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Can specifying a larger charge controller result in faster charging/recharging for lead acid batteries?

Collins: No, and here’s why. A common misconception regarding VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) is that they recharge quickly. While it is true VRLA can provide substantial discharge currents, on the order of 1 Amp of discharge current for every Amp-hour of capacity, charge currents must be limited to a value much less than this. 

There are two basic reactions that can take place when charging a VRLA battery. One action results in the battery acquiring charge, which is a good thing. The other reaction results in electrolysis, the conversion of water into hydrogen and oxygen, and its not a good thing. The idea is to avoid electrolysis when possible. 

Most VRLA batteries contain a catalyst that combines the hydrogen and oxygen back into water. But this process creates heat and pressure that may result in venting and some loss of water and gas. The loss of electrolyte leads to loss of capacity and eventual battery failure.

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Hybrid Power Trailer Departs Texas for Quebec Canada

June 2012Solarcraft, Inc.Sugar Land, Texas, USA

For reliable off-grid electric power at a northern location, redundant power sources are not only prudent; they are key to continuous operation. The trailer that Solarcraft, Inc. built for Hatch combines solar and wind power with a propane generator to keep 1000Ah battery bank fully charged.

The trailer mounted power set is easy to relocate and deploy. Solar and wind power keep the batteries charged, and when solar and wind power isn't enough, the propane generator switches on to recharge the batteries. The smart generator's automatic PLC system monitors load voltage, starts the generator, and shuts the generator off when charging is complete.

A programmable communication device alerts the operator of the status of the power set via text message alerts, so you always know the situation at the site.

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