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Battery Monitoring System Advantages

Posted October 6, 2015

Real time battery monitoring systems are relied upon in various backup battery applications such as data centers, manufacturing operations, hospitals, emergency lighting, telecommunications, power utilities, and generators. Battery monitoring systems provide confidence that your batteries will be dependable during an outage. Maintaining and monitoring stationary battery systems is critical to maximize the performance and life of substation, UPS, and other critical backup power systems. There are a multitude of advantages in having a battery monitoring system which includes increased overall efficiency, safety improvements, and reduces maintenance and replacement costs.

Critical battery systems typically require regular on-site visits to satisfy standard battery testing requirements. These physical onsite inspections are labor intensive. Performing regular testing is necessary to maintain the life of the battery, prevent unexpected catastrophic failure, and meet IEEE Recommended Practices and NERC PRC-005-2 standards. NERC PRC-005-2 standard is restricted to substations and generating plants directly connected to the Bulk Electric Supply. All the batteries in both AC and DC standby systems require maintenance, and they would follow IEEE recommended practices. A battery monitoring system will increase reliability by automatically recording and trending critical parameters such as overall string voltage and current, cell/unit voltage, internal and connection resistance, cell/unit temperature, ambient temperature, electrolyte level, and positive / negative ground every day without personnel on-site. Measured data is recorded and stored automatically, allowing in-depth trending analysis for predictive maintenance.

Critical backup battery maintenance is essential in ensuring reliable power to the grid when there is an outage or major equipment failure. Without a preventative maintenance program including proper battery testing, the Bulk Electric System (BES) is compromised. This can lead to significant revenue loss and safety hazards, as well as violation of battery testing recommendations by IEEE and NERC standards.

With a battery monitoring system, there are major safety benefits. Having a battery monitor connected directly to the battery bank will reduce the need for maintenance personnel to have direct contact with the high voltages present in battery systems, and it can increase visibility of potentially disastrous failures. Battery monitoring systems can be integrated into any facilities management or alarm system for remote monitoring. This allows for remote access to the data and alarming through software which collects trending data and creates reports.

A dedicated battery monitoring system will reduce battery maintenance and replacement costs by providing the most reliable form of predictive maintenance. Permanent battery monitoring systems allow batteries in critical applications to be replaced before battery failure occurs. Currently, the number one root cause of unplanned outages is UPS system failure, therefore timely preventative maintenance is critical in reducing maintenance costs and preventing a catastrophic outage.

Eagle Eye’s BMS-Series real time battery monitoring systems allow for 24/7/365 monitoring of your battery system. Our BMS-Series monitors string voltage and current, as well as cell/unit voltage, internal and connection resistance, cell/unit temperature, ambient temperature, electrolyte level, and positive/negative ground fault. They are also compliant with NERC PRC-005-2 requirements and IEEE recommendations for battery testing. Contact us to request a quote for our battery monitoring systems.

Importance of NERC PRC-005-2 Compliant Electrolyte Level Monitoring

Posted September 15, 2015

One of the most critical roles of utility companies is to ensure the health and protection of their Bulk Electric System (BES). Without proper battery testing and preventative maintenance, the Bulk Electric System is compromised. As a result, utility companies can suffer from significant revenue loss, possible safety hazards for their workers and more. To ensure the negative effects of a compromised system won’t occur, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has been formed to enforce the reliability standards of all battery monitoring and testing equipment. In addition, NERC PRC-005-2 requires utilities worldwide to document and implement programs for the maintenance of all protection systems affecting the reliability of the BES.

Non-compliance with NERC PRC-005-2 comes with severe consequences. Compliance monitoring includes assessing, investigating, evaluating, and auditing to measure compliance. Compliance enforcement includes penalties and sanctions, which can be up to $1 million per day). These penalties are based on Violation Risk Factors, Violation Severity Levels, and Violation History. Finally, entities found in violation must submit a mitigation plan to NERC and execute the plan once it’s been approved.

To comply with NERC PRC-005-2 guidelines, Eagle Eye has created the ELM- Series Battery Electrolyte Level Monitor for power utilities nationwide. The ELM is a reliable dual sensor system that monitors the electrolyte level and temperature of individual flooded batteries. The ELM-Series utilizes low-cost, easy to install sensors that will send out an alarm on low electrolyte level, or higher than normal temperature. Our electrolyte level monitor is also designed to monitor any flooded battery system regardless of voltage and amp-hour. Furthermore, this is a 24/7/365 protection for a real time solution for monitoring battery electrolyte and temperature levels.

Our PRC-005-2 Operation and Maintenance Compliance training is designed to include a review of battery maintenance fundamentals, inspection methods both manual and automated, interpretation of the data collected and the required record keeping. This course is intended for all personnel with the responsibility for the implementation and operation of a compliant battery monitoring program.

To learn more about NERC Compliance Solutions, please contact us today or to inquire about our NERC on-site training. You can also request a quote regarding the ELM – Series Battery Electrolyte Level Monitor.

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