Preventive maintenance battery banks
Batteries is a very reliable source of energy as long as they are maintained and tested regularly, but herein also lies a hidden risk that not too many are aware of. In a bank, the batteries connect in string, like the lights of a Christmas tree. Like the lights on a Christmas tree, if one goes down, they all stop delivering power.
In our experience, some of the cells in a battery bank will need replacement in the span of the lifetime of the battery bank. The number of cells that needs replacement is not correlated to the age of the battery bank.
When the bank nears the end of its life span, the total battery capacity is reduced, but the risk of one single cell failing may be bigger just after the installation of the system when the potentially bad cells have not been weeded out.
The worst scenario is if a bad cell has not been weeded out, but the will not cause any problems during normal use of the system. That cell may then cause problems if an emergency does arise, as the consumption goes up and the strain on the cell increases.
For this reason, it is very important to be proactive in the maintenance of the battery bank.
By running discharge tests with on a yearly basis and documenting the battery temperature and voltage for each cell, as well as the total capacity for the system as a function of power and time, we are able to map which of the cells may pose a risk, and replace them.
Normally, about 5% of the batteries needs replacing during the life span of a battery bank.
We strongly encourage our customers to complete such tests, by the company’s own representatives, or to let us take care of it during annual preventive maintenance of the system.
Preventive maintenance of UPS systems
The UPS itself also contains a number of components that require periodic maintenance and replacement. Vacuum cleaning of filters and heatsinks is important to avoid component failure from heat exhaustion.
A thorough periodic visual inspection to check for battery leaks, oxidation, heat etc. Condensators and other single components might require replacement if there is a potential for dry or heat run. A visual inspection as well as thermal imaging will uncover if single components need replacement.
By planning ahead and executing preventive maintenance, the risk of a black out scenario can be virtually eliminated.