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1) Introduction: A battery cell is device that converts the chemical energy contained in its active materials directly into electrical energy by means of an oxidation reduction electrochemical reaction. The total amount of energy that can be provided by this cell is limited and depends upon the amount of reactant. This type of reaction involves the transfer of electrons from one material to another. In a non-electrochemical reaction, this transfer of electrons occurs directly and only heat is evolved. In a battery the negative electrode or anode is component capable of giving up electrons, being oxidize during the reaction. It is separated from the oxidizing material, which is positive electrode or cathode, the component capable of accepting electrons. The transfer of electrons takes place in the external electric circuit, connecting the two materials. Transfer of charge is completed within the electrolyte by movement of ions, not by electron flow. The basic unit of a battery is a cell. A battery consist of one or more cells, connected in series, parallel or series parallel combination depending on the desired output voltage and capacity. The cell consists of three major components the anode (the reducing material or fuel), the cathode or oxidizing agent, and the electrolyte which provides the necessary internal ionic conductivity. The cells principle of operation is based on Faradays laws of electrolysis. 2) TYPES OF ELECTRO CHEMICAL CELLS : A) Primary Cell: It is a device by which the electrical energy is obtained at the cost of chemical energy in first reaction and the chemical reaction is irreversible. It supplies current until the electrolyte is exhausted or the negative electrode is completely dissolved. The cell can not be recharged but the chemicals have to be replaced after a long use. The shelf life of a primary cell is about one year. A) Secondary Cell: It is that cell in which the electrical energy is first stored up as chemical energy (i.e. cell is charged) and when the current is drawn from the cell, the stored chemical energy is converted into electrical energy i.e. the current energy is obtained from the cell in second reaction. The chemical reaction is reversible in this cell. The cells are also known as storage cells or accumulators. There are two types of storage cells. 1) One in known as a mobile cells & mobile cells battery is that which moves alongwith the equipment for which it is used and 2) Other is known as stationary cells battery which means the cells battery is installed/locationed at one place and supply is extended to the equipment / system wherever it is located. The stationary battery is always off loaded. Whereas it extends the supply as & when required i.e. under conditions of the supply. E.g. total A.C. failure. Lead Accumulate is a storage cell. Its possitive electrodes are perforated lead plates coated with PbO2. It is dark brown in colour when the battery is under fully charged and its negative plates (electrode) is perforated lead plates coated with pure lead (Pb) grey in colour. The number of negative plates in every battery cell is always one more than the number of the possitive plates so that the action occurs on both sides of the possitive plate. The possitive and negative plates are arranged alternately and are connected to two common possitive and negative terminals. These plates are assembled in a suitable jar or container to make a complete cell.


Chemical Charges in the Battery : Following chemical changes take place during charging and discharging of the lead-acid cell. While Discharging : When cell is fully charged, its possitive plate (anode) and negative plate (cathode) is PbO2 and Pb respectively. When cell discharges i.e. it sends the current through the external load, then H2SO4 is dissociated into possitvie H2 ions and negative SO4 ions. While discharging as the current within the cell is flowing from cathode to anode, H2 ions move to anode and SO4 ions move to the cathode. At anode (PbO2), H2 combines with oxygen of PbO2 and H2SO4 attacts lead to form PbSO4 PbO2 + H2 + H2SO4 --> Pb SO4 + 2H2O. At the cathode (Pb) 1 SO4 combines with it to form Pb SO4 Pb + SO4 --> Pb SO4. While Charging : When the cell is recharged, current within the cell is flowing from Anode to Cathode, H2 ions move to cathode and SO4 ions go to anode and the following changes takes place. At cathode PbSO4 + H2 Pb + H2SO4. At Anode PbSO4 + SO4 + 2H2O PbO2 + 2H2 SO4. Hence, the cathode and anode again become Pb and PbO2 respectively. The charging and discharging of the cell can be represented by single reversible equation given below : +ve Plate PbO2 +2H2SO4 Discharging -ve Plate -ve Plate +Pb PbSO4 Charging -ve Plate + 2H2O + Pb SO4.

There are various types of storage cells differing not only in terms of technology of construction but also based on their output performance. A lead-acid cell is the most dominant type of storage cell. 3) Application of Storage Battery : The storage batteries are used in a number of applications such as : a) Starting, lighting and ignition applications in automobile. b) Motive power application like the battery operated forklift, trucks, mine locomotives and other material handling equipmetns. c) Providing the necessary standby power to the electrical system for the railway coaches which include lighting, air conditioning and also starting of Diesel Engines in Locomotives. d) To provide power to submarines whenever the submarine is submerged in water. e) To provide standby D. C. Power in power stations and substations, thus protecting the extensive switchgears of these stations. f) To provide standby power in UPS system. design 1) 2) 3) There are three basic types of lead-acid cell used in station battery based on the of the possitive plate. The Plante possitive plate or formed possitive plate. The Pasted or Faure or Flat possitive plate. The tubular possitive plate.

