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Technical manual

installation, operation and maintenance

for Ni-Cd STM MR-MRE monoblocks type

Introduction 1

Important recommendations 2

1. Characteristics of STM MR-MRE monoblocks

1.1. General description 3
1.1.1. Operation principle of vented Ni-Cd cells 3
1.1.2. Description of STM MR-MRE Ni-Cd monoblocks 4
1.2. Mechanical characteristics 5
1.3. Electrical characteristics 5
1.4. Description of the centralized filling system 6
1.4.1. General description 6
1.4.2. Working principle of a centralized filling ramp 7

2. Precautions and practices

2.1. Transport, storage 8
2.2. Water and electrolyte 8
2.2.1. Water quality 8
2.2.2. Harm caused in using sulfuric acid or
acidic water 8
2.3. Electrical shocks and burns 9
2.4. Possible dangers of hydrogen 9

3. Installation
3.1. Assembly into batteries 10
3.2. Ventilation and cooling 11
3.3. Assembly of centralized water filling system 11
3.3.1. Precautions and recommendations 11
3.3.2. General instructions for assembly 12
4. Placing into service
4.1. Procedure before use 13
4.2. Commissioning cycle and water topping-up 13

5. Operation
5.1. Operating temperature 14
5.2. Two-level charge 14
5.2.1. Normal charge 14
5.2.2. Fast charge 14
5.2.3. Maintenance charge 14
5.2.4. Recommended charging method 15
5.3. Discharge 17
5.3.1. Discharge current 17
5.3.2. Voltage in discharge 17

6. Maintenance
6.1. Periodic maintenance 18
6.2. Topping-up operation 18

7. Repair and overhaul of batteries

7.1. Electrolyte specific density 19
7.2. Reconditioning 19

Appendix 1 STM 5-100 MR G RD equipped 20

Appendix 2 STM 5-100 MRE G RD equipped 21
Appendix 3 STM 5-140 MR G RD equipped 22
Appendix 4 STM 5-140 MR D RG equipped 23
Appendix 5 Accessories for the central filling system 24
Appendix 6 Basic specification for filling circuit hoses 25
Appendix 7 Basic specification for the cooling system hoses 26
Appendix 8 Basic specification for rigid connections 27
Appendix 9 Basic specification for distilled
or demineralized water 28

This manual is intended for users, Nevertheless, every vehicle will

technical and maintenance have a specific battery that has
personnel. been adapted to its own
mechanical, electrical, thermal,
It contains the main characteristics
and other characteristics.
of the low maintenance Saft Ni-Cd
STM MR-MRE monoblocks. Depending on the referenced
model, specific instructions might
It provides guidelines for use be added to this document.
and maintenance to obtain the
best performance and a long For uses other than the ones
useful life. described in this manual,
contact Saft.
The instructions are of general
validity for batteries in Electric

Important recommendations

! Install the battery such as to ! Never use sulfuric acid or

ensure good ventilation. acidified water to top-up
electrolyte, as acid, even in
! Never allow a flame or fire to
traces, destroys the battery.
come near the battery.
! Use tools with insulated handles.
! The electrolyte is harmful to
the skin and particularly to ! When batteries or vehicles
the eyes. In the event of equipped with STM MR-MRE
contact with eyes, wash batteries are operated in
immediately with running closed premises, natural or
water and/or with a 10 % forced ventilation is necessary.
solution of boric acid. Always respect the applicable
safety codes and regulations
! Wear base-resistant gloves
of the country of operation.
and goggles to manipulate
the electrolyte.

1. Characteristics of STM MR-MRE

1.1. General description During overcharge, the water

contained in the electrolyte is
decomposed into oxygen and
1.1.1. Operation principle of hydrogen.
vented Ni-Cd cells
In a low maintenance battery,
The electrochemistry concept of a significant amount of these
the batteries is to supply energy to gases recombines in the battery,
electrical and electronic products. thus reducing water consumption.
Chemical energy stored in a The remaining amount leaves
battery is converted into electric the cells through the hydraulic
current when the battery system. Consequently, the
is discharged. This electric current electrolyte level is reduced after
is produced directly by chemical a certain number of charging
reactions that occur within cycles and periodic topping-up of
the battery. the battery with water becomes
necessary (chapter 6.2.).
The nickel-cadmium cell is an
electrochemical system in which
the electrodes containing the
active materials undergo changes
in oxido-reduction state without
any change in physical state.
The active materials are
submerged in alkaline electrolyte.
They remain in solid state and
do not dissolve during the oxido-
reduction process. As a result,
the electrodes are long-lived,
since no chemical mechanism
exists that might cause the loss
of active materials.
When a battery is charged
or discharged, the hydroxide
ions (OH) are transferred from
one electrode to the other via
the electrolyte. The alkaline
electrolyte, a liquid solution of
potassium hydroxide (KOH) and
additives, provides the means of
transport for the ions.
It does not participate in the
electrochemical reaction. Its role
in the operation being passive,
the electrolyte is only remotely
affected by the state of charge
of the nickel-cadmium battery.

