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Document

Classification:
CONFIDENTIAL

STANDARD

Title:

STANDARD FOR BATTERY ROOMS

Unique Identifier:

TST41-644

Document Type:

STANDARD

Revision:

Effective date:

JUNE 2007

Total pages:

19

Review date:

JUNE 2012

COMPILED BY

FUNCTIONAL RESP.

AUTHORIZED BY

.................................
BN JONGA
TECHNOLOGY &
SUPPORT -DC

...........................
A DE LA GUERRE
M&C MANAGER

.................................
N KLEYNHANS
PMC MANAGER

DATE:.......................

DATE:.......................

DATE:.......................

CONTENTS

PAGE

Foreword ...................................................................................................................................................... 33
1. Purpose .................................................................................................................................................. 33
2. Applicability ............................................................................................................................................. 33
3. Normative references ............................................................................................................................. 33
4. Definitions and abbreviations ................................................................................................................. 33
4.1 Definitions2
4.2 Abbreviations..2
5. Requirements ......................................................................................................................................... 33
5.1 General2
5.2 Civil Requirements 3
5.3 Electrical Requirements8
5.4 Safety and Maintenance...9
6. Revision Information ........................................................................................................................... 1212
7. Authorisation ....................................................................................................................................... 1212
Annexures
Annexure A .............................................................................................................................................. 1313
Annexure B .............................................................................................................................................. 1515
Annexure C.1 ........................................................................................................................................... 1616
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STANDARD FOR BATTERY ROOMS

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Foreword
This document is derived from:
NWG 7014: Rev 0; Design guide for battery rooms - 1990 Leon Drotsch

1. Purpose
The purpose of this standard is to assist design engineers in the design of battery rooms that will house
stationary, vented lead acid and nickel cadmium batteries.

2. Applicability
This standard is applicable to battery rooms at all Transmission substations.

3. Normative References
The following documents contain provisions that, through reference in the text, constitute requirements of
this standard. At the time of publication, the editions indicated were valid. All standards and specifications
are subject to revision, and parties to agreements based on this standard are encouraged to investigate
the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the documents listed below. Information on currently
valid national and international standards and specifications can be obtained from the Information Centre
at Megawatt Park.
Standard for maintenance of DC systems.
Procedure for maintenance of DC systems.

4. Definitions and Abbreviations


4.1. Definitions
4.1.1. Type e: Equipment that does not produce arcs sparks, or dangerous surface temperatures in
normal service, and which has been provided with certain additional protective features in order to
increase its safety to a level that is suitable for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

4.2. Abbreviations
4.2 .1. BVR: Basic Ventilation Rate
4.2.2. RVR: Recommended Ventilation Rate
4.2.3. OHSACT: Occupational Health and Safety Act

5. Requirements
5.1. General
i)

Battery rooms shall provide easy access for batteries and battery stands. In addition, battery rooms
shall be dry, well lit, well ventilated and protected against the ingress of dust and foreign matter.

ii ) Only flat or stepped single row single tier, double row single tier ,three row centre terraced and four
row centre terraced wooden stands (normally ordered from the battery manufacturer at the time the
batteries are ordered) shall be used.

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iii) Battery rooms shall provide for possible future expansion / refurbishment, therefore it shall be located
at the end of the building. Battery rooms shall be situated as near to the associated loads and
rectifier equipment as possible.
vi)

Every endeavour shall be made to ensure that the battery room is situated on the coolest side of the
building.

v)

Separate battery rooms shall be provided for batteries with different types of electrolyte, i.e. nickel
cadmium and lead-acid batteries shall not be installed in the same room. Two or more batteries with
the same type of electrolyte may be installed in the same room but on separate battery stands.
An access passage at least one metre wide to all battery rows and a minimum of one metre between
rows of battery stands shall be provided.
Only single row or stepped double row single tier battery stands may be positioned against a wall.
The step shall be such that the top of the cell plates of the back row is exposed.
The minimum distance between any battery terminal and the nearest water supply point shall be two
metres.

ix) Rows of battery stands shall be positioned such that they do not jeopardize or obstruct the doorway.
x)

Wherever possible the stands shall be positioned perpendicular to the entrance wall. The battery
arrangements shall comply with the layout drawing, showing the positioning of the different batteries.

