Battery Inspection Top Tips

The batteries used within your uninterruptible power supply and generator age and degrade over time. This is due to the fact that they generate power using a chemical process and interaction between their electrodes, plates and electrolyte. In a valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) battery the electrodes and plates are lead and the electrolyte is sulphuric acid. The case is normally plastic and may be Flame Retardant (FR) or not.

Design Life

It’s important to remember that batteries have a design life. This is most commonly five years or ten years. This is also coupled to the number of charge/discharge cycles which can be up to 300-400 and the ambient temperature the battery is operated within which should be within 20-25 degrees centigrade.

Battery Inspections

The state of a battery can be very quickly assess through a visual inspection.

  • Look at the terminals for signs of a white crusted powder. This is electrolyte that has leaked out between the plastic case and metal electrode and oxidised around the terminal.
  • Look at the case and see if there are any signs of buckling. Batteries are both exothermic and give of heat during charge. The more a battery ages, the more the internal resistance between the plates increases leading to a build up of heat which eventually buckles the outer plastic case.

For more information on battery inspections and testing please contact our Projects Team.