4) Different components of cells : These consists of : i) Grids :- The plates of the L. A. Storage battery consist of an electrically conducting grid framework in the mesh of which the active materials are incorporated by an electrochemical process. The grid serve to conduct current to and from the active materials of the possitive and negative plates. The grids are made of an alloy consisting essentially of lead and antimony. The antimony stiffens and strengthens the soft lead and facilitate coating on the fine wire structure of the grids. ii) Possitive Plates :- These shall be of pure lead lamelle type with specified formation (Plate/ Flat/ Tubular). These are filled with lead peroxide active material. This is dark brown crystaline mateial which consist of very small grains or particles. It provides a high degree of porosity and allows the electrdyte to penetrate the plates freely. The tubes hold the active material and increase the life of the battery. iii) Negative Plates :- The negative plates are pasted with a paste of lead oxide and some chemicals through which the electrolyte can penetrate freely. The active materials also contain expander to prevent spongy lead from contracting and reverting to solid in active state during the life of the battery. iv) Electrolyte :- It is dilute sulphuric acid having a specific gravity of 1.210 0.005 corrected to 270C. or It is 1.210 + 0.0007 (t-27). Where t is the temperature of electrolyte. v) Seperators :- These are placed in betwen possitive and negative plates to keep them seperated electrically without allowing to touch each other. vi) Containers :- Accomodates plates, seperators, electrolyte. These shall be made of glass hard ruber, suitable plastic material or glass, fibre reinforced plastics or lead lined wood. vii) Vent Pluges :- These are provided on cell lids to release excessive gases formed in the cell. But these arrests acid spray. viii) Level Indicators :- These are provided on cell lids to indicate the level of electrolyte in the cell. These are marked as maximum and minimum. ix) Cell Lids :- Lids is the top cover of sealed or closed type cells. Shall be of glass, plastic or ebonite and shall be provided with vent plugs, terminal posts. Mountings on lids shall be suitably sealed at the lids to prevent escape of acid spray, by means of rubber grommets, sealing compound or other suitable devices. x) Spray Arrestors :- Open cells shall be provided with spray arrestors of adequate area over the plates. This may be of glass sheet atleast 3mm thick or suitable transparent plastics and shall be adequately supported. xi) Terminal Posts :- Possitive and negative terminal posts (where provided) of cells shall be clearly and unmistakably identifiable. Possitive terminal is usually marked with Red colour and sign as +ve. Negative terminal is marked with Black colour and sign as -ve. xii) Bolts, Nuts and Washers :- Bolts, nuts, and washers for connecting the cells should be effectively lead coated to prevent corrosion. xiii) Connectors :- Where it is not possible to bolt the cell terminals directly to assemble a battery, seperate lead or lead-coated copper or aluminium connectors of suitable size shall be provided to join the cells. In such cases the coating shall be adequate and tenacious. In some cases, it may be necessary to connect individual cells in parallel as specified by the user. In such cases suitable connectors shall be used. 5) CONSTRUCTION: The most common construction for the lead acid cell is pasted plate design. The active material for each electrode is prepared as a paste by mixing finely divided lead oxides (PbO) and

suitable expander materials with sulfuric acid. The paste is spread onto a lead-alloy grid which provides the necessary electrical conductivity and structure to hold the active materials. The resultant plates are soldered to connecting straps to form possitive and negative groups which are interleaved. Seperators are placed between the electrodes and the completed element is placed in a container. The container is designed with a sediment space under element to collect safely any of the active material that dislodges. Sufficient headroom is provided above the plates to hold excess electrolyte. Conventional lead-acid batteries employ antimonial lead grids. The alloying is necessary to provide adequate strength for the thin grid structure to facilitate casting. Rating and Designation : Rating :- The rating assigned to the cell or battery shall be the capacity in Ah (After correction to 270) stated by the manufacturer to be obtainable. when the cell or battery is discharged at the 10 hour rate to an end voltage of 1.85 V. Per cell. This is known as 10 hour rating of the cell or battery and shall be designated as C10. It is also known as rate of discharge. These can also be in the rating of C5, C20. Designation of Cells :- Cells are designated by the letter P/ F/ T for plate /flat/ Tubular respectively followed by the standard rating of the cell; then letter indicating the type of cell container; then a hyphen (-) and the letter HDP for high discharge performance type, in the above sequence. The following will be used to indicate container types. G = glass; W = lead lined wood; P = plastics; H= hard rubber; pp= polypropelyne; ABS = antibutadyne syrenge. e.g : P400G Plate type stationary cell of capacity 400 Ah at 10-hour rate in glass container. T40P - HDP Tubular type stationary cell of capacity 40Ah at 10-hour rate in a plastic container of high discharge performance design. 6) Battery first charging : The cells or batteries shall be first charged in accordance with the instructions issued by the battery maker. Cells or batteries are normally considered to be fully charged when cell voltage and specific gravity readings are constant over atleast 3 Hours, readings being taken hourly. For this essential requirement to be ascertained are. 1) 2) 3) 4) The total charge to be given to the battery in first charging. The rate of charging current in initial charging stage. The rate of charging current in finishing charge stage. The voltages at the end of charge in each stage.

If the instructions as regards to first charging are not available following method can be undertaken. 1) Total charge to be given to battery / cells in first charging be five times the battery capacity i.e.Battery An capacity X5. 2) Initial rate of charging current be 50% of F. L. Current of battery

= AH. Capacity of battery X 0.5 throughout the complete charge. Rate of discharge. e.g. i) 400 AH C10 Battery. Initial charging current = 400 X 0.5 = 20 Amps. 10 ii) 180 Ah C5 Battery. Initial rate of charging be = 180 x 0.5 = 16 Amps. 5 3) Sp.gravity of electrolyte to be filled-in in new cells be 1.190. 4) The minimum soaking period to the battery cells shall be 12 to 24 Hr. from the time of filling of electrolyte of sp.gr. 1.190 to the first start of charging the cells. 5) Maximum termperature of electrolyte during charging be limited to 500 C. maximum. 6) Charging rate be regulated to control cell temperatures within the limit. If warranted charging current be reduced to zero but charger should not be made off. 7) In any case charger should not be made off or disconnected from the battery being charged unless the minimum 60% of required charge is given to the battery and that to for maximum period of about 4 to 6 Hrs. 8) While charging the new cells the sp. Gravity of electrolyte reduces first and later goes on increasing. 9) During charging if Sp. Gr. of any cell increases fast it shall be compensated by removing high Sp. Gr. Electrolyte from the cell and adding a fresh D. M. Water upto required level of sp.gr. of electrolyte in cell. 10) During charging if Sp.gr. of any cell does not improve alongwith the charge being given. A partial quantity of low sp.gr. electrolyte be removed from the cell and fresh electrolyte of sp.gr. 1.300 be adeled in it upto required level of Sp.gr. of electrolyte in the cell. After some period it shows an improvement in Sp.gr. toward rising trend it should be kept in line with charging cells, otherwise it is better to isolate the particular defective cell from the circuit Sp. Gravity in cell be adjusted well in advance say about 10 Hrs. before the completion of total initial charge. 7) CAPACITY TEST : a) Discharge: i) The battery which has given the first charge, is allowed to stand on open circuit for not less than 12 hrs. and not more then 24 Hours. Thereafter discharge the battery at a constant full load current of battery. The discharge shall be stopped. When : a) the closed circuit voltage across the battery has fallen to 1.85 x n volts. Where n is the number of cells in series in the battery or. b) When the voltage across any one cell has fallen to 1.7 Volts whichever is eariler. ii) The time in hours elapsing between the begining and the end of discharge shall be taken as a period of discharge. iii) On the first discharge, the battery shall not give less than 85 percent of the rated capacity. The rated capacity shall be achieved within three discharge cycle subsequent to the initial (first) charge.

