The right battery to power solar


Probe, South Africa’s leading importer and distributor of batteries and solar solutions, has developed a winning formula to help companies introduce solar solutions effectively.

Harnessing South Africa’s abundant solar energy in a business environment offers both environmental and cost-saving benefits. However, when introducing a solar solution, many companies find themselves facing unexpected challenges due to incorrect set-up and battery usage.

The solution, says Ingo Eichner from Probe, from the beginning is to understand the company’s precise energy needs so as to implement a system that correctly addresses requirements, both in terms of equipment set-up and choice of solar battery.

Eichner says that solar is not necessarily an either-or scenario. “Obviously, it is desirable to be completely off-grid. But solar can still create great energy-saving benefits when working in conjunction with the grid, providing crucial power during daylight hours, storing essential energy and converting it for later use, and only pulling in grid power when necessary,” he says.

“Large industrial applications would typically run off a three-phase application in order to power heavy-duty or specialist equipment. A healthcare facility or large corporate environment where any dips or surges in power could be catastrophic would require a large bank of solar batteries to support the crucial UPS backup power. In these environments, Probe’s lead-crystal battery would be a suitable choice, as it provides maintenance-free backup power where frequent deep cycles are required.”

Probe’s other battery types include the gel battery, which is suitable for use in a facility such as a petrol station, given that it charges at a slower pace and is ideal for standby power. The AGM/Gel-type batteries are ideal in a grid-tied system, where batteries are only used in a power outage.

Eichner notes that in an industrial setting, where high levels of productivity are required over long periods, Probe’s 2 V Tubular battery is the appropriate choice, as it offers more cycling and higher charging rates.

Education, says Eichner, is key to getting people “solar-ready”. “The technology is here. At Probe we offer a variety of batteries for solar use that have been specifically designed for a variety of needs. The key is analysing whether you require standby energy, versus a high production requirement, a grid-tied or a completely off-grid solution.”

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