5.2. Civil Requirements


5.2.1. Floors Construction
i)

Expansion joints shall be avoided.

ii)

When the battery room is located at ground level, the floor shall comprise a concrete surface bed laid
on compacted earth. When the battery room is situated above ground level, the floor shall comprise
a reinforced concrete slab.

iii)

Due to the mass of the batteries the floor shall be absolutely stable. Subsidence of the floor at points
of load shall not take place, as this will cause settling and tilting of the batteries with consequent
straining of the battery connection.

iv) The floor shall be given a uniform fall, end to end, of not less than 1:200, by applying a cement
screed to the concrete. The lower end being that where the tapped water supply is located. Across
this lower end of the floor, a white glazed fire clay block channel or epoxy lined concrete channel
shall be provided, sloping towards the outlet. This outlet shall discharge into a PVC drainpipe that
shall be built through the external wall of the battery room, and shall lead to a dedicated drainage
system, designed and installed to prevent contamination of groundwater.
v)

To prevent fluid discharge from the battery room, a lip of at least 25 mm shall be placed on the inside
of the door entrance. Alternatively a water channel, complete with a non-corrosive grid cover, shall be
installed along the wall.

5.2.2 Floor Protection


i)

In lead-acid battery rooms, the electrolyte shall be sulfuric acid (H2SO4).

ii)

As concrete is highly vulnerable to corrosion by this acid, the floor shall be given a protective coating
of acid-resistant, non-skid ceramic floor tiles or an approved acid-resistant epoxy coating applied in
accordance with the manufacturers specifications.

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iii) The electrolyte used in nickel cadmium batteries is a solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH), in water.
In certain cases, small quantities of lithium hydroxide (LiOH) are also included in the solution.
iv) This fluid will not corrode concrete or brickwork, but if left for any length of time in direct contact with
these materials, it will form a white encrustation of potassium carbonate (K2CO3). This encrustation
however is relatively harmless and can easily be dissolved and removed with cold water.
v)

For nickel cadmium battery rooms therefore, corrosion resistance flooring materials are not technical
requirements and they cannot be justified economically.

5.2.3. Walls
Walls shall be continuous from floor to ceiling and be securely anchored. The walls of lead acid or nickel
cadmium battery rooms shall be protected against electrolyte splashes, by applying an approved lightcoloured, acid resistant enamel paint.

5.2.4. Windows
Windows shall not be provided in battery rooms. Where windows have been installed in older rooms, they
shall be suitably blanked off to prevent ingress of sunlight

5.2.5. Ceilings
i)

The ceilings shall be flat preferably and be at least 2, 5 m above floor-level.

ii)

Being considerably lighter than air, the hydrogen given off during battery charging will rise and
accumulate under the high points of ceilings and overhead structures. All such high points shall be
vented to the atmosphere. Special attention shall be paid to this ventilation when ceiling beams have
to be used.

iii) Skylights and false ceilings shall not be used.


iv) Ceilings shall be given the same paint treatment as walls (see 5.2.2).

5.2.6. Doors
i)

The battery room door shall have the applicable fire and security rating and shall be not less than 800
mm wide and 2000 mm high. The door shall have one leaf that opens outwards.

ii)

For small substations and small communication stations, a door of 800 mm wide (min) and 2000 mm
high shall be used.

iii)

The inside surfaces of the door shall be protected by an approved light-coloured, acid resistant paint.

iv)

All fittings for these doors shall be subject to Eskoms approval.

5.2.7. Fire Resistance Ratings


5.2.7.1. Battery rooms that are part of attached to or within another building, shall comply with the
following:
i)

Walls and ceilings shall have a fire resistance rating of not less than one hour.

ii) Floors of battery rooms shall have a fire resistance rating of not less than one hour where such battery
rooms are located above other defined fire zones, for example, rooms, compartments, etc.

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5.2.7.2. Exceptions:
i) Any exterior wall of a battery room that is more than 15 m from a potential fire zone will not be
required to have a one hour fire resistance rating.
ii) The wall shall however, be of a non-combustible construction.
5.2.7.3. Any duct, pipe, conduit, cable or other equipment that penetrates a wall, floor or ceiling, having a
fire resistance rating, shall be fire stopped with a fire resistant material such that the fire resistance of the
wall, floor or ceiling will not be negatively affected.

