Cell/Battery Capacity Testing
Battery-capacity testing is an essential part of battery maintenance. But how do you do it effectively? How do you know your UPS will have "enough battery" to provide the electricity your operations demand when you lose your primary power source? In theory, you add up the nameplate ratings on your battery strings and come up with an answer. The reality is this answer will invariably be wrong. Because Battery-capacity testing is an essential part of battery maintenance. But how do you do it effectively?
The main benefits of testing are:
- You determine where the battery is on its predictable life curve.
- You know when to replace a battery.
- You locate weak cells and faulty intercell connectors.
The most effective testing frequency plan is one that is condition-based rather than calendar-based. Such a plan compensates for all kinds of variables that affect battery life and performance, while a calendar-based plan depends on assumptions that may not be true for your situation. Internal resistance measurements will show you there's a potential weakness in the battery; a load test will show you whether that weakness is severe enough to require action.
A capacity test reduces battery life. However, if you do it only occasionally, it will create an acceptable loss in exchange for knowing the condition of the battery. You do the test because you are more concerned with optimizing the reliability of the battery - knowing it will perform when you want it to - than optimizing its longevity. When a battery can't provide the backup time you need, then how long that battery will continue to provide any power is irrelevant to your operations. Let's see how to do the test.
What the test entails. To perform a load test, you subject the battery to a constant current load while measuring the string overall voltage and the individual cell voltages. You compare the time it takes for the voltage to decline to a predetermined level with the manufacturer's rated time. Then, you use the following equation to grade your capacity so the results are more meaningful.
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We at MTL, provide complete automotive testing solution ranges from Electrical/Mechanical safety testing to Environmental Testing to ensure, safe and reliable products.