REDwire Battery inspection and testing basics

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Megger can provide a variety of battery testing equipment.

Adequate battery maintenance is important to keep batteries in good condition, and to detect any degradation or faults before they become serious problems. But there are many different philosophies on how much testing is appropriate.

To save on maintenance costs, some perform only the minimum or even zero maintenance or testing. But the best approach is to balance the maintenance costs against the risk of losing the battery.

The battery testing guide, available on the Megger website, provides some information on the basics of battery testing, including some standards and common practices.

Standards

There are a number of standards for battery testing. The IEEE 1188 recommended practices for maintaining sealed lead-acid batteries is one example of guidelines for the appropriate tests and frequency. It defines a number of recommendations regarding inspections, including:

  • Monthly inspections of battery terminal float voltage, charger output current and voltage, visual inspection, ambient temperature, and DC float current per string.
  • Quarterly inspections of cell/unit impedance, temperature of each cell’s negative terminal, and the voltage of each cell. Also, if the application has a discharge rate of an hour or less, the resistance of 10 per cent of the intercell connections should be tested. All of the measurements included in the monthly inspections should also be performed.
  • Semi-annual check to record the voltage for each cell/unit, as well as the internal ohmic values, and temperature of the negative terminals. All of the measurements from the quarterly inspections should also be carried out during the semi-annual inspection.
  • Yearly and initial inspection of cell-to-cell and terminal connection resistance of entire battery and AC ripple current or voltage imposed on the battery. All of the previously mentioned measurements should also be performed at this stage.

The standards also provide recommendations on the frequency of capacity testing. They state that tests should be carried out at the installation, at periodic intervals not greater than one quarter of the battery’s expected service life, when physical changes have occurred or impedance values have significantly changed between readings, and annually when the battery shows degradation.

Megger’s solutions

To help with following industry standards and recommendations, Megger supplies a wide variety of battery testing equipment. The selection includes load testers, voltage monitors, impedance testers and more. These products offer a convenient, reliable way to measure and manage the life cycle of battery cells. To learn more, visit the Megger website.

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