Do you know if you batteries are fully functioning and ready to take the load in the event of a power failure? Ideally you will have a planned maintenance programme for all your backup power systems including batteries - prevention is always better than intervention.
There are many signs of existing or upcoming battery failure. These battery failure signs include:
Local Action – A slow-paced chemical reaction between a battery’s plates and trace impurities can slowly discharge a standing battery. Manufacturers suggest charging any wet lead batteries shipped three months before installation and any NiCd batteries shipped 12 months beforehand. Battery chargers should most certainly be connected to the standby generator set to maintain a minimum float charge that compensates for local action discharges.
Cell Voltage – Cell voltage is critical to correct battery operation. Any deterioration from recommended levels in any cell should definitely be determined, recorded and tracked on battery maintenance charts. Just one cell with low voltage can drop total battery voltage, which can damage equipment and result in too low power to start a generator engine.
Cell Balance – One cell that fails to charge equally with others also presents a problem. An undercharging will cause gradual sulfation of negative plates and lower battery life or the capacity of lead acid batteries. Overcharging corrodes the grids of the positive plates.
Specific Gravity (SG) – SG illustrates electrolyte weight. Heavier electrolyte suggests a heavier charge. Low SG tends to show plate sulfation, cell deterioration and lowered battery capacity.
Water Use – All batteries – with the exception of valve regulated types – use water. Using a maintenance chart to track the rate at which water is added will determine excessive use. The reasons for any increased water usage must also be determined.
Battery Connections – Terminal connections can loosen, leading to extreme heat.
Battery Cleanliness: Dirt on the top of your battery can cause conductivity between the poles. Dirt will also hide other problems such as leakage and loose connections.
Reduced Capacity – Reduced capacity can hinder a battery’s capacity to crank the generator’s engine during start.
Spotting battery issues early could prevent further issues down the line. At Dale, our technical experts can identify existing and upcoming battery failure, ensuring that suitable measures are put in place for fully operational generators and UPS systems.
Please get in touch for more help and advice.