5.2.8. Plumbing
i)

A laboratory type sink of glazed fire clay shall also be installed at the lower end of the floor, preferably
the door side of the battery room. This sink shall be the large rectangular type preferably with
draining boards on either side, and an acid resistant laboratory receiver beneath.

ii)

The sink shall be provided with a supply of suitable running water and controlled by an elbow action
mixer tap. Discharge from the sink and from the laboratory receiver shall be into the white-glazed fire
clay block channel referred to in 5.2.1.1 d).

iii)

An industrial safety shower, in addition to eye wash facilities shall be located in the vicinity of the
normal water supply (sink) and shall not obstruct the door exit.

iv)

Where there is not enough space for civil extensions to accommodate an industrial emergency
shower, it shall be located outside the battery room next to the door. The shower drain shall be
connected to the battery room drain system.

v) At sites where only low water pressure is available a booster pump shall be installed to achieve
3(three) bar water pressure.

5.2.9. Cable Entry Facilities


5.2.9.1. Where the cable entry is through the floor, the following shall be adhered to:
i)

The cable opening shall be adjacent to the wall and stands where applicable.

ii)

PVC or cement cable pipes curved to the bending radius of the cable shall be cast into the floor in
such a way that the entry of the cables into the battery room is perpendicular to the floor.

iii) To prevent fluids or foreign matter from entering the pipe, its upper end shall project at least 50mm
above the finished floor surface.
5.2.9.2 For any other form of cable entry, the following shall be adhered to:
i)

These cable entries shall be either vertically from the floor above, if applicable or horizontally (at a
satisfactory height) through one of the battery room walls.

ii)

A separate entry, as near as possible to the battery terminals, shall be provided for each battery
bank.

iii) These entries shall be kept sealed with vermiculite or equivalent material, to prevent hydrogen
transfer before and after installation of the cables.

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5.2.10 Ventilation
5.2.10.1. General
i)

Battery rooms shall be so positioned and designed that they are subjected to only very slight changes
in temperature.

ii)

The nominal temperature in the battery room shall be 25 C and the temperature shall be kept as
close to this as possible. If the temperature exceeds 35 C, special consideration shall be given to
controlling the air temperature. Air used for ventilating battery rooms shall not exceed 25 C. Batte ry
rooms shall be positioned on the coolest side of the complex.

iii)

Where a powered room ventilator cannot be used, a wall mounted axial type extract fan with back
draught dampers shall be used. The fan shall be mounted as high as possible in the wall, but not
below the level of the light fittings.

iv)

In very large battery rooms with deep roof beams, especially where cross flow between inlets and
outlets is difficult to achieve (for example, when inlets and outlets must be in the same wall), the
extract system shall include a duct with several intake points made available at high level.

v)

Hydrogen gas from battery rooms shall be extracted or ventilated to a safe area, i.e. outdoors or to
an area where the gas will always dissipate into the atmosphere without possible danger of the gas
accumulating in any part of that area.

vi)

Where it is necessary to provide ventilation ducts to discharge hydrogen gas to a safe area, such
ducting shall comply with the above requirements.

vii) The ducting shall be protected with a one-hour fire rated material or plaster. Fire rating however will
only be required if the ducting passes through intermediate rooms or potential fire zones.
viii) In applications where there is complete dependence on forced ventilation, it is recommended that
redundancy be provided in the extract fans, with suitable non-return dampers and a means of
monitoring operation so that, in the event of failure of the operating fan, the stand-by unit can be
switched on.
ix) Where both supply and extract powered systems are provided, they shall be selected to ensure that
there will, under normal conditions, be a slight negative pressure in the battery room.
x)

Fans shall be selected to provide the required performance even when operating against normal
system resistance, including dust-laden filters, as well as considering prevailing wind and any other
detrimental effects. Generally speaking, axial or centrifugal fans are required in applications where
the fans have to overcome filter resistance. Each application shall be checked to ensure that fan
noise will not be a negative factor to the adjacent environment.

xi)