1.1.2. Description of ! Electrodes its lowest. After consumption of
STM MR-MRE nickel-cadmium The STM monoblocks are the electrolyte reserve, the density
monoblocks constituted of sintered positive of the electrolyte is at its highest.
electrodes and plastic bonded The construction of a monoblock
The low maintenance STM negative electrodes. does not permit electrolyte
monoblock consists of 5 nickel-
The positive electrode is created sampling of an STM battery
cadmium cells of 1.2 V nominal
by chemical impregnation of with integrated ramp without
voltage each.
nickel hydroxide and additives mechanical destruction of the
These 5 cells are assembled into
into a sintered nickel structure, monoblock. Measuring the density
a polypropylene monoblock
container to obtain a nominal placed onto a perforated nickel- of the electrolyte is therefore
voltage of 6 V. plated steel strip. impossible.

The suffix MR indicates low The negative electrode is ! Separator

maintenance and air cooling. obtained by pasting cadmium The separator of the STM
oxide and a plastic bonding monoblocks is multilayer, non-
The suffix MRE indicates low additive onto a perforated
maintenance and water cooling. woven and made of
nickel-plated steel strip.
polypropylene. It was selected
When the monoblocks are Subsequently, a multi-layer to satisfy the three principal
delivered in single monoblock separator is placed between the objectives: to be a good insulator
units (not pre-assembled by Saft positive and the negative between the electrodes, to have
into crates or boxes), the electrodes to form the plate-group. the right porosity for excellent
monoblock STM 5-140 MR is electric performance during
supplied with belt plates. In order ! Electrolyte charge and discharge, and
to decrease the weight of each ensure the passage of oxygen
The alkaline electrolyte in a nickel-
battery unit during use, the belt
cadmium battery is a liquid ions during charge to facilitate
plates of STM 5-140 monoblocks
solution of potassium hydroxide he recombination.
can be removed if the battery
(KOH), lithium hydroxide (LiOH),
structure (crates or boxes, etc.) ! Container
or sodium hydroxide (NaOH) into
provides sufficient mechanical
distilled or demineralized water. The monoblock container and
protection against deformation of
During the electrochemical the fluid chambers containing
the small sides of the monoblocks
reactions, the physical density of the cooling liquid, if present, are
(refer to chapter 3.).
the electrolyte remains practically made of polypropylene, as are
The monoblock STM 5-100 MR constant. Under no circumstances the cover and the filling ramp
and MRE’s do not have can it be used as an indicator of that are welded to the container
independent support plates. state of charge. after the insertion and connection
The support structure is integrated of the battery plate-group and
Only overcharging will cause a
in the monoblock container. the electrolyte.
normal water consumption and a
The blocks will be assembled slow concentration in the physical
into a battery by serial density of the electrolyte.
interconnection, in order to
The difference in density between
achieve the desired operational
a charged and a discharged
voltage. When the forced air
battery can be considered to be
cooling monoblocks are mounted
into a vehicle, sufficient space
along the large sides must be After topping-up of the battery,
provided for correct cooling. the density of the electrolyte is at

1.2. Mechanical characteristics

STM 5-100 STM 5-140 MR

MR MRE with without
plates plates

Weight (kg) 12.9 13.2 18.4 17.0

Dimensions (mm)
. length 248 246 282 244
. width 120 123 153 153
. height 260 260 260 260
Electrolyte reserve 175 175 160 160
Terminal M 8 x 1.25 M 8 x 1.25
Refer to attached diagram "/# $/%

1.3. Electrical characteristics

STM 5-100 MR and MRE STM 5-140 MR

Rated capacity IEC 100 Ah 136 Ah

Nominal voltage Un 6V 6V
Apparent internal resistance
(completely charged)
at + 20°C 4 mΩ 4 mΩ

1.4. Description of the automatic regulation of the
centralized filling system electrolyte level in each cell
during topping-up.

1.4.1. General description For a battery with several

hydraulic circuits, the topping-up
This chapter describes the will be done separately for each
working principle of the single hydraulic circuit.
point water filling system used
on STM monoblocks.

! Assembly instructions
see chapter 3.3.