iv) Recharge the battery at a constant starting current equal to full load Amps till the cells start gassing at a voltage of 2.35 to 2.4 Volts per cell and thereafter reduce the charging current to the finishing rate of 50% of F. L. Current and continue charging at this current till the voltage of each cell reaches 2.55V to 2.65V and the specific gravity to 1.210 +/- .005 and both remain constant for three consecutive half hourly readings (at the reference temperature of 270C). vi) Take two or more such cycles of discharge and charge at currents specified 100% F. L. & 50% F. L. Depending on the level of charge and rate of discharge. The specific gravity of electrolyte should always be adjusted to 1.210 +/- 0.005 before the discharge is commenced. vii) If the discharge in ampere hour in first cycle exceeds the rated capacity of the cell, it can be taken as a test discharge having passed the capacity requirements and no further test discharge shall be conducted. If the rated capacity is not obtained in the first test discharge another shall be conducted. If the battery is not to be commissioned immediately and is to be kept idle for some period, it is essential that battery be given an equalising charge every fortnight. The specific gravity of all the cells should be equalised to the full charged value. The charge is expected not to take more than 8 ( eight) Hours. b) Recharge : After the capacity test is over, (which should be above 85% for new cells and 80% for old cells), the battery has now to be recharged. This has to be done by adopting the normal recharge current upto gassing point (starting current ) and at reduced recharging current after gassing (finishing current ) exactly in line with the current values stated earlier in capacity test at the time of recharging of cells. After adjusting the sp. Gravity to be within 1.210 0.005, the full charged battery will have to be floated at 2.16 volts per cell stabilised within 1%. Once it is ensured that the floating voltage is 2.16 Volts 1% per cell, there is no need to monitor the trickle charge current passing through the battery. c) Factors responsible for Battery Capacity : (i.e. AH obtained on discharge of the battery) i) Final limiting voltage of battery. ii) Discharge rate of battery. iii) Numbers, design and diamensions of plate. iv) Design of seperator. v) Quantity, quality and density of electrolyte. vi) Temperature of cells. Calculations of Battery Capacity or Efficiency or Capacity factor. It is calculated in the different ways as : 1) AH Efficiency = AH obtained on discharge AH fed on recharge x 100%

2) Volt Efficiency

Average Volts during discharge x Average Volts during recharge WH Output on discharge x 100% WH Input to recharge


3) WH Efficiency

4) Energy Efficiency =

Discharge current x Ave. disch. volt xtime (Hrs)x 100% Recharge current x Ave. Rech. Volt x time(Hrs)

However in day to day use, the battery capacity is calculated as AH capacity. battery is the only power source of which the efficiency can be sometimes above 100%. AH efficiency is higher than WH efficiency. 8) Chargers: There are two type of chargers. 1) Constant Voltage Variable Current. (CVVC) 2) Constant Current Variable Voltage. (CCVV) CVVC :- It has very low internal resistance. Output voltage is relatively constant with changing values of load because of small internal voltage drop. CCVV :- It has very high internal resistance. This determine the constant value of current in the source circuit relatively independent of the load resistance. In power system in general the constant voltage variable current (CVVC) chargers are used. 9) Different currents in battery charging : i) Trickle charge current :- It is the current drawn by the battery from the charger for neutralizing its internal losses. ii) Float charging current :- It is the current fed by the float charger to the battery and the system load. This includes the system load current and battery trickle charge current. iii) Boost charging current :- It is the current fed by the boost charger to the battery. When the total battery is put on boost charge i.e. at an extended voltage of about 2.6 to 2.65 volts per cell. Note : Wherever the battery is having an independent float and Boost chargers, then during the period of boost charging, float charger need not be made off. Float and Boost both chargers be kept on and connected to the system. The only care should be taken that contactor placed between +ve terminals of Boost and float charger is made to open. iv) Initial charge current :- It is the current fed to new battery at the time of first charging during initial charging period recommended by the manufacture or as per standard. vi) Normal charge current :- It is the current fed to the battery for recharging after it is fully discharged. It is normally 14% at the start and 7% of the 10 hrs. capacity after cell voltage is reached 2.4 volts per cell. vii) Freshening charge current :- It is the current given to a floating battery after a set period as predetermined and the rate is approximately 4% of 10 hrs. capacity for a short period of about 2-3 hours. viii) Equalizing charge current :- It is the current fed to the battery to bring all cells to an equal level condition. In a set of battery it is likely that some of cells may be out of step with general condition of battery. To bring such cells in line with normal cells. The charge is extended further at lower rate after completion of normal charge until all cell gas freely besides constancy of cell voltage and sp. Gr. For at least two consequtive hours all attended. It is about 2 to 3% of the capacity.


