Resultantly, your battery requires more water intake and sometimes releases toxic fumes, which are detrimental to your health.
Overcharging at a higher boost voltage reduces battery life and increases electricity bills. Scientifically speaking, every 8◦C rise in the optimum charging temperature reduces the battery life by half.
Extreme ambient temperature impacts VRLA batteries impact more due to their temperature-sensitive technology— When the temperature increases beyond 30 degree Celsius, its cycle life reduce drastically.
Battery charging in low temperature
When the ambient temperature drops to zero, the battery does not charge fully due to frozen electrolytes. Due to repeated undercharging, a time comes when the battery does not charge beyond a certain level, which is less than a full-charge level. As a result, the battery requires a higher boost voltage of 14.85V at zero degrees Celsius, which is beyond the abilities of a normal inverter. Hence it continues to deliver a low boost voltage of 14.4V even at this ambient temperature. The only solution to this battery charging problem is ATC. You will learn about this revolutionary technology in the section below.
How does ATC Technology battery charging issues?
We at Su-Vastika have official patents for ATC (Automatic Temperature Compensation) technology and equip our inverters with it. ATC is a unique feature integrated into high-quality Lead Acid batteries. ATC technology allows the inverter to sense the ambient temperature and manage its charging accordingly.
When the outside temperature is 40 ֯C, it reduces the Boost voltage to 14.13V. Similarly, and at zero degrees Celsius, due to ATC, various types of Lead-Acid batteries charge at a higher boost voltage of 14.85V. These voltage changes happen due to ambient temperature sensors that inform the inverter about the outside temperature.
The processor inside the inverter undergoes complex calculations and charges the battery at the required Boost Voltage. So, technically, your inverter increases and decreases the Boost voltage with the help of integrated ATC technology and charges the batteries according to the outside temperature.
Benefits of ATC technology for various Lead Acid Batteries
Here are some prominent benefits of ATC technology for various Lead-acid batteries
Increase battery backup time
The battery backup time reduces significantly when the temperature goes below 20 degrees Celsius. The ordinary UPS/inverter with no ATC does nothing to increase the battery storage solution. The ATC technology increases the backup time of your batteries by optimally charging the batteries at the right Boost voltage.
Reduce water topping requirement
ATC helps tubular batteries reduce the need for frequent water topping as it does not let the battery temperature rise beyond the safe limits.
Increase life cycles
In the case of VRLA batteries, ATC increases the cycle life by 20 percent by regulating the internal temperature of these batteries.
Reduce electricity bills
By avoiding overcharging and undercharging of batteries, the ATC helps save electricity and significantly reduces power bills. Batteries attain their full charge, and the battery life of inverters increases by a minimum of 1 year.
ATC also important for the Solar Charge Controller:
The ATC feature is very important for the Solar Charge Controller which takes the power from sun and either gives DC output or it can be used in the PCU or solar inverters. If the solar controller is used for the Lead Acid battery than same feature and advantages are required by the solar charge controller as required by the Inverter/UPS charger. Now a days still in E scooters people are using VRLA batteries and using the chargers without any ATC and if they use the charger with ATC their life and back up both will increase.
ATC (Automatic Temperature Technology) is a breakthrough technology that keeps the battery safe from temperature variations in the ambient temperature. It neither lets your battery draw a higher current and overcharge nor undercharges it. The ATC integrated into Heavy-duty UPS offers you reliable power backup for a longer time, reducing your electricity bills simultaneously.