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A NOVEL VENTED LEAD-ACID BATTERY PERFORMANCE TEST

BASED 50% HOUR RATE WITH FULLY DISCHARGED RATE


CONDITION IN EGAT POWER PLANT EXPERIENCE.
Kitsanu Bunjongjit, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, 02-4366584, 593649@egat.co.th
Somsak Thummasorn, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, 02-4366264, 446211@egat.co.th

ABSTRACT - This paper presents a novel vented lead-acid battery performance test based on 50% hour rate
with fully discharged rate condition. The conventional performance test (IEEE 450-2010) performs a constant-
current or constant-power discharge of a battery to a final terminal voltage (e.g., 1.8 Volt/Cell) for 8-10 hours
depend on their specification, to guarantee its backup stability and reliability. However, our former test showed
a ruin of battery life, battery final voltage was steadily decreased less than 1.8 Volt/Cell while testing time is
over 6 hours. In fact, 10 hour rate test may not be suitable for a ruin battery. Presently, battery station in EGAT
power plant performs its backup for a short duration, due to the recently emergency diesel generator (EDG)
technology. It has been operated and fed the power to the critical bus line in only about 5 minutes since it was
blackout. Thus, full-time performance test might be useless for end user. For this reason, to prevent our battery
from the destructive test, the 50% hour rate with fully discharged rate method is introduced. By reduced testing
time (i.e., 4-5 hours) and increase the discharge current rate, it refers to its standard specified. At a result, the
battery stability and reliability are guaranteed as same as the conventional performance test and the battery life
could be extended. In addition, the battery can be operated at high current discharged rate approximately
closed to the power plant load profile while the power plant was blackout. Lastly, the 50% hour rate with fully
discharged rate method may be a good choice for extension of battery life from the tests. Moreover, recently
EDG technology can economize the new battery cost by redesign its capacity size as well.

KEYWORDS - Vented lead-acid battery, Performance test, Destructive test, Economize

1. INTRODUCTION

Stationary batteries play an ever-increasing role in power plant industry today by providing normal control and
instrumentation power and back-up energy for emergencies. A battery consists of two or more cells electrically
connected to form a discrete electrical source. These electrical sources are typically described in terms of dc
voltage and ampere-hour rating. A cell is the basic electrochemical unit used to store electrical energy. Cells are
typically either sealed or vented. Sealed cells have been call as valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) and the vented
cells have also call as wet cell or vented lead acid (VLA) [1] as well. For purpose of further discussion, VLA
battery will described.

Generally, each cells of battery are design for 15-20 years life under float voltage condition. Thus, at a
minimum, annual testing, verification, and inspection of a battery system should be performed. One of the most
important things to guarantee its backup stability and reliability is the battery performance test, a constant-
current or constant-power capacity test made on a battery after it has been in service. This test not only verifies
its stability, but more than that it can estimate the battery life from there capacity.

From the experience in EGAT power plant, VLA battery is usually fade out its design life time, due to the
surrounding operational environment. (e.g., temperature, under/overcharged, service) The conventional
performance test performs a constant- dc current discharge of a battery to its final cell voltage (e.g., 1.8
Volt/cell), typically for 10 hours duration. During the test, some of battery cell voltage was steadily decreased
less than its final voltage, indicated the battery is reaching the end of its service life, as we call a ruin battery.
Many of degraded batteries have been found during the performance test while testing time is over 6 hours. In
the alternative, 10 hours rate tested may not suitable for a ruin battery, destructive test can be observed. Hence,
this paper will introduced a novel VLA performance test based on 50% hour rate with fully discharged rate,
preventing our batteries from the deteriorated.
The main objective of this paper is to describe a novel performance test method based on an experience
integrated with the recently EDG technology ideas, customize the customers to realize the optional way to
perform the performance test with the ruin batteries. The deteriorated batteries and the VLA designed analysis
are discussed. Furthermore, comparison between the conventional performance test and our purposed test are
studied.

2. BATTERY
2.1 BATTERY DESIGN ANALASYS [2]

To understand the power plant load profile, the design of the battery capacity is introduced. The battery must
supply the dc power requirements when the following conditions occur; a) output of the battery charger is
interrupted. b) AC power is lost. The most severe of these conditions in terms of battery load and duration,
should be used to determine the battery size for the installation. The individual dc loads supplied by the battery
during the duty cycle may be classifies as continuous (e.g., lighting, inverter and communication systems) and
non-continuous (e.g., emergency pump motor, critical ventilation system motors, and motor-driven valve
operations) either or momentary loads (e.g., switchgear operations, motor starting currents and inrush currents)
as shown in Fig.1.