Air inlets, through which the necessary replacement air would enter the battery room, shall be fitted
into one of the longitudinal walls and / or in the door, opposite the air outlets, in such a way that they
are evenly distributed along the section of wall opposite the battery cells, to ensure that there is a
cross ventilation system . They shall also be located as close to the floor as possible to ensure that
the incoming fresh air passes around and over the battery cells.

xii) Air-bricks for ventilation are not recommended as they have shown that, unless a great number are
used, the resulting ventilation will be negligible. Air-bricks, moreover, readily permit the entry of dust.
xiii) The size of natural roof-ventilator required for each application depends on the height of the ventilator
above the air-intake points, the effective difference between internal and external air temperatures,
and the rate at which the air is to be extracted.

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xiv) For a very small battery room, the ventilator-louvre combination shall be selected and installed so that
it will be capable of removing the air-hydrogen mixture from the room at a rate not less than, 250 x
-7
3
10 P m /s, for example.
xv) All battery rooms shall be naturally or forced ventilated by ensuring that the minimum amount of air
exchanges takes place thereby rendering the battery room safe. This can be done by determining the
amount of hydrogen given off by the cells during the end-of-charge phase where gassing is caused
by overcharging. See annex B for the calculations.
xvi) Battery rooms shall be provided with the following options wired to a central point:

A remote operated facility for ventilation. . Some battery chargers have the facility to do this
when they are switched to a higher charging rate. This option will not be used where the fan
is required to function permanently.

A facility that can detect when the ventilation system fails or the filters are blocked. This shall
be done by means of a pair of potential free contacts that would indicate when the system is
abnormal, and can be used to inhibit the battery charger from switching to the higher charge
mode or initiate an alarm on the charger.

5.2.10.2. Small battery rooms


Small battery rooms are defined as those in which the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the
nominal ampere hour capacity of each battery in the room by its number of cells is less than 6000.
Whenever possible, such rooms shall be naturally ventilated with roof ventilators and louvred air inlets
with filters in outside walls. In cases where such rooms have no outside walls and/or it is not practical to
provide roof ventilation, a forced ventilation system shall be provided.
5.2.10.3. Large battery rooms
i)

Large battery rooms are those containing battery installations having a total capacity, exceeding the
limit imposed in item 5.2.9.2. All such rooms shall be force ventilated.

ii)

Where a central ventilation system is not supplied, the ventilation fan shall be powered from the same
source as the battery charging equipment and controlled in such a way that maximum available
ventilation is assured when batteries are on charge and gassing is likely.

iii) Where roof ventilation is fitted, the fans shall only be operational when a battery charger is selected to
a higher charge mode, a feature fitted to all modern chargers. All fans shall be fitted with a Fan fail
alarm and a normally open or normally closed potential free contact, to provide an alarm when the
fan fails.
iv)

Depending on building configuration and prevailing ambient conditions, any of the following systems
are acceptable. For reasons of cost and overall reliability, the simplest system that meets basic
requirements shall always be preferred.

Powered roof ventilator with panel filters at the air inlets in at least one outside wall. This is a
low cost system that provides filtration of replacement air. Filtered openings for replacement
air shall be provided as remotely as possible from the extraction point, to encourage a through
draught at high level. Disposable filters 600 x 600 x 50mm of 95% gravimetric efficiency or
2
minimum dust holding capacity of 1 300 g/m are recommended. Maximum velocity through
panels 2 m/s. Doors shall be close fitting, and cable entry pipes and other openings (to other
rooms or the outside) properly sealed to prevent ingress of unfiltered air that could also cause
dust ingress.

Dust collector type fan-filter units may be used. Such units are relatively expensive but
virtually maintenance free and can usually be justified where dust conditions are particularly
severe as, for example, in the boiler house of coal-fired power station.

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Fan filter units as above with naturally ventilated roof ventilation. This system shall only be
used when the battery room door exits to the outside of the building, i.e. the hydrogen shall
not be forced into adjacent rooms.