CORRECT FLOATING OF THE BATTERY: A fully charged battery cannot be allowed to remain on open circuit, since, it will undergo continuous self-discharge. As per Indian Standards, a new battery can lose charge at a rate of 10% in 28 days. This value would be higher as the battery ages. Therefore, unless the internal losses are continuously compensated, the battery may not possess adequate energy, at a time when it is called upon to perform in the emergency. Float charging, apart from meeting the internal losses of the battery, (Note : The float charger, apart from meeting the internal losses of the battery, also takes care of the D.C. continuous load of the system). Normally, a Lead-Acid battery can be floated across a busbar voltage of anywhere between 2.15 to 2.20 volts per cell, preferably at the optimum voltage recommended by the battery manufacturerm for eg. Floating voltage of 2.16 volts per cell. A circuit diagram for a combined float charge and boost charge is attached, which you can study at leisure. 11. ADJUSTING THE CURRENT FROM THE FLOAT CAHRGER TO THE BATTERY: Gentlemen, please note that there is no need for the above. It is only required to maintain the floating voltage at say, 2.16 volts per cell and the battery, depending on its own condition at that particular time will draw the necessary trickle charging current as it required. (Trickle charging current, as you may be aware of, is the current in milli-amperes drawn by the battery for neutralizing and compensating for its internal losses due to self-discharge). Further, it is not desirable to adjust the trickle charging current from the float charger to the battery, since this value will not be a constant figure over the life span of the battery. As the battery ages, its internal losses increase and hence the need for higher trickle charging current as the battery ages. This will be drawn by the battery itself so long as the floating voltage is maintained at the correct setting of 2.16 volts per cell. 12. DANGERS OF FLOATING THE BATTERY AT A HIGHER VOLATGE THAN THE OPTIMUM: This will impair the life of the battery, more so with the advancing years of service. The following values of typical trickling charging currents drawn by a stationary cell at different floating voltages vis-a-vis the age of the battery will illustrate my point.

Age in Year 0 1 3 4 8

Trickle current in milli-ampere per ampere-hour at different floating voltage (per cell) 2.15 Volts 2.20 volts 2.25 volts 0.35 0.55 1.0 0.50 0.85 1.8 0.65 1.30 3.0 1.0 2.0 5.9 1.5 3.4 14.9

(Ambient temperature - 2700C Sp. Gr. 1.210) If we refer to the above table, we can see that a battery in the 4th year of its service floated at 2.15 volts per cell draws 1 milli-ampere per ampere hour capacity of the battery for being kept healthy. If, however, the above floating voltage is increased to 2.20 volts per cell, which is a increase of only 2.3% over the previous value, we find that the trickle charging current nearly doubles. Similarly, when the floating voltage is increased from 2.15 to 2.25 volts per cell (an increase of only 4.6% of the first value) we find that the trickling charging current increases to about 6 times, i.e. an increase of about 500%.

You can well appreciate from the above illustration how serious is the over charging caused to the battery by even a small percentage increase in the floating voltage. The severity of this overcharge is more as the battery age advances. This also would impress upon you the need to have valibrated sensitive instruements in measuring bus bar float voltage, since a variation of a few volts can cause disastrous results by way of overcharge (if higher) and severe under charge and sulphation (if lower) It is therefore, very important for the life of the battery and its service that it is floated at the optimum voltage recommended by the manufacturer. 13. STABILIZING D.C. OUTPUT OF FLOAT CHARGER: It is essential that the D.C. output of the float charger should be stabilised. The float charger should be stabilised. The float charger converts A.C. power of the mains to D.C. for floating the battery at the appropriate voltage level and for maintaining the D.C. continuous load. If the mains voltage goes up and/or the D.C. continuous load decreases, the effect would be an increase in the floating voltage across the battery, which as we have seen earlier, is harmful to the battery. For, a mere 4.6% increase in the trickle charging current to about 500%. Hence, if the A.C. voltage increases, or the D.C. load decreases by a substantial value, then, the trickle charging current could increase even by 900% to 1000%. This exhorbitant trickle charging current flowing into the battery is much more than what the battery can absorb for compensating current flowing through the battery would increase the temperature of the electrolyte, as well as the plates, causing GRID CORROSION and exvessive water loss. This will lead to the premature termination of the battery. It costs very little to provide a D.C. output voltage stabilisation for the Float Charger, but this money is well spent, since this goes to a long way in utilizing the full service life of the battery. The need to stabilise the D.C. output voltage of the float charger can be emphasised to any extent, since lack of it leads to termination of battery life unduly prematurely. 14. VENTILATION OF BATTERY ROOM: Unlike many other electrical equipment, the performance of the battery increases with increase of temperature. But from the point of view of battery life, a higher temperature will have an adverse effect. For example, a battery of 200 AH at 10 hour rate of discharge at 270C has approximately 5% more capacity at 370C. Similarly, with reuction in temperature capacity decreases. But, the effect of higher temperature will have an injurious effect on the battery life caused due to Grid Corrosion. Higher temperature, together with excessive trickle charging current accelerate the termination of battery life. As an outcome of the experiment conducted by the Bell Telephone Company, USA, it has been found that for every 100C, temperature rise over 270C., the battery life is reduced by one half. We therefore, invite the attention of the Engineers to this aspect and hence the need to maintain the battery room very well ventilated. There is another important aspect to this ventilation. From the point of view of maintaining pollution-free atmosphere in the battery room, without acid fumes therein, it becomes imperative to provide adequate ventilation to the room. This will also reduce the danger and hazard posed by high concentration of 4% of hydrogen in the battery room reducing any explosion risks. It is known that even a concentration of 4% of hydrogen in the battery room can lead to an explosion caused by any chance spark.



