There are many types of batteries on the market today, all with varying claims of reliability and battery life. One common thread is that they rarely live up to their claimed life expectancy; some batteries exhibit a useful life of as little as three to five years. There are a number of factors that contribute to the shortened usefulness of a battery, including the number of discharges, depth of discharges, environmental conditions and lack of proper maintenance.
A five year design life battery can require replacement within year 4 and a ten year design life battery within year 7. If left too long a single dead battery can swell and split as the equipment keeps trying to charge it. It can damage the charger, become impossible to remove and destroy the remaining batteries in the string.
E5 specializes in battery evaluation and replacement for UPS, Generator, Switchgear and other equipment. All of our replacement batteries meet or exceed the original design criteria and manufacturer's specifications. We can provide battery reliability improvement options and replacement solutions for in-warranty and out-of-warranty products.
Our battery testing and analysis techniques will ascertain the condition and remaining life of your battery system. We can provide a comprehensive battery maintenance program that will preserve your battery warranty and reduce the risk of system down time.
E5's battery replacement solutions include:
- Replacement of single and multiple battery blocks, battery strings or complete systems.
- Using proven inspection, test and analysis methods our experts can help you determine where the battery is on its predictable life curve and when replacement is recommended.
- Our trained battery installation technicians will remove your old battery and ensure that it is recycled in accordance with environmental laws and regulations. Batteries contain hazardous materials and must be recycled to protect the environment. Our stringent processes and safety practices ensure that your own company's environmental standards and reputation are not compromised.
- Our system integration team creates a Method and Procedure (MAP) that details every aspect of risk, work to be performed, and process that must take place to minimize the impact of battery replacement.
- Our Applications Support Experts have an understanding of the various operating parameters, maintenance requirements and cost that are vital in choosing the most advantageous battery for your application. In the last few years, a number of different types of batteries have appeared on the market. They exhibit varied specifications, environmental requirements, price range, and life expectancies, requiring varying degrees of maintenance with different warranty conditions and periods. We will assist you in the evaluation of these parameters to choose a replacement battery that is most suitable for your application.
- Our facility layout experts can provide physical layout drawings showing the configuration and placement of your chosen battery and support systems.
- We can provide you with replacement solutions designed with redundancy to improve the maintainability and reliability of your existing battery system. A battery system designed with redundancy rather than simply over sizing is essential to ensure the reliable protection of critical loads. A single battery string leaves the critical load unsupported if one cell were to fail.
- E5's installation technicians will ensure your new battery is installed and commissioned according to manufacturer, IEEE, and E5 standards. If requested we can performance test the new battery before the product is put into service. Upon completion, we deliver a full report, with detailed test results, to establish a baseline for condition monitoring and preservation of the battery warranty.
- Our proactive battery replacement program can ensure that when multiple strings of batteries are deployed, they do not reach end of life at the same time. It's preferable to have a system with two or more equal-rated parallel strings of batteries designed to allow one string of batteries to be disconnected for maintenance or replacement purposes and still support the full load with a shorter reserve time.
- E5 will provide you with a clear understanding of the battery warranty provided by the manufacturer. There is a significant disconnect between the understanding and expectations of users regarding the battery manufacturer's warranty and actual real-world battery performance, life and warranty. Rapid market growth has increased the level of inconsistencies and confusion surrounding battery warranties.
E5 Battery Capacity Testing
Batteries have a limited life with a slow degradation of capacity until they reach 80 percent of their initial design capacity, followed by a relatively rapid failure. The number and depth of discharge cycles, environmental conditions and charging characteristics influence battery life. A means to determine when a battery is near the end of its useful life is required so that it can be replaced before a failure and the critical load is left unprotected.
While most UPS and standby power systems automatically test their batteries, the only sure way to determine battery capacity is to perform a battery capacity test. Battery capacity tests are considered by the industry to be the most effective method of determining a battery's ability to support its load for the specified time period. The equipment is taken off line, connected to a load bank and operated at rated power until the specified run time elapses or the unit shuts down due to low battery voltage. If the observed battery capacity is 80 percent or less of its rated capacity, the battery should be replaced.