! Operating instructions
see chapter 6.2.
The water filling system connects
a number of monoblocks in
hydraulic series.
During normal operation of
the battery, a significant amount
of the gases produced during
overcharge recombines in the
batteries. The remaining gas is
exhausted through the hydraulic
When topping-up of the battery
is necessary, water filling is done
from a reservoir that feeds the
battery with a low-pressure pump
or through gravity. The topping-up
is being effected cell by cell to a
predetermined level. The filling of
an hydraulic system is completed
when all batteries are filled and
water appears at the end of its
hydraulic system. The filling of a
battery is completed when all
cells of the battery are filled.
The main component of the
system is the water filling ramp
that guarantees the evacuation of
the gases, as well as the

1.4.2. Working principle of The water flows across the ramp The centralized filling ramp has no
a centralized filling ramp through a plunging siphon (6) and moving parts and offers full
into the cell through the exhaust operational security. Further, this
The concept is to fill a cell with hole (7), while the air escapes system prevents the cell electrolyte
water up to a specified level (N) from any contact with the next cell,
through the exhaust tube (5).
allowing gas which is in the cell thus avoiding any risk of current
The lower edge of the gas exhaust
to escape. When the maximum level leakage between several cells in
is reached, the electrolyte closes tube (5) settles the expected
electrolyte level of the cell. a battery.
the gas exhaust tube and the
consequent excess pressure stops & Filling through gravity
the water flow into the cell. When the electrolyte reaches
The water will then flow to the next this level, the remaining air in the The flow rate of the water
cell and so on, to the last cell of the cell can no longer escape through must be between 0.7 and
hydraulic circuit. the gas exhaust tube (5) and 1 liter/minute and the relative
the water reserve generated by pressure under 0.15 bar.
The centralized filling ramp is a
soldered assembly of the monoblock the plunging siphon (6) ensures
a safe obstruction of the gas & Low pressure filling
cover (1) and a ramp (2) equipped
on the upper part with a tubular inside the cell. When the filling The flow rate of the water must
water inlet (3) and a tubular water of the cell is finished, the water be lower than 0.7 liter/minute
outlet (4), and an exhaust tube (5) flows to the next cell or the next and the relative pressure below
on the lower part (see fig.1 below). monoblock. 0.3 bar.

Figure n° 1

2. Precautions and practices

2.1. Transport, storage 2.2. Water and electrolyte 2.2.2. Harm caused in using
sulfuric acid or acidious water
Low maintenance STM batteries The water and electrolyte used
are delivered filled with electrolyte in Saft Ni-Cd batteries must be Sulfuric acid (as it is used in
and electrically discharged. It is chemically pure. lead- acid batteries) seriously
normal that the electrolyte level is damages alkaline batteries.
Under normal operating
not visible after a long storage Never put sulfuric acid in nickel-
conditions, it is neither necessary
and transport period, even in the cadmium batteries.
nor possible to change or add
monoblocks STM 5-100 MR and electrolyte (KOH). Also prevent the use of topping-up
5-140 MR. It will become visible water recommended for lead-acid
during charge (refer to chapter 4). It is only a matter of readjusting
batteries since it may contain
water that was consumed during
Depending on customer sulfuric acid.
overcharges, in adjusting the
specifications, low maintenance levels regularly (see chapter 6.2.). When in doubt about water
STM monoblocks can be purity, effect a litmus test (or
delivered completely assembled & If monoblocks have lost their equivalent).
into batteries, partly assembled, electrolyte by accident (drop,
spills, mishandling, etc...) & Never check or top up the
or as a kit of monoblocks and
it may be necessary to batteries with instruments used
replenish the electrolyte. for lead-acid batteries
In the latter two cases, to avoid This can only be done in a
any spilling of electrolyte during Saft factory by Saft specialists.
transport, the monoblocks are Please contact us without fail.
fitted with transport plugs.
& Measuring the electrolyte
& Never drain the electrolyte in specific density
the monoblocks
The low maintenance STM
The battery units can be stored monoblocks that are equipped
in whatever their state of with a centralized filling ramp
charge. After a storage period should be considered sealed.
of more than one year, it is Measuring or reconcentrating the
necessary to carry out a electrolyte density is impossible.
commissioning charge before
use (see chapter 4.2.) 2.2.1. Water quality
lt is absolutely necessary that
chemically pure water, distilled
or demineralized, is used for
topping-up (see appendix 9).
Prevent the use of tap water as
it contains impurities, that will
adversely effect the electrolyte,
operation quality, and the useful
life of the monoblocks. Store
water in hermetically sealed
plastic containers.