TOOPING-UP WITH DISTILLED WATER: During the normal service operation and also due to gassing (especially during boost charge.) considerable water from the electrolyte can be lost which has to be compensated by replacing with distilled water upto the correct level as indicated by the mark on the floats. The normal practice is only to use distilled water (or demineralised water from ionexchangers) for the purpose of topping up and not acid. There could, however, be an exception to this normal rule, which is as under. Normally it is only the water that is lost, but there is also a very strong possibility of the loss of sulphuric acid by way of frequent hydrometer readings. A small quantity of acid gets retained in the tip of the hydrometer each time a specific gravity reading is taken, but over a period of time, this may amount to a considerable reduction in the sulphate radicals. Further, there may also be spillare of acid occasionally ad other extraneous factors reducing the quantum of acid within the cell. Under such circumstances, after duly confirming, it may not be a wrong practice to add a little acid (of the same specific gravity as in the cell) to the cell. One indication for the need to add a little acid is after observing that the specific gravity does not increase ever after considerable boost charging, with the level of electrolyte less than the required level. Some times it would be necessary to open the lagging cell and examine the condition of separators before deciding to add a little acid to the cells. It is possible in some cases that the separators may deteriorate with ageing and/or high temperatures and if so, this can lead to fall in specific gravity readings due to internal slow shorting. The obvious remedy in such cases is to renew the separators and all will be well. 16. SULPHATION, HOW IT OCCURS AND HOW TO REMOVE: When a battery is over discharge and not charged back sufficiently, or when the battery remains continuously in an undercharge condition, it leads to the positive and/or negative plates containing more sulphate, thus reducing battery capacity. This is called battery sulphation and if it is not substantial or long standing, this can usually be removed by the process of slow recharging. However, if the battery is left unattended in this sulphated condition, this form of sulphation becomes permanent and very often irreversible i.e. the battery plates cannot be brought back to their original composition of brown lead-peroxide in the positive plates and grey spongy lead in the negatives. Excessive sulphation can occur in a lead-acid stationary batteries when the floating voltage is much below the recommended optimum required for compensating internal losses due to self-discharge. The process of removal of excessive sulphation is a very slow and painstaking one. This can be accomplished in the following ways: 17. SLOW CHARGING: If the sulphation is not excessive, this can be removed and the battery charged back to its original condition by simply charging the battery at the normal current until gasing just begin 9about 2.4 volts per cell). The charge is then stopped for half an hour. There after, the battery is charged at a current one-fifth to one-tenth of the previous value until gassing again starts. A rest period of half an hour is again given and the battery put on charge at the above reduced current until gassing again occurs freely. This process of charging with a reduced current and subsequent rest interval is repeated several times. These charges gradually raise the density of the electrolyte until it reaches a

constant value close to the normal value of 1.200 corrected to 270C. When these charges with small currents, which sometimes have to be conducted for several days are completed, the specific gravity of the electrolyte would reach the required value. Minor adjestments upto five points could however, be made to the specific gravity after the above treatment to keep it at the require value of 1.200. 18. WATER CHARGING: If the sulphation is found to be excessive, as revealed by the refusal of the specific gravity to rise after one cycle of the treatment as in (10 above, then the following procedure could be adopted. The cells concerned are discharged upto 1.80 Volt/cell at the 10 hour or 20 hour rate current. The electrolyte is then drained and replaced immediately with distilled water to the proper level. After an hour or so, the cells are placed on charge at a very low current (one tenth of the normal value). If the damage is not be yond repair, then, by this method the density of the electrolyte would gradually increase. When uniform gassing begins at the plates and the density no longer increases, the charging is discontinued. The cells are then placed on discharge at about one fifth of the ten hour discharge current until the voltage of the battery reaches 1.8 Volts/ cell. The cells are then recharged as in para 2 above. This cycle of charge and discharge is repeated until the density of the electrolyte after the charge reaches the normal value in each cel. This cycling some times takes 3 to 5 weeks. 19. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF BATTERY

1) Ready availability of accessories in battery room : The various accessories listed below should be readily available in the battery room itself so that no time will be lost in fetching these accessories whenever required. a) Syringe Type hydrometer capable of reading specific gravity, correct to 0.005. b) Thermometer of range 0-060C capable of reading temperature, correct to 10C,complete with the integral specific gravity correction chart. c) Cell testing voltmeter 3-0-3 V complete with leads. d) Rubber syringe. e) Spanner f) Acid resisting funnel. g) Acid resisting jug. h) Distilled water as per IS : 1069. i) Petroleum jelly for covering the exposed metal parts of the battery. j) Rubber gloves. k) Rubber aprons. l) Eye wash bottle. m) Nylon brush with stout bristles or cleaning connections. n) 5 to 10% Amonia or Soda solution to neutralise the spot affected by acid splash. 20) 1) Battery Room aspects : Battery Room :The Battery room should be ready in all respects by fulfilling the following minimum requirements :369

i) The walls and the ceiling of the battery room should be well white washed and should remain clean and dry. ii) The flooring of the battery room shall be of acid resistant tiles and materials. iii) The battery room shall be well lit. There should be no direct sunlight on the cells. iv) a) When exhaust fans are be provided, those should be suitably distributed on the wall(s) of the room, open to the atmosphere for creating six air changes per hour, it is equally important to provide sufficient air inlet to the battery room by providing Blowers. If the exhaust alone is effective without equal quantity of air inlet, a negative pressure will be created in the battery room which will cause a two-fold undesirable phenomenon : i) A negative pressure will be created in the battery room, leading to evaporation of electrolyte even at the normal room temperature. The electrolyte, so evaporated in the form of a fine spray, will settle on the cells, stands, etc. reducing the electrical insulation of the battery from the ground. ii) When the room pressure is normal, the Hydrogen evolved from the battery does not normally form an explosive mixture with air. If however, the room pressure has reduced, the Hydrogen evolved may form an explosive mixture, leading to an explosion, should a spark occur anywhere in the battery room. It is for above reasons that equally effective air-inlet Blowers should be provided in the battery room so that the ventilation as a whole is effective both in respect of inlet and exhaust. The inlet air should be free from effluents such as chlorine acetic acid and well fitted so that the extraneous materials like coal dust are not ingressed inside the room. b) No spark should be created in the battery room by way of bringing naked candles or lighted cigarettes. Similarly, uninsulated tools and un-protected inspection lamps are prohibited inside the battery room. Since, silk, art-silk and fur clothing, create static electricity, the use of the same is prohibited in the battery room. All battery connections should be kept clean and tight so that we can avoid sparks because of corroded connections. 21. Periodic Maintenance Aspects : a) Daily : i) The floating voltage of the charger across the battery should be noted at the charger end, as well, as at the battery end and it should be ensured that the floating voltage is kept at 2.16 volt per cell stabilised within 1%. ii) The float charger has to be examined to check whether the same is working in Auto mode only which the 1% voltage stability across the battery can be guaranteed. If the float charger has gone defective in the Auto mode and can work only in the manual mode, the concerned personnel has to be called, to set right the float charger for ensuring its working in Auto mode. iii) Electrolyte specific gravities of a few chosen cells, called pilot cells have to be taken everyday. 5% of the cells of the battery bank can be used as pilot cells for daily specific gravity measurements. Pilot cells may be changed every month for monitoring battery condition better. iv) The cell containers, stands, insulators, connectors, vent plugs, terminals etc. have to be cleaned everyday. Float indicator functioning be checked and cell electrolyte level be maintained properly. v) In order to ensure that the full battery is available across the DC load terminals, it is necessary to switch-off the float charger, for a one minute duration everyday, at a specific time to note the battery discharging through the load or the busbar. This will also ensure that

