AN-1127 Enhanced Lead-Acid Battery Management

Lead acid batteries, once charged, are typically held at a float voltage that is higher than the open-circuit voltage (OCV). The intent of this float charge is to compensate for self-discharge. Not that this is without problems: there is greater water loss due to gas evolution, when compared to being held at OCV. It has also been argued by many that maintaining stationary batteries at float voltage does more harm than good. Using a reduced float voltage with intermittent charge can be a superior method of battery management in many applications. One specific context of application for such battery management is in on-grid solar applications. In such applications, the battery is only used as a standby, yet it may represent a sizeable chunk of the investment in the solar system. Therefore, the battery life needs to be extended, and its maintenance and watering needs must be reduced also.

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