5.3 Electrical Requirements


5.3.1. Fan Motors
5.3.1.1. When a special ventilation system is used to comply with 5.2.8 of this standard, the extraction fan
shall comply with the relevant safety regulations and shall be subject to Eskoms approval.
5.3.1.2. The preferred motors for these extraction fans shall be the single-phase squirrel-cage induction
type and shall be suitable for direct-on-line starting.
5.3.1.3. They shall, moreover, be of the increased safety design commonly known as Class I Division II
non-sparking motors. Non-sparking motors are acceptable for battery room applications as specified in
SABS 0108- and are available in South Africa. A certificate is issued with each motor or batch of motors.

5.3.2. Artificial Lighting


5.3.2.1. General
i) The entire lighting installation within the battery room shall consist exclusively of type e apparatus
and luminaires.
ii) The basic difference between the type e protection now required and the traditional type of protection
using flameproof or explosion-proof enclosures that has been in use for many years, is as follows:

In the traditional method of protection, it is assumed that an explosion may occur inside the
enclosure, and the enclosure is therefore designed so that such an internal explosion cannot
damage it or cause the ignition of the gas or vapour surrounding it.

In the type e system however, flameproof and explosion-proof enclosures are not required
because the equipment is instead designed in such a way that all possible sources of ignition,
such as arcs, sparks and excessive surface temperatures, can be closely controlled. As a result
of this, the statistical probability of an explosion occurring is reduced to an acceptably low level.

5.3.2.2. Main lighting installation


i) The main lighting installation in the battery room shall be supplied from the stations 230/400 V a.c.
auxiliary supply.
ii)

The installation shall consist of fluorescent luminaires only, type Exe class 1 Div 1 (T1 T4). This
form of lighting is favoured over mercury-vapour lighting for the reason that the latter, when subjected
to dips in supply voltage, may go out and remain out for periods of up to ten minutes. Incandescent
lighting is also considered unsuitable because of its relatively low lumen output and short service life,
both of which factors give rise to excessive maintenance costs.

iii) The fluorescent fittings chosen shall preferably be installed on the ceiling, and shall provide sufficient
light output to illuminate the tops of the batteries to a level not less than a maintained 100 lux, in
accordance with the OHS Act for battery and charging equipment rooms.
5.3.2.3. Emergency lighting installation
i) The emergency lighting installation shall consist of incandescent luminaires type Exe (T1 T4), with
a standard two pin bayonet or screw type socket or fluorescent luminaires as in 5.3.2.2 and fitted with
D.C. to A.C. converters. These units shall be supplied from the station battery using the normal d.c.
distribution system.
ii) These luminaires shall be mounted on the ceiling only.
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iii) The maintained level of emergency lighting required in this area shall be not less than 20 lux at floor
level to enable employees to evacuate the workplace safely, in accordance with the OHS Act.
5.3.2.4. Luminaire positioning
i) The luminaires shall not be mounted directly over the battery stands.
ii)

The luminaires shall be positioned in parallel with the battery stands. This precaution will facilitate
maintenance on the fittings, and will also minimize the obvious dangers of working over the cells.

iii)

No battery baks shall be installed directly under the luminarie.

5.3.3. Other Electrical Equipment


5.3.3.1. All light switches, power outlets, distribution boards, telephones and fan contactors (item 5.2.8.3),
shall be mounted outside but still in close proximity to the battery room door.
5.3.3.2. These devices are not required to be explosion-proof, flameproof, or type e.

5.4. Safety and Maintenance


5.4.1. Maintenance and Protective Equipment
All maintenance and protective equipment as specified in TST41-643 shall be provided.

5.4.2 Safety Signs


The required safety signs are specified in table 1.

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Table 1 Safety signs required for battery rooms


Description of safety sign
a. A notice identifying the
room as being a battery
room.
b. It clearly sets out the
elementary first aid
procedures in the case of
eye and / or skin contact
with an acid or alkali.
c. A no-smoking prohibitive
sign and corrosive
substance warning sign
are also posted on the
notice.
d. The notice also displays
that unauthorized entry to
the battery room is
prohibited.
a. This notice shows that
open flames are prohibited
inside the battery room.
b. It also shows that an
apron, eye protection and
gloves shall be worn.

Required location of safety


sign
At the designated entrance to
the battery room.

Eskom code and drawing


number
TG 1: 0.52/20380 Sheet 1

(See Annexure C.1)

On wall directly opposite the


entrance to the battery room.

A notice indicating the location


of the emergency shower.

Next to the emergency shower.