battery is healthy and that there is no open circuit anywhere. If float charger can not be switched -off frequently, it may atleast be switched off even during short shut down of the unit to ensure the battery healthiness on load condition. b) Weekly : In addition to the Daily Maintenance procedure detailed above, the following additional maintenance has to be done every week : i) Check the electrolyte level in each of the cells to ensure the electrolyte level to correspond to the top red mark on the float-guide. If the level is lower, top-up with pure battery grade distilled water (IS : 1069). ii) Tighten the various inter-connections so that there is no loose contact. c) Monthly : In addition to the Daily and Weekly Maintenance procedure, it is necessary to adopt the following procedures, every month : i) Check the electorlyte specific gravity of all the cells to ensure the same to be within 1.200 0.005. If the specific gravity is higher than the upper limit, replace a little quantity of electrolyte, by an equal quantity of distilled water by using judgement. If the specific gravity of any or more cells is lower than the lower limit, charge the battery bank as a whole for a short duration at a current equal to 2 % of the Ampere-Hour capacity so that the lower specific gravity of the cells could improve. ii) Only when it is found that the specific gravities are not uniform, discharge the battery bank for a short duration of 15 minutes to 30 minutes at 10 Hour rate current or even less and then re-charge thereafter at Equalising Charge current, which is at a current equal to 2 % of the AH capacity and the voltage applied could go upto 2.35 to 2.40 V percell. A specific gravity adjustment may be done at the end of this Equalising Charge using only Distilled water. d) Quarterly : Apart from the Daily, Weekly and Monthly Maintenance procedures, it is recommended for adopting the following procedure of curative discharge and recharge once in three months, after switching-off the float charger : Dishcarge the battery at its 10-hour rate discharge current for a period of 2-hours and recharge the battery at the normal recharging current till specific gravities stabilise within 1.200 0.005 or adjust if required. This discharge for 2-hours called the Curative discharge, helps to correct some imbalances. Also a battery continuously floated, when made to discharge, has a higher probability of a longer life. However, certain situations may prohibit any discharging the battery even for 2 hours. In such cases, a discharge for duration of one-hour at the 10hour rate current may be adopted. However, whenever shut downs can be arranged the battery can be discharged for a period of 10-hours at the 10-hour rate current, to be recharged back to the full charged state. e) Special Maintenance Procedure for Batteries : Periodic curative discharge of battery set is recommended once in three months. This curative discharge will keep the battery in healthy condition. Discharge current shall be 1/10th of capacity to end voltage 1.85V/ cell.



23. ROLE OF BATTERY CHARGER IN KEEPING THE STATIONARY BATTERY HEALTHYNESS Since Protection is the sole reason for the existence of a stationary battery, no chances are taken about ensuring its healthiness. One of the chief contributors to the battery healthiness is the battery charging equipment. Despite any care in selection and design of batteries, a battery charging equipment, not selected optimally, can easily ruin the battery and also undermine the protection of the power station. Attention to the scheme of charging equipment, ensures battery healthiness and enhances the protection of the station. The importance of a properly designed designed charging system has been increasingly felt in and hence a discussion, on the battery charger systems will be faithful.

Battery Trouble Over charging

Under charging

Loss of capacity

Corrosion plates


Symptoms/ Cause 1) Excessive gassing 2) Falling of active material from positive plates. 3) Buckling of plates 4) Increased temperature 5) Bulging of container 1) Low specific gravity 2) Lighter colour of plates 3) Reversal of cell voltage 4) Sulphation on the battery terminals Abnormal drop of voltage during a normal discharge without corresponding rise in temperature due to : 1) Loss of active material from plates 2) Formation of sulphate 3) Loss of electrolyte 4) Some material impurities 1) Impure electorlyte 2) High rate of charging 1) Discharge at too rapid rate 2) Unequal distribution of current over plates 3) Defective plates 4) Plates exposed to direct sun 1) Overcharging of plates 2) Charging done at high rate 3) Defective material 4) Material improperly applied on plates

Remedies 1) Reduce the charging rate till the specific gravity attains value 1210. 2) Add distilled water. 1) Increase the charging rate till the specific gravity attains value 1210. 2) Clean the battery terminals and links 1) Contact manufacture for special treatment / repairs.

Fracture & buckling of plates

1) 2) 3) 4) 1) 2) 3)

Remove electorlyte Flush with distilled water Refill with pure electrolyte Reduce the rate of charging Reduce the charging rate Replace the defective plates Disconnect the cells from service.

Shedding of active material

1) Charging and discharging limits should be maintained as per manufacturers recommendations 2) Contact manufacturer for defective material.


