Power