A notice indicating the location


of the eyewash equipment.

Next to the eyewash


equipment.

A notice showing that the


drinking of water is prohibited
(when applicable)

On wall above battery room


sink or water container.

TG 2: 0.52/20380 Sheet 3
(See Annexure C.2)

GA 20: 0.52/20381 Sheet 1


(See Annexure C.3)

GA 19: 0.52/20381 Sheet 2


(See Annexure C.4)

TG 3: 0.52/20381 Sheet 3
(See Annexure C.5)

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6. Revision Information
Rev

Notes

Date

Original document NWG 7014- (Design for battery rooms)

1990

Leon Drotche
0

Renumbering, old number TRMASACN1

July 2007

7. Authorization
This document has been seen and accepted by:
Name

Designation

Tony Sheerin

M&C Applications Manager

Piet Jooste

Transmission Grids

Chico Ramgovind

Secondary Plant Manager(Central Grid)

Krish Govender

Secondary Plant Manager (Eastern Grid)

Rhulani Matshidza

Secondary Plant Manager(North East Grid)

Noxolo Sipunzi

Secondary Plant Manager(Western Grid)

Paul Grobler

Secondary Plant Manager (Northern Grid)

Johan Pieterse

Secondary Plant Manager (North West Grid)

Ian Worthington

Secondary Plant Manager (South Grid)

DC Work Group

Transmission National DC Working Group/Committee

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Annexure A
(Informative)

Hydrogen Removal
A1. Basic Principles
When batteries are on charge, hydrogen bubbles are released and, due to the buoyancy, these bubbles
rise rapidly in the air until they meet an obstruction such as the ceiling where they tend to accumulate.
Compared with heavier gases, the hydrogen diffuses relatively quickly so that in due course it becomes
evenly distributed under any obstruction. This process of molecular diffusion is greatly accelerated under
conditions of air turbulence.
The main purpose of ventilation is to keep the hydrogen concentration within safe limits. Ridge ventilators
are particularly effective because they release some hydrogen to the outside before it is able to diffuse in
the room. It should also be borne in mind that lightweight building elements such as ceiling tiles do not
provide an effective barrier to hydrogen. Battery room walls shall therefore, be extended to roof sheeting
height where there is a pitched roof over the battery room and the roof is provided with a ridge ventilator.
The ventilation system is based on the assumption that the air that enters the battery room through the
filters will mix with and adequately dilute the hydrogen gas discharged by the cells. The resulting airhydrogen mixture discharged by the cells will then be extracted from the room by the fans at a rate not
less than that recommended in the tables (A3).

A2. Determination of Basic Ventilation Rate (BVR)


If a battery in the room is on charge, such room will be considered sufficiently ventilated if its air hydrogen mixture is being extracted from it at a rate not less than that given by the following formula:
BVR = q x t x d x s x P
where
q = volume of hydrogen in litres produced per second per ampere per cell
-6

q = 126,7 x 10 l/s rated at 25 C at sea level


t = thinning factor = 100 / 3.8 % = 26,3
An air - hydrogen mixture can explode if the volume of hydrogen contained in the mixture equals or
exceeds 3,8% of the total volume.
d = diffusion factor that normally has a factor of 3,0.
This factor provides against the possibility of the hydrogen being non-uniformly dispersed throughout the
air in the room
s = a general safety factor that, for stationary installations, is normally 2,5

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Annexure A
(Continued)
P = the sum of the product obtained by multiplying the number of cells in the largest battery in the room by
the output current rating, in amperes, of the batterys particular charger plus (+) the corresponding
product obtained in respect of the second largest battery in the room.
NOTE: When designing the ventilation system, the worst possible charging conditions (normally during
commissioning) should be assumed. Such conditions would occur if, due to a charger fault, maximum
rated charger current is forced through a fully charged battery. Basic ventilation rate (BVR) should be
achieved at any prevailing conditions (i.e. blocked filters).
Combining the above values into the original equation, it follows that the basic ventilation rate required for
the battery room is:
BVR = q x t x d x s x P

-6

= 126.7 x 10 x 26.3 x 3 x 2.5


-4

= 250 x 10 P litres/sec
-7

= 250 x 10 P m /sec
BVR is sufficient for safety purposes. However, to increase life expectancy of the cells, consideration
should be given to ventilating the room to limit temperature rise to 5 C above ambient. In a well-in sulated
room, this can be achieved by supplying 10 to 15 air changes per hour.