2.3. Electrical shocks 2.4. Possible dangers
and burns through hydrogen
Batteries assembled from a large Low maintenance STM
number of monoblocks can attain monoblocks are connected in
high voltages. Therefore great hydraulic series. The hydraulic
care caution must be taken during circuit exhausts oxygen and
the installation and maintenance hydrogen gases that are
of a battery system to avoid produced during overcharge.
serious burns or electrical shocks.
& The hydraulic system can
& Cut off the AC and DC circuits contain highly explosive gases
before working on batteries. at any moment.
Make sure that people understand All interventions on the battery
the risk of high voltage batteries require particular attention to
and that all manipulation is prevent of any kind of leakage.
carried out with insulated tools If a leak is detected, it must be
and other adequate protection repaired immediately.
equipment. Furthermore, general safety rules
must be strictly observed:
dispersion of gases as they leave
the hydraulic system to avoid the
forming of dangerously
concentrated hydrogen gas
pockets; and good ventilation.
Keep the battery away from any
heat or ignition source.

3. Installation

3.1. Assembly into batteries In practice, the monoblock

STM 5-140 MR’s will be set up
The electrical connection in series in rows on the axis of the small
An installation according to of monoblocks will be made sides, without any gap but with
the following, and perhaps according to the space available a shim plate between the
more specific, instructions is and to minimize the length of the monoblocks. The consolidated
imperative to ensure the cables or rigid connections. bracing system must withstand
longevity and performance of an expansion force of 150 daN
the battery as well as its The connection of the hydraulic
system to each of the monoblocks per row.
operational safety. Specifically,
the installation and assembly of will follow a path parallel to the Liquid-cooled STM 5-100 MRE
the monoblocks into batteries, electrical circuit so that there is monoblocks do not require free
their hydraulic connection, and no potential difference between vertical space on any side.
the installation of the ventilation the two ends of a connecting
pipe. The direction of the water By contrast, it is important to
and cooling systems must be leave space between the large
done with great care. or gas flow is not important.
sides of the STM 5-100 MR and
For the final installation that will The maximum number of STM 5-140 MR monoblocks in
be specific to every vehicle, monoblocks connected in hydraulic order to ensure the collective
this manual only provides series is limited to 10 on a single cooling through air circulation.
general guidelines. circuit, which is equivalent to The ventilation space between
50 cells. For larger battery units, rows must be between 10 and
All battery installations must several totally independent circuits 20 mm (refer chapter 3.2.).
be approved by Saft. must be provided (for details see
chapter 3.3.).
During the installation into
batteries, the monoblocks must
not be able to move in any three
directions depending on the
mechanical constraints.
The monoblock STM 5-140 MR’s
are being shipped with belt plates.
The monoblock STM 5-100 MR and
STM 5-100 MRE’s have built-in belt
plates to prevent a swelling.
The plates of the monoblock
STM 5-140 MR’s can be
removed, under condition that
the battery structure provides
sufficient protection against
deformation of their small sides.
Only the small sides of the
blocks must be braced in case
of connection of rows of
several monoblocks.

3.2. Ventilation and cooling The basic design rules for a liquid 3.3. Assembly of centralized
cooling system are as follows: water filling system
During operation (charge or
- the maximum number of fluid
discharge), STM batteries generate
chambers in a hydraulic series 3.3.1. Precautions and
heat, like all electrochemical
is limited to 3 with a pressure recommendations
systems. In daily use, a steady heat
loss of < 80 mbar.
accumulation must be avoided.
- in the best interest of thermal The centralized water filling
As a result, the battery needs a
balance, two fluid chambers that system links a number of
good cooling system in order to
monoblocks in hydraulic series.
disperse the dissipated heat belong to one monoblock will
efficiently. be connected through two The installation of such a system
independent cooling circuits. must therefore be effected with
The free space of 10 mm to 20 mm
a maximum caution to avoid any
between rows of STM 5-100 MR - water flow of 40 l/h/series of
risk of gas or electrolyte leakage
and STM 5-140 MR monoblocks 3 fluid chambers with a
to ensure good operation
on their large sides serves as a maximum pressure of 0.3 bar in
compliant with required safety
cooling corridor. the hydraulic circuits must be
homogenous. It must be assured
In addition, heat dissipation that no preferential waterflow Important:
can be improved by providing exists that would cause uneven
ventilation space above and/or • To ensure that the hydraulic
cooling of the monoblocks. system is sealed, (no gas and/or
underneath the STM 5-100 MR When replenishing the cooling
and STM 5-140 MR monoblocks. water leakages), the connection
liquid, care should be taken that of the ramp with hoses must be
In the case of forced air cooling, no air bubbles form that would done carefully. Whenever a
the ventilators will blow cold air cause partial or no cooling at all, leakage occurs (possible after
vertically and horizontally across thus accelerating the aging some period of operation), it
the batteries. All cooling systems process or the destruction of the must be repaired immediately.
will be dimensioned to ensure the monoblocks or the battery.
• To minimize the risk of current
most homogenous temperature of - the thermal exchange system of leaking into the hydraulic
the monoblocks in one battery. the cooling liquid/air is not system (which is carrying gases
Furthermore, it is recommended to included in the supplies from and water) verify the following:
control the battery temperature by Saft, except under special
contract. This includes: - the hydraulic connection must
sensors or thermostats, which can always follow the electrical one,
be supplied by Saft on request. distribution hoses, draining
accessories, pump, radiator. in order not to create a potential
The optimized solutions for a difference higher than that
cooling system must be designed - during the mounting of the between two cells at opposing
battery and specifically during ends of the hose connection.
for every battery, depending on
the installation of the electric
the type of car, its use, the type - the number of monoblocks that are
and hydraulic circuits (filling and
of battery etc. connected in hydraulic series is
cooling), particular care must be
& Special case of STM 5-100 MRE taken that none of these three limited to 10 (50 cells maximum),
liquid cooled monoblocks which in turn limits the nominal
circuits is interconnected.
voltage of one ramp to 60 V.
Cooling of these monoblocks is - for details about the material and
effected by circulation of liquid in dimension of the hoses of the
fluid chambers on the large sides. cooling system see appendix 7.

