As the Winter months slowly drag on, it seems like many aspects of life could use recharging. The lack of sunlight, relentless wind, ice, snow, fog, and cold temperatures take their toll on energy levels. This is especially true when talking about batteries. Many car batteries find their end-of-life cycles during these bleak conditions. It is a fact that batteries drain and lose life expectancy when they are required to operate at lower charge levels. Many industry experts claim that in order to maximize the life of the battery, rechargeable batteries should not be required to operate under 50% of a full charge. In doing so, consumers run the risk of running their batteries down to a zero charge. In the case of a car battery, it might get you stranded. This is not the case with solar power, though. Have you ever wondered how solar power gets a charge out of winter?
Solar Power Doesn’t Fly South For Winter
Unlike the geese and other native birds, inhabitants of the Northern states do not need to “fly” their solar powered batteries and equipment south for the winter. It is not an impossible feat for businesses to “go green” year ‘round, saving both time and money. It has been proven that solar power provides an immediate ROI, especially given the government incentives for its use. If designed correctly, not only can solar power last in the harsh winters of the North, it can flourish. The size of panels, configuration of the power box, length of cables, strength and quantity of batteries, climate conditions, and usage all have an effect on the draw of the batteries.
Solar Power has Proven Metrics
An example of a solar powered unit that has proven metrics for the past five years is the Harmony Enterprises SunPak Solar Powered Compactor. Harmony’s SunPak solar option allows this technology to be added to any of its 2 HP motor compactor or baler models. In 2012, Harmony first unveiled this cutting-edge technology at their own Harmony, Minnesota plant, using a P6FL Outdoor Compactor to manage its own waste. It was cycled 12 times per day, to simulate heavy and “worst case scenario” consumer use. Adding wireless technology to the equipment, employees were able to monitor its performance in all types of weather conditions.
As expected, the solar powered unit held full charge during the warm sunny spring and summer months. The winter months provided highly encouraging metrics for the Harmony team. Below were some of their findings.
SunPak Solar Power Charges in Winter
At temperatures averaging at or below 25 degrees F:
- With full sun, the battery charge was at 100% with an average voltage of 27.2.
- With no sun exposure for nearly 5 days the battery only declined to a low point of 55% over this period. It took only 4.5 hours of sun to recharge to full capacity.
- Every day with no sun yielded on a 9% reduction in voltage and only 1 hour of sun to recharge that same day’s loss.
- In a period of 17 days without a full charge, the lowest level of battery charge was 73%, and it STILL held an average voltage of 24.9.
With these types of consistent results over five years, as well as convincing customer success stories and testimonials from several solar customers throughout the United States, Harmony Enterprises proudly revealed its SunPak Solar Options as a product line on their new website on January 4th, 2017. The plant still uses the original SunPak system and batteries to this day!
Harmony Enterprises, Inc. makes balers, compactors, and beverage extraction equipment for waste and recycling. We also provide industry leading customer service and warranty options as part of a total global solutions approach. We care about the environment and are always working toward making the earth a greener, more sustainable place for generations to come. If you are interested in learning more about our SunPak Solar Options, or other recycling and waste equipment or services, please fill out this simple form or call us at (507) 886-6666.