A3. Recommended Ventilation Rates (RVR) for South African conditions


Obviously the formula derived in A2 can apply only to battery rooms located in temperate regions at sea
level.
In order to provide ventilation data that can be used readily under typical South African conditions, the
above formula has been expanded to produce the following table A1.
Table A1 Ventilation data for South African conditions
Altitude above
sealevel

Atmospheric
pressure

metres

m bar

0
0
305
610
914
1219
1524
1829
2134
2438

1013
1013
977
942
908
875
843
812
781
752

Recommended ventilation rate (RVR)


Battery room
temperature C
0
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25

litres per sec


229.P.10
250.P.10
259.P.10
369.P.10
279.P.10
290.P.10
301.P.10
312.P.10
324.P.10
337.P.10

cumecs m /s
229.P.10
250.P.10
259.P.10
269.P.10
279.P.10
290.P.10
301.P.10
312.P.10
324.P.10
337.P.10

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Annexure B
(Informative)

Ventilation to avoid hydrogen concentration in battery rooms


NOTE: The following is an extract from BS 6133:1985 Safe operation of lead-acid stationary cells and
batteries.
In order to be certain that the ventilation of the battery room is adequate to keep the average
concentration of hydrogen gas in the room within safe limits, it is necessary to be able to calculate the rate
of evolution of hydrogen. Hydrogen is evolved during a recharge or freshening charge of the battery when
the voltage rises above 2.30V per cell. During this period when the cells are gassing freely, it is
recommended that the concentration of hydrogen gas within the battery room is limited to an average of
1%, except in the immediate vicinity of the cell tops. This is only one quarter of the normally accepted safe
limit of 4% hydrogen, but in view of the potential hazard with stationary batteries, this additional safety
margin is fully justified.
The following method may be used to calculate the ventilation requirements of a battery room.
26,8Ah input to a fully charged cell will liberate 8 g of oxygen and 1 g of hydrogen.
1 g of hydrogen occupies a volume of 12 l at 20 C and at a pressure of one standard atmosphere.
Therefore 26,8Ah input will evolve 12 l of hydrogen. Therefore the volume of hydrogen evolved from a
battery per hour:

no of cells ch arg e current 12l


26.8
= no of cells ch arg e current 0.45l
=

= no of cells ch arg e current 0.00045m 3


The volume of hydrogen found by the above calculation can be expressed as a percentage of the total
volume of the battery room, and from this, the number of changes of air per hour to keep the
concentration of hydrogen below 1% can be calculated.
Example
Consider a battery of 100 cells, using a double tier, double row terraced arrangement, in a room with
dimensions 4 m x 2 m x 3 m.
Charge current = 17 A (finishing rate of charge for cell type used).
3
Volume of hydrogen evolved per hour = 120 x 17 x 0,00045 = 0,92m .
3
Total volume of room = 4 x 2 x 3 = 24 m .
3
Approximate value of battery and stand (i.e. volume of battery + 20 % for volume of stand) = 3 m .
3
Therefore volume of free air in room = 21 m .
Therefore concentration of hydrogen gas after charging for 1h above 2,3V per cell (gassing potential) at
17 A with no ventilation would be:

0.92
100% = 4.4%
21

Therefore to keep the concentration of hydrogen gas at a maximum of 1%, the air in the room will need
changing

4 .4
= 4.4 times per hour, or about five times per hour.
1

To allow for variations from the assumed values and contingencies, ventilation shall be arranged to
change the air in the room six times per hour.
NOTE: The effectiveness of a ventilation system can only be assessed by sampling gas concentrations
under operational conditions.

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Annexure C.1
Unauthorized entry prohibition
No smoking allowed
Warning of corrosive substances
First aid procedure in case of burns, due to eye or skin contact with acid or alkali

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Annexure C.2
No open flames allowed
Hand and eye protection to be worn

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Annexure C.3
Emergency Shower

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Annexure C.4
Eyewash

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Annexure C.5
Drinking of water is prohibited

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