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The next big thing in testing your solar-powered road sign batteries without flattening them

This entry was posted on 05/03/2019 01:43:11 PM by Valen

How can I test my solar powered road sign batteries without leaving the batteries flat?


Solar-powered road signs, such as Portable Traffic Lights, Radar Signs and VMS Trailers, can be very harsh on batteries. Heavy discharges and solar drought, which is when around a week of bad weather or overcast conditions results in no solar charge. Both of these play a significant part in shortening battery life. 

So, how do you know when your batteries are up for replacement without doing an extensive battery discharge test? Can you cut time in your maintenance section? 

In this blog post, the experts at Valen take a look at which equipment and method to use to save you time and keep your batteries charged. 


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Historically, battery load testing has been used to test batteries used in solar-powered road signs. This type of testing does provide an accurate result of the batteries' capacity; however, battery load discharge testing is time-consuming and leaves the batteries drained once the test is complete. 

Using this method, means a generator is needed to recharge the batteries after testing is complete if done on-site. Otherwise, the road signs need to be brought back into the maintenance workshop where they can be mains charged. 

This method takes time, money and resources away from your company. Thankfully, there is a quicker and hassle-free option available to you!


Impedance Testing

Measuring the impedance of a battery is a reliable indicator of the health of your road sign batteries and is taken as a comparative reading. 

The advantage of impedance testing, as opposed to load testing, is the ability to test the live circuit instantaneously; allowing for time saved as the batteries do not have to be disconnected to conduct testing. 

With an impedance tester, like the RE856 Impedance Tester, you can test your road sign batteries, installed, fully charged and achieve an accurate result. The RE856 comes with various clamps and probes to allow for the best success in testing a variety of applications. Results can be downloaded for reporting and documentation processes. 

You can use an impedance tester to conduct comparative impedance readings over time and identify any rapid increase in impedance, which is an early signal of battery failure. These readings allow you to plan and budget ahead for future battery replacements. Predicting a battery failure, before the battery fails can save technician call-outs and frustrated clients from signs not functioning. With road signs, failed batteries can place the public in danger if the sign fails to operate, illustrating the importance of knowing your batteries condition. 


Want to learn more about impedance testing for your road sign batteries? 

We’re industry leaders in energy storage systems and have extensive knowledge in the road signs industry.

If you have a current or upcoming road sign project, speak to us today. We can assist with your battery needs as well system design so you can make that final decision with confidence. Click here to get in touch.


For further tips, check out the following relevant blog posts: 


Written by Valen

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