Taking The Temperature On Critical Power Batteries

System failures such as ground faults, shorted cells, loss of charger regulation, excessive AC ripple voltage or current can cause the battery temperature to rise. Monitoring the battery temperature will assist with identifying the system failures and thus preventing a thermal runaway event from occurring.

Heat is generated on the negative post of the battery when these failures are developing. Normally, an acceptable charger is one that does not raise the battery operating temperature, as measured at the negative terminal, by more than 3°C (5°F) above ambient temperature. 

The infrared thermometer of the Celltron Advantage will capture the temperature by detecting the infrared energy emitted at the negative post of the battery. Since the Celltron Advantage temperature sensor has a broad IR spectrum, it is best to take the temperature 2 inches away from the negative post.

Knowing each battery temperature and understanding the importantance of preventing a thermal runaway event is a key factor of preventive maintenance.

There are several reasons battery temperature may rise.

  • Shorted battery cells
  • Poor charge voltage regulation.
  • Excessive A.C. ripple voltage or current from the charger.
  • Poor ventilation and inadequate cooling normally associated with restricted space in an enclosure or room.

If the battery temperature is not monitored then the destruction of a thermal runaway event can become costly and hazardous.

  • Mechanical distortion of the cell components may result with battery replacement.
  • Irreversible chemical reactions can occur which cause a permanent reduction in the active chemicals and hence reduce the capacity of the cell and may result with battery replacement.
  • The cell may eventually rupture or explode causing serious damage.
  • Toxic or inflammable chemicals may be released causing serious damage.

Regular preventative maintenance, such as capturing battery temperatures, can spot problematic batteries before they fail. Monitoring this factor along with monitoring charger functionality can reduce the potential for thermal runaway or a catastrophic system failure.

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