What to Look For in a Battery Enclosure for Solar Systems
~ Okay, so you've made the jump towards utilizing solar, but now what? An important next step in utilizing solar effectively for your business is to choose the system you need and the proper method to protect it.
What is a Battery Enclosure?
A battery enclosure is a box designed to protect batteries from potential weather and battery mishaps. They can be designed for indoor or outdoor use, and may include room for electronics. Specific designs allow for pole, wall, or ground mounted systems.
Why Do I Need One?
Battery enclosures are essential components of off-grid solar systems for a number of reasons including: physical protection from outside elements including people and weather patterns, maintaining consistent temperatures, and meeting the requirements of the National Electric Manufacturer's Association (NEMA).
Which Type is Right for Me?
The specific type of battery enclosure design is different given the application and requirements of the project. The features and functions differ depending on the location and needs of the system. In general, all battery enclosures should be vented. This includes VRLA batteries, as hydrogen gas could potentially build up in a fault condition (e.g. controller failure). Passive venting should be adequate and active venting, like a fan, should only be required in rare cases. NEMA provides a rating scheme for consumers to easily decipher the correct number associated with his/her needs.
Two common methods of measuring the quality of protection offered by battery enclosures are the Ingress Protection Rating and the NEMA rating. IP and NEMA ratings are similar yet different; the NEMA code of protection can be said to be equivalent to the IP rating, but the same does not hold true for the IP rating.
- Ingress Protection Rating The IP rating is a standard evaluation of battery enclosures common in Europe. The given value contains 2-3 numbers to depict the level of protection from solid foreign objects and water .
Click here to see the relationships between IP ratings and NEMA Ratings!
The NEMA rating on the other hand is commonly used in North America. It considers the IP rating as well as other specifiers such as corrosion and construction details. The scale ranges from 1-13 with 7-10 being designed for Hazardous Locations and 1-6, 11-13 designed for Non-Hazardous Locations.
These are the types of NEMA enclosure ratings, and their various forms of protection in outdoor nonhazardous locations. All SunWize enclosures are designed to NEMA3R, which provides a high degree of protection from the elements in rugged and exposed outdoor locations.
Indoor, Outdoor, and Side of Pole (SOP)
Battery enclosures come in all shapes, sizes, materials, and ratings; choosing the best one that works for the application and requirements is a simple, yet crucial process. For more information on finding the perfect enclosure for your business needs, give SunWize a call or click on the button below to view enclosures online!
After reviewing our Enclosure Catalog, head over to our web store where you can view photos, place orders online 24/7, and find lots of additional information on all of our enclosure product lines!