Battery Trouble Excessive Sulphation

Symptoms/ Cause Under charging Too strong or too weak acid Over discharge Local action (Internal discharge) 5) Short Circuits 6) Loss of voltage 1) 2) 3) 4) 1) Low specific gravity 2) Rapid loss of capacity after charge 3) Low open circuit voltage due to buckling of plates and lodging of some conducting material between plates and around. When an undercharged or weak cell is in series with good ones, its discharge is ended before the others, which overpowers the defective cell and reverse it. 1) Sp. Gr. Uniformly low. 2) In-sufficient charge. 3) Sp. Gr. Uniformly low 4) Cells left in discharged state for longer time than permitted or cells are near end of life. 1) Few cells show low ends of charge voltages even after

Short Circuit

1) S be ch 2) S n th 3) M re m 1) R 2) U 3) R 4) R

Reversal of negative plates

Charg boost

Poor Lead Performance



Failure to pick-up charge.

If at volta Gr. W value servi 1) O e

Symptoms/ Cause 1) Odd cell low in sp. Gr. Or level compared to others. 2) Bad Maintenance. Over topping 24. THE BASIC PRE-REQUISITIES OF A BATTERY CHARGING SYSTEM 3) Broken cell container. A Battery Charger operating in conjunction with a stationary battery has to perform the in the POLARITY Cell voltage reversed following minimum functions : REVERSAL entire battery. a) The float charger of the battery charging equipment a) In Battery must float the batteries at an optimum voltage, to ensure passing of sufficient and necessary trickle charging current through Battery wrongly connected in charging current. the battey to compensate for the battery internal losses. (A higherthe floating voltage than the optimum will not only overcharge the battey accelerating Grid Corrosion, but also cause overvoltage across the DC busbar). b) The float charger of the battery charging equipment must also meet the DC continuous load of the station. Since the battery cannot meet the continuous load continously, it is only the float charger that should meet the DC continuous load, for which the rating of the float charger must be properly selected even keeping in view the future growth of the DC continuous load. c) The float charger should also have stabilisation of its DC output voltage, which not only ensures the passing of proper trickle charging current through the battery but also maintains b) In some of the Reduced capacity of the battery. the busbar voltage steady, even in spite of theindividual fluctuations in the voltage and frequency of cell of mains supply and also the variation in DC continuous load. a battery. Undercharging of the battery. d) The float charger which floats the battery and meets the DC continuous load should have inbuilt drooing characteristics, so that the overloads can be passed on to the battery. Reduced capacity of the battery.

Battery Trouble Cells damp & dirty

Obse up ab


Imme isnot batte charg corre Ensu indiv Havin value longe neces recha order cond Reset value proce

Excessive overcharging resulting in the corrosion of the positive group.

Reset value impu beyo elect

e) The scheme of charging equipment should be so designed that right at the incidence of AC mains failure, the battery in readiness, should be connected instantaneously to the DC load bus. This is an important moment for which the battery exists and hence the availability of battery to the DC load bus should be automatic without any manual switching in process. f) Recharging of the discharged battery, after the resumption of AC mains power, should be accomplished through a separate boost charger capable of providing full recharge voltage upto 2.65 V/cells and the current as required. g) All the cells of the battery bank should be recharged uniformly and at the same time, without undercharging or overcharging any portion of the bank. h) The scheme of charging equipment should prevent over voltage of the battery on boost charge, from being reflected across the DC load terminals. The voltage of the DC load but should be determined only by the float charger, even though the battery may be on boost charge. i) The charging system should also ensure the connecting of the full battery to the load busbar, even if another AC power failure takes place, when the battery is on boost charge. The circuit should also provide a continuity of DC supply even during any Ride through period. 25) RECOMMENDED BATTERY CHARGER SYSTEM MEETING THE ABOVE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS The pre-requisites stated above are the minimum that a charging equipments should meet with, so that the battery can serve its function of protection of the power station. The above requirments can be met with only by a charging equipment having a separate. Float charger and a Boost charger interlocked with each other, A circuit diagram enclosed outlines the scheme, without being drawn into the finer details of the components. We may refer the DC contactor on the positive busbar which is closed all the time, except when the Boost charger is switched ON. During the normal times, the Float charger floats the battery at the optimum floating voltage, say, 2.16 V per cell and the Float charger also meets the DC continuous load of the busbar. Since the Boost charger if OFF, the contact of the DC contractor is closed, thus connecting the Float charger +ve to the battery +ve. When there is an AC mains failure, the contactor continues to remain closed (the Boost charger being OFF) and hence the battery readily supplies the emergency load of the DC bus. When the AC power resumes, the Boost charger will be switched ON, for recharging the discharged battery. Once the Boost charger is ON, the NC contact of the AC contactor of the Boost Charger opens out, thus de-energising the DC CONTACTOR. The contact of the DC contactor placed in the +ve line, opens out, thus disconnecting load +ve from the battery +ve. The DC continuous load is however fed by the float charger. The boost charging of the discharged battery, requires the voltage of the boost charger to be progressively increased to 2.65 V/cells. Nevertheless, this extra voltage of the Boost Charger across the battery, is not reflected to the DC load bus because the DC contactor is open. Thus the boost charging takes place without causing any over voltage to the DC bus. In case there is one more power failure during this period (when the battery is on boost charge), the DC contactor closes (Boost charger-AC contactor drops out), thus connecting the battery +ve to the load +ve and hence the full battery voltage is available to the load bus. But, the DC contactor takes about 150/ 200 milliseconds to close, during which time a continuity of the battery to the DC bus is provided from the 84th cell of the battery (in case of 110 cells system) which is connected to the load +ve through a silicon blocker diode. In view of the direction of connection of the blocker diode, it does not serve any function during other times