During the 1st minute batteries are instantaneous supplies the non-continuous load (maximum load). It generally
is the starting rush current for the motor, switchgear, and control valve etc. Therefore, the batteries should
perform its maximum performance to handle the critical load and the batteries must be able to supply to any
load covering to its designed from the plant blackout.

Continuous Momentary Non-continuous


Loads Loads Loads

Continuous
(UPS)

Time (min)
1 30 60 90 120..

Fig.1 An example loads profile diagram.

Focusing on continuous loads, continuous loads are usually energized throughout the duty cycle. These loads
are normally carried by the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) through the main feeder. In normal operation
main feeder will supply UPS loads when plant blackout is occur. There is no power from main feeder, battery
will be executed.

The continuous UPS loads profile diagram is expressed in Fig.2. The recently emergency diesel generator
(EDG) technology today used to operate and fed the power to the critical bus to handle a critical load in a few
minutes since it was blackout [3]. Thus, the battery could assist to supply the load in the first 5-10 minutes.
during the EDG is started.

By the way, UPS loads are generally constant according to the UPS design rated, battery may not be supply the
power over the UPS rated.
Battery Emergency diesel generator is
energized supply to UPS loads

Main line is supply


to UPS Loads

Continuous Continuous
(UPS) (UPS)

Time (min)
1 5 30 60 90 120..

Blackout

Fig.2 Continuous uninterrupted power supply (UPS) loads profile diagram.

2.2 BATTERY DETERIORATION

Deterioration of battery can be separate into 2 types, 1st is the physical parts (e.g., casing, upper jar and pole)
and 2nd is the electrochemical parts (e.g., internal resistance, capacity). An ambient temperature, float charge
voltage, float and charging current and discharge cycle are the factors causing the electrochemical part to
deteriorate. The performance test method is used to determine the battery from its service life by measured its
capacity.

Normally, EGAT power plant executes the performance test in first 2 years after the battery was installed and
every 25% of the expected service life [4]. After the battery was in service for over the 4-6 years, many of
degraded batteries have been found during the test. So if a degraded battery is continuously performed with this
test, an inner part may deteriorate accordingly, accelerates battery to its service life. Additionally, measuring the
internal resistance and specify gravity (Sp.Gr.) should be done before perform a performance test. Degraded
battery is indicating a high value of internal resistance and low value of Sp.Gr. Thus, the procedure of the
performance test should be modified depend on the battery condition as we can expected.

3. A NOVEL PERFORMANCE TEST

Fiamm lm OPzS 2500


Fig.3 An example of the totals battery capacity, constant current discharge and battery cell voltage characteristic

The Fiamm lm OPzS 2500 battery performance test characteristic curve is discussed in Fig.3. To determine this
battery capacity, 262A constant- dc current discharge is executes for 10 hours until battery final cell voltage fall
into 1.8V/Cell, performed 2620 Ah capacity at the end of the test. However, 10 hours rate is possible for a
normal battery but not possible for the degrade battery Its final voltage was steadily decreased less than 1.8
Volt/Cell when the testing time is over 6 hours. Destructive test has occurred when degrade battery was
performing discharged excess ones capacity. To prevent deteriorated the batteries from its destructive test, the
VLA battery performance test based on 50% hour rate with fully discharged rate is introduced.

According to the previous discussion in section 2, battery must be able to supply the current to a continuous load
for 5 minutes before EDG is started. Thus, 5 hours either or 50% discharge hour rate is enough to guarantee its
backup reliability. In 5 minutes continuous load (UPS loads) require only about 1% of battery capacity (Fiamm
lm OPzS 2500). That is why this idea can reduce the testing time and cut off the battery strain whilst testing.

With this propose method, the battery backup stability and reliability is guaranteed as same as the conventional
performance test and the battery life could be extended.

4. CONCLUSION

In this paper, a novel vent-lead acid battery performance test based on 50% hour rate with full discharged rate
condition in EGAT power plant experience was proposed and its advantages was introduced, by reduced testing
time and increase the discharge current rate, it refers to its standard specified. Fiamm lm OPzS 2500 battery
discharge capacity characteristic has been studied. From the proposed performance test, the battery stability and
reliability are guaranteed its backup time for the continuous load either or UPS loads without its deterioration.

5. REFERENCES

[1] L. Hamrick and W. C. Dohl Maintenance and Testing of battery systems, Spring 2007 NETA world.
[2] IEEE Std 485-2010, IEEE Recommended Practice for Sizing Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary
Applications.
[3] IEEE Std 378-1995(R2007), IEEE Standard Criteria for Diesel- Generator Units Applied as Standby Power
Supplies for Nuclear Power Generating Stations.
[4] IEEE Std 450-2010, IEEE Recommended Practice for Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of Vented
Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary Applications.