The white paper explores the problems that occur when stationary battery systems are installed by unqualified installers. These problems can manifest into larger issues that lead to downtime and expensive repairs.
Our Service Technicians are trained to properly install battery systems along with following procedures and best practices in order to avoid damage during installation. Don't be without power when you need it most.
An electrical contractor damaged jars during installation resulting in delayed leaks surfacing after new battery and battery building was turned over to plant operations.
In 2017 we received a call from a utility customer who reported leaking cells in a new battery recently installed in their plant by a contractor working for a major engineering firm. In addition to the loss of electrolyte in the jars, the customer noticed electrolyte underneath the elevated building, apparently leaking through the floor. We were asked to send a technician out to identify, jumper out, and remove the leaking cells.
Once on site, we discovered that the problems were much worse than the customer realized.
- The leaking cells were being filled with distilled water as the electrolyte leaked out. Over time all electrolyte in the leaking cells had been replaced with distilled water. The measured specific gravity of those cells was 1.001. As a result, the battery would provide little to no usable energy if called upon to support the load.
- The leaking electrolyte had caused corrosion of the battery rack and the metal floor beneath it.
- In addition, the electrolyte was leaking through the floor of the battery room onto the concrete below the battery building. This created a safety issue for personnel walking beneath the building.
Actions We Performed
A full assessment of the damage was made, and the following recommendations were offered:
- Barricade the area under the battery room due to leaking electrolyte
- Jumper out and remove leaking cells
- Neutralize, repair, and repaint the floor damaged by electrolyte
- The leaking electrolyte had caused corrosion of the battery rack feet and the metal floor
- Replace the spill containment system
- Replaced damaged rack
- Replace leaking cells
- Perform a capacity test after all the corrective actions have been completed
The customer followed our recommendations and had us remove all jars and the rack. This allowed access to the damaged floor which was repaired. A functional spill containment pan was added, and the rack and leaking cells were replaced.
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