All Saft monoblocks to be For distances greater than
equipped with a centralized 200 mm (between the battery
water filling system, are equipped and the water tank for example),
with the water filling ramp. or to form a loop, use flexible
reinforced PVC pipe with a
All necessary accessories, such diameter of 10 x 16 mm, part
as hoses, pipes, elbows, can be number 208 859.
supplied with each battery. For very tight loops it is preferable
List of part numbers, see app. 5. to use a 90° polypropylene
elbow, part number 444 103.
3.3.2. General instructions Avoid any nipping or squeezing of
for assembly the flexible pipes or hoses during
the assembly of the system.
! Levels
Avoid forming vertical loops in
The whole system should always be
which water would remain after
installed at the same level. However, the filling operation.
if different levels exist, start the
hydraulic circuit at the highest point, ! Inlets and outlets
such that the water can always flow During normal operation (not
downward and without causing topping-up), the hydraulic circuit
more pressure than that due to the must be closed on one side (inlet),
loss of content in the ramps of the such that any gas can escape
monoblock. through the outlet on the other side.

Install the water filling and gas ! Water inlet

outlets in a well ventilated place, Use self closing connecting plugs,
where the oxygen and hydrogen part number 280 604 (female
gases can easily disperse and connector) and part number
evacuate. All risks of sparks and 280 605 (male connector).
ignition sources must be avoided. When disconnecting these plugs,
both parts will automatically be
It is imperative to protect the
closed, i.e.
outlets against rain, dust, mud, etc.
- the inlet to the hydraulic circuit
During the study of the pipe on the battery side is closed,
layout, attention should be given
that no syphon containing water - the pipe to the water reservoir is
closed, and stops the water flow.
or condensation can block the
outlets in case of freezing. ! Water and gas outlet

! Pipes and hoses Do not use self-closing plugs.

Use free-pass plugs, part number
For the hydraulic connection 280 602 (female connector) or
between two monoblocks, use a directly the soft pipe in reinforced
hose as specified in appendix 6. PVC 10 x 6, part number 208 859.

4. Placing into service

4.1. Procedure before use 4.2. Commissioning cycle

Low maintenance STM and topping-up with water
monoblocks are delivered a) Upon receipt, remove transport
filled and electrically a) Commissioning at constant
plugs from monoblocks, if any.
discharged. On receipt current charge (see table below).
and/or after a storage b) Top-up with water, using the
period, a commissioning b) Ensure correct and seal
centralized water filling system
cycle is required. hydraulic interconnections.
30 minutes after the end of the
Do not top-up with water charge.
prior to the first charge, c) Verify that electrical inter-
even if the electrolyte level is connection of the blocks and
underneath the minimum level the connection of the battery to
or does not show at all. the vehicle are correct.
After long storage periods,
the electrolyte can be totally d) Check tightness of terminal
absorbed by the electrodes connecting nuts.
Individually shipped • Torque applied should be
monoblocks or batteries are as follows:
equipped with transport plugs
on the ramps or filling circuits 12 ± 2 N.m
to avoid the loss of electrolyte

STM 5-100 STM 5-100 STM 5-140


Current (I) 7A 10 A 9A
Time (t) 21 h 15 h 22 h
Voltage (V) no limit *
* Voltage can reach 9 V per monoblock.