A capacity test will marginally reduce battery life. However, if it is done only when required, it is an acceptable loss in exchange for knowing the condition of the battery. The test is done because in critical service one must be more concerned with optimizing the reliability of the battery than optimizing its longevity.
- E5 will perform a battery capacity test that minimizes the impact to your facility, is suitable for your application, and is within your budgetary allowance. Upon completion, we deliver a full detailed report.
- Our tests will determine where the battery is on its predictable life curve, and recommend when to replace a battery, locate weak cells and faulty intercell connectors. All testing is performed under controlled conditions and in accordance with IEEE standards. Our proven pre-test, test, and post-test procedures and methods combined with our battery safety practices ensure accurate data results for analysis.
- Internal impedance measurements will reveal a potential weakness in the battery; a capacity test will show you whether that weakness is severe enough to require action. E5's proven battery inspection routines that include internal battery impedance measurements are the best way to determine when to do capacity testing. This reduces unnecessary testing but identifies when a test is required.
E5 Battery Performance Testing
Performance testing is designed to determine whether a cell or battery system is fit for the purpose for which it was intended before the product is approved for release to the customer and put into service. The test will also verify that the cells or battery system meet the manufacturer's specification. Our on-site performance testing methods, procedures, and process are identical to that used for battery capacity testing.
E5 Battery Safety Practices
Mishandling of batteries can potentially cause fires or explosions, the emission of toxic fumes, and serious personal injury. Manufacturers are conscious of these dangers and design safety measures into the cells to protect the battery from out of tolerance operating conditions and where possible from abuse. While they try to make the battery foolproof, once the battery has left the factory its performance is in the hands of the user.
The battery manufacturer will provide installation, operating and safety instructions with the product which alert the end user to potential dangers from abuse of the battery. Our own battery safety practices include the following:
- All of our battery installation and field service technicians are trained in the handling, use, storage and disposal of controlled products. Our Health and Safety Program includes safety training that is specific to batteries. They are familiar with all of the battery manufacturer's installation, operating and safety requirements as well as all regulating authority requirements and guidelines.
- In addition to First-aid, CPR, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) training, the technicians working with your battery systems receive specific first-aid training to treat accidental exposure to battery hazards. First aid instructions and Material Safety Data (MSD) sheets are posted at the location of the battery, and one of our specially developed battery first-aid kits is within line of sight, prior to work commencement.
- E5 has developed its own spill containment and clean-up procedures which include placement of a specially designed spill kit at the location of the battery prior to work commencement. Whenever battery cells (valve regulated or flooded) are moved, breakage and spillage must be considered a possibility. Specific precautionary and corrective measures are taken to minimize environmental and equipment damage as well as personal injury.
- Only approved battery lifting equipment and specialty tools are used, and our technicians always use personal protective gear designed for safe battery handling.
Hazardous Materials & Environmental Responsibility
Tremendous opportunities exist today for advanced battery developments and safer and more cost effective recycling. Communities, local, state and provincial governments, businesses and the citizenry will continue to press for new regulations and technologies which will help to ensure the protection of our environment and health.
Batteries are considered to be a Hazardous Material and as such are regulated on the use, storage, removal, transportation and disposal. Environmental laws and regulations that define the legal responsibility of not only the Waste Generator (you the customer) but of the Consignor (shipper), Carrier and the Consignee (receiver-recycler) may differ between regions. Not all batteries are the same and they require specific instructions to ensure each type of battery is properly recycled.
- When a spent battery is collected, it is sent to a permitted recycler where, under strict environmental regulations, the lead and plastic are reclaimed and sent to a new battery manufacturer.
- E5 has a very stringent well documented Hazardous Materials Handling Program. Our procedures cover the entire handling process including disassembly of the battery system and transporting the batteries to an approved recycler. We would be pleased to present the finite details of our program to you at any time.
- We offer battery recycling solutions for businesses to better service environmentally conscious consumers, and satisfy compliance with government regulations.
E5 Group is committed to the quality and the protection of the environment. We encourage all of our customers to become environmentally conscious and environmentally friendly. We offer convenient and easy services to help our customer's dispose of used, broken, or obsolete batteries and equipment.