except during the infinitesmally small time of the DC contactor closing. Thus this scheme provides a continuity even during the Ride through moment of DC contactor closure. The blocker diodes also takes care of the eventualities of failure of Dc contactor. 26) DESIRABLE FEATURES OF THE FLOAT CHARGER Considering the Floating charger alone, it should be understood that this is the only circuit which is ON continuously, because normally the Boost charger is OFF and the battery is only in a state of readiness. Reliability of the Float Charger is a dominant necessity, since it feeds the continuous load all the time and also keeps the battery trickle charged for ever. If the Float charger goes defective, the entire burden of meeting the DC continuous load will fall on the battery and as you know the battery can feed it only for a few hours. We will then be left with a discharged battery. Though we can energise the Boost charger, meeting the DC continuous load will however not be possible. Hence in the normal scheme, where there is no Standby Float Charger, it is necessary to design and select a proper Float charger which will not fall. In case of failure of any electronic component of the Auto Controller of the Float Charger, there must be always an alternative provision to operate the float charger in the Manual-Mode. However, if any Rectifier element fails, the Manual-Mode operation will not be possible. Providing safe-guards against the failure of the float charger is vitally necessary, in view of its continuous operation and also the problems arising in the circuit to provide an alternative arrangement. The following aspects are to be kept in view in selection and designing the float charger : a) LOAD LIMITING FEATURE The float charger should incorporate Voltage Drooping Characteristics, which is also called current or load limiting feature. Upon the Incidence of any overload, the output voltage of the float charger should go down, permitting the battery to meet the loads above 100%. One of the functions of the battery is to meet such short time overloads or peak loads. During the load limit operation of the Float charger, the battery and Float charger will operate in parallel, the Float charger meeting the load upto 100% and the battery taking care of the remaining load above 100%. b) FUSE PROTECTION HRC Fuses of appropriate rating should be provided on the AC and DC sides of the Float charger. Also each rectifying element should be provided with one semi conductor fuse for protection. This will ensure the protection of the transformer and the Rectifier bridge, by which the long down-time of the Float charger can be prevented. c) OTHER PROTECTION FEATURES FOR FLOAT CHARGER Hole-Storage Condensor with resistor for each rectifying element should be provided to ensure surge-suppression. In addition, selenium surge suppressors can be provided on the AC side of the Float charger. Overload relays can also be provided on the AC incoming side. It is also possible to provide a suitable circuitary in the Electronic Controller by which, even under dead-short circuit of the DC side of the Float charger will not exceed 110% of the rated load. Facility should be invariably provided to minimise the inrush current from the Float charger to the discharged battery. d) ABOUT THE TYPE OF RECTIFICATION Feasibly only silicon devices are used. Since the Float Charger has to provide with

voltage stabilisation, it is necessary to incorporate a Rectifier bridge comprising of Silicon Diodes and Silicon Controller Rectifiers. This is called an Half Controlled Bridge, since a 3 phase bridge will have 3 Nos. of Silicon Diodes. A full controlled 3 phase bridge will comprise of 6 Nos. of Silicon Controlled Rectifiers. However, there is no necessity, whatsoever, to use any full controlled Bridge for the battery chargers. A full controlled bridge will be required only for Motor Drives. The Eectronic controller is essential for the operation of the Float charger, because it is the Controller which is responsible for the Automatic voltage Stabilisation of the dc output voltage of the Float Charger. The controller also ensures the load limiting feature. In the float chargers with silicon controlled Rectifiers, the Controller also incoporates Soft start feature, by which, upon switching on, the DC voltge of the charger rises slowly, thus avoiding any in-rush curent into the Float chargers, the controller senses any error (positive or negative) on the DC output voltage the conduction or for decreasing it, depending on the nature of the error. In other words the controller alters the firing angle of the SCRs and also the total conduction angle. 27) RIPPLE CONTENT: The DC output of the charger connot be a straight-line DC, which, though uni-directional, is also pulsating. The time-varying component super-imposed on the average value of the output voltage can be quantified and it is called Ripple Factor. A high ripple content is not acceptable to the loads connected to the DC bus. Further, it also causes over-heating of the battery. The charger with uncontrolled rectifying elements with single phase AC input has a ripple content of 48% on the DC side. If however, the charger is with three phase AC input, the ripple content is about 5%. The above figures are applicable only to the chargers comprising of only Silicon diodes without any SCRs. When SCRs are employed, the ripple content can go as high as 70% to 80%, depending on the angle of conduction. Clearly, such a high ripple is not acceptabe either to the battery or the load. Filter circuits have to be provided on the DC side to reduce the ripple content. The Float charger will comprise of normally a series choke followed by a shut condensor bank. Where a very low level of ripple is required (High smoothing). It may be required to adopt a choke-input. TT () Filter which comprises of 2 series chokes each followed by a shunt condensor bank. A filter circuit should not merely rely on the assistance of the condesnsors but also on well designed series chokes of proper rating. Any inadequately designed choke will permit heavy in-rush current through the shunt condensors, during transient periods and thus causing blowout of fuses. 28) BOOST CHARGER: Many points discussed in the context of the float charger are equally applicable to the Boost charger. However, the Boost charger is not a stabilised voltage device. The output voltage of the boost charger must be increased progressively from 1.80 to 2.65 volts per cell so that the necessary starting current and the finishing current for the battery charging can be obtained. It is possible to vary Boost charger output voltage by using a selector switch, which will select appropriate transformer secondary-taps, depending upon the required DC voltage. A variac can also be employed to obtain a stepless variation of the DC output voltage. However, in both the above methods, the cahrging current has to be held constant manually, by continuously varying the voltage. To an extent the ballast chokes on the AC side can provide some current steadiness. In case constant current cahrging is required, it will be necessary to incorporate Silicon Controlled Rectifiers for the Boost charger also. The Boost charger with SCRs and silicon

diodes will accomplish current stabilisation, on the same lines of the Float charger achieving voltage stabilisation. The set current can be kept constant within +/- 2% of the set value. 29) USING THE BOOST CHARGER AS A FLOAT CHARGER: Wherever the output current of the Boost Charger is equal to or more than the float charger current rating, it is possible to use the Boost charger, as a Float charger, to take care of contingency of failure of Float charger. Suitable altertions can be made in the circuit of the charging equipment, by which the Boost charger can take the place of the float charger, till the defective Float charger is rectified.