Maximum temperature at the beginning of the charge: + 35°C

Maximum temperature during the charge: + 50°C

Commissioning cycle of STM monoblocks

5. Operation

5.1. Operating temperature 5.2. Two-level charge

Due to the electrochemical
reaction, all Ni-Cd batteries 5.2.1. Normal charge
generate heat during charge and
In cycling applications, STM
discharge. As STM monoblock
batteries are preferably charged
batteries are batteries of high
at constant current between 0.15
energy density, and they are
and 0.2 C5A.
used in regular cycling, particular
attention must be paid to the
temperature of the battery. 5.2.2. Fast charge
Daily use in electric vehicles
It is possible to recharge up to
requires the control of the
80% with a current between 1
temperature and the installation
and 1.5 C5A.
of a cooling system to prevent
the authorized maximum The fast charge current is applied
operational temperature from as follows:
being exceeded.
• STM 5-100 MR-MRE: 150 A
The temperature measured inside
• STM 5-140 MR: 210 A
a central cell must always be
below + 60°C.
5.2.3. Maintenance charge
! Temperature during charging
This is a normal charge with a
For optimum battery performance higher overcharge coefficient that
and life, it is preferable to begin will permit increased capacity.
charging at an internal battery At its term, the battery is topped-
temperature of below + 35°C. up with water.
This means, in practice, after a
discharge, it is necessary to take
enough time to let the battery cool
down to below + 35°C before
starting the charging operation.
Charges at higher temperature
are always possible, but the
battery capacity and its useful life
will progressively be reduced.
Nevertheless, full capacity will be
restored after some full charges at
temperatures below + 35°C.

5.2.4. Recommended charging overcharge while assuring the The relation between threshold
method necessary overcharge. voltage and temperature can be
The change-point threshold, is viewed as linear.
For ambient temperature between indicated in the diagram by a
0°C and + 35°C. The voltage threshold for STM
small circle. batteries is indicated at a
& The charging method described First level: constant current at temperature of +10°C and is
below is generally applicable for 0.2 C5A up to predetermined adjusted according to the battery
STM MR-MRE batteries installed threshold voltage. temperature with a negative
in electric vehicles. However, coefficient in millivolts per °C.
individual charging methods Second level: constant current
might be required for specific reduced to 0.05 C5A without ' Voltage threshold
customer needs, depending on voltage limitation. The voltage threshold that
the application, climatic ends the first level is set at
The charge coefficient is 1.15. 1.63 V/cell, i.e. 8.15 V
conditions, etc. For exceptional
cases, consult Saft. The maximum charging time per monoblock.
of a fully discharged battery is ' Temperature coefficient:
The recommended charging
approximately 8 hours. For T>10°C
method for Saft STM MR-MRE
batteries is two-level constant ! Temperature compensation – 0.003 V/°C/cell,
current charge IOla, as shown in i.e. – 0.015 V/°C/monoblock.
the diagram below. It is essential that the battery
reach the threshold voltage For T<10°C
! Principle before it is fully charged. As the – 0.006 V/°C/cell,
voltage characteristics of Ni-Cd i.e. – 0.03 V/°C/monoblock.
The battery is charged at constant
current. Its voltage increases. batteries vary with their Cut-off can be manual,
As soon as the predetermined temperature (higher voltage when controlled by a time switch,
charging voltage has been cold and lower voltage when or electronically.
reached, the charge current is hot), it is imperative to correct the
reduced in order to limit useless voltage threshold according to
heat dissipation during the battery temperature.

Second level Voltage

Voltage (V) Current (A)

Set voltage
Voltage (V)

First level


First level
Second level

0 0.05 0.2 end of charge

Charge condition (C5A) Charge time

STM 5-100 MR and MRE STM 5-140 MR

First level
Constant current 20 A 28 A
0.2 C5A
Voltage threshold 8.15 V/monoblock 8.15 V/monoblock
Time t1 until the voltage threshold is reached
Second level
Constant current 5A 7A
0.05 C5A
Voltage threshold open open
Temperature – 0.015 V/°C/monoblock T>10°C
coefficient – 0.03 V/°C/monoblock T<10°C
Overcharge 1.15

Recommended charge method for STM monoblocks

Examples of charge voltage at different temperatures:

! Charge of an STM monoblock at + 35°C:
Voltage threshold at +10°C ..............................................8.15 V
Charge temperature ........................................................+ 35°C
Temperature difference starting at +10°C ............................+ 25°C
Correcting factor of the:
Voltage threshold + 25°C x (– 0.015) V/°C =.................. – 0.375 V
Voltage threshold for charge at + 35°C 8.15 V – 0.375 V = .. 7.78 V
! Charge of a STM monoblock at 0°C:
Voltage threshold at + 10°C ..............................................8.15 V
Charge temperature ..............................................................0°C
Temperature difference starting at + 10°C ............................– 10°C
Correcting factor of the:
Voltage threshold – 10°C x (– 0.03)V/°C = ........................ + 0.3 V
Voltage threshold for charge at 0°C8.15 V + 0.3 V = .......... 8.45 V

A special document concerning the charging methods recommended by

Saft is available on request from the application service.

5.3. Discharge

5.3.1. Discharge current

STM 5-100 MR and MRE STM 5-140 MR
The maximum current in
continuous discharge is 2 C5A.
Constant 200 A 270 A
If necessary, the monoblocks must
be cooled to limit heating Peak (10 s) 500 A 680 A
(electrolyte temperature < + 60°C).
Peak discharges of short duration, Maximum discharge currents
less than or equal to 10 sec, up
to a current of 5 C5A are
permitted according to the state
of charge and the minimum
acceptable voltage of the

5.3.2. Voltage in discharge Current Capacity measured at End voltage

The voltage level during in operation
discharge depends on the 0.2 C5A 5.0 V/monoblock 4.9 V/monoblock
current drawn on the battery,
and the temperature. 1 C5A 4.5 V/monoblock 4.4 V/monoblock

The rated capacity of STM 2 C5A 4.2 V/monoblock 4.0 V/monoblock

monoblocks is set at + 20°C
for an end voltage of 5 V.
End voltages in discharge
In practice, STM monoblocks can
be very deeply discharged.
Occasional polarity inversion will
not harm the monoblocks.
However, this polarity inversion
must remain exceptional to avoid
water consumption not taken into
account by topping-up.
The table on the right shows
general rules and voltages:

6. Maintenance

6.1. Periodic maintenance 6.2. Topping-up operation Water is filled into the hydraulic
system from a reservoir by gravity
Under normal operating ! Measuring the electrolyte level or by vacuum, according to
conditions, when charging the principles described in
recommendations are respected, Topping-up with distilled or
chapter 1.4.
and correcting factors are demineralized water (for water
applied, low maintenance STM quality refer to chapter 2.2.) When topping-up is effected using
batteries require no regular is necessary, because Ni-Cd gravity, the flow rate at the inlet
maintenance apart from topping- batteries consume water through must be between 0.7 and
up (see chapter 6.2.). electrolysis during overcharge. 1 liter/minute and the relative
pressure at the inlet of the first
A brief overall inspection of the The electrolyte level is visible
cell of the first monoblock must
battery system during a general through the plastic container of
be less than 0.15 bar relative.
revision of the vehicle should be the STM 5-100 MR monoblocks
carried out. The following points during charge. The electrolyte Stop filling a few seconds after
are to be verified: level is not visible in the water spills over at the vent
STM 5-100 MRE monoblocks due pipe(s). The inlet pipe will close
• the state of the fans, if present, to the double walls of the fluid and the flow of water will stop
• the tightness of the connections, chambers, and barely visible in automatically when the inlet
the STM 5-140 MR monoblocks. connector(s) are being removed.
• the seal of the hydraulic circuit The only reliable time to measure
(filling, cooling), When topping-up is effected using
the electrolyte level is at the end
gravity, the flow rate at the inlet
• cleaning the batteries with of charge or a few minutes after
must be between 0.7 and
soapy water (detergents must the end of charge (when the
1 liter/minute and the relative
be avoided). electrolyte is at its highest level).
depression in the monoblock must
The verification of the electrolyte In practice, topping-up is done be less than or equal to 0.3 bar.
density is both unnecessary and according to overcharged
impossible. amperehours.

! Frequency of topping-up
After a number of cumulated
overcharged amperehours
according to model:
• STM 5-100 MR et MRE: (1) During the first 30 minutes following
1 000 Ah overcharged the end of the overcharge, the residual
gases from the overcharge process can
• STM 5-140 MR: disturb the filling operation and, most
800 Ah overcharged importantly, decrease the water quantity
filled into the cells.
! Topping-up operation (2) After the 30 minutes period following
a controlled term of the peak charge, the
& Topping-up must not be carried
electrolyte level is too low, such that the
out during the first 30 minutes monoblocks will be overfilled, thus
after the end of an overcharge seriously risking an overspill of electrolyte
(1), but it can be carried out during the following charge and
during a peak charge period consequently a dilution of the electrolyte
during the next topping-up.
and after its controlled term (2).

7. Equipment repair and overhaul
of batteries

7.1. Electrolyte specific 7.2. Reconditioning

Reconditioning becomes
Low maintenance STM necessary when the battery
monoblocks equipped with a capacity is judged as being too
centralized filling ramp welded to low, when the battery or the
the cover can be considered as electronics of an electric vehicle
being closed. Measuring or have been repaired, or when it
reconcentrating the electrolyte has lost the battery management
density is impossible. information.
However, if a concentration of Procedure:
the electrolyte is deemed
necessary, this can only be done Commissioning charge at constant
by specialists from Saft. current as described in chapter 4.2:
• STM 5-100 MR:
7 A during 21 hours
• STM 5-100 MRE:
10 A during 15 hours
• STM 5-140 MR:
9 A during 22 hours

Appendix 1

Monoblock STM 5-100 MR + G RD equipped

Positive left – Filling right

Appendix 2

Monoblock STM 5-100 MRE + G RD equipped

Positive left – Filling right

Appendix 3

Monoblock STM 5-140 MR + G RD equipped

Positive left – Filling right

Appendix 4

Monoblock STM 5-140 MR + D RG equipped

Positive right – Filling left

Appendix 5

Accessories for the centralized filling system

Reinforced soft PVC hose10 x 16 208 859 for connections > 200 mm
Polypropylene elbow 444 103 hose-to-hose connection
Female connector 280 604 plug, normally closed
Male connector 280 605 plug, normally closed
Female connector 280 602 free
Male connector 280 603 free
Male connector 280 804 free
(wall penetration)
Male connector 280 805 self-closing
(wall penetration)

Appendix 6

Basic specification for filling circuit hoses

Operating temperature: – 30°C to + 70°C
Maximum relative operating pressure: 300 mbar
Resistant to the following liquids:
• Electrolyte KOH (solution at 400 g/l) and NaOH (solution at 100 g/l)
• Oil 75 W 80
• Brake fluid
• Lead-free gasoline
• Cooling liquid
• Vaseline

Base material: Elastomer EPDM (“all rubber”, without internal reinforcement)

Resistivity: 106 Ω.cm, as per ASTM D257
Recommended dimensions for sleeveless connection to monoblock nozzle:
• ∅ inside 9.4 ± 0.3
• ∅ outside 14.1 ± 0.3
Visual: No color requirements specified
The inside of the hoses must be perfectly smooth to avoid leaks when fitting the hose on
the connecting nozzles.

Appendix 7

Basic specification for the cooling system hoses

Operating temperature: – 30°C to + 70°C

Maximum relative operating pressure: 500 mbar
Resistant to the following liquids:
• Electrolyte KOH (solution at 400 g/l)
• Oil 75 W 80
• Brake flluid
• Lead-free gasoline
• Cooling liquid
• Vaseline

Elasticity test: 4 000 cycles at + 20°C, relative pressure: 0 – 500 mbar

After pressure cycle, verification of tightness at relative pressure of 300 mbar between – 30°C and + 70°C
Base material: Elastomer EPDM (“all rubber”, without internal reinforcement)
Resistivity: 106 Ω.cm, as per ASTM D257
Recommended dimensions for sleeveless connection to monoblock nozzle:
+ 0.2
• ∅ inside 7 – 0.3

• ∅ outside 11.6 ± 0.5

Visual: No color requirements specified
The inside of the hoses must be perfectly smooth to avoid leaks when fitting the hose on
the connecting nozzles.

Appendix 8

Basic specification for rigid connections

Base material: baseline inspected annealed copper, as per chapter 4.2.1 of regulation NF A 51.119
Protection: nickel-plated, adhesion as per chapter 4.2 of regulation NF A 91.101
Recommended cross chapter: 40 mm2 16 x 2.5
Boring: ∅ 8.25 ± 0.2

Appendix 9

Basic specification for distilled or demineralized water

Physical characteristics

Limpid, colorless, odorless when boiling

Resistivity at + 20°C > 30 000 Ω.cm

Chemical Characteristics

•5 pH 7

• Absence of organic matter and reducing substances:

COD (chemical oxygen demand) < 30 mg/l (permanganate test)
2– – –
• Total ions SO4 + CI < 10 mg/l and CI < 2 mg/l

Dry residue 15 mg/l

Silicium as SiO2 < 20 mg/l

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Industrial Battery Group

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Doc N° RM 04.01 - 21085.2
Informations in this document is subject to change without notice and becomes contractual only after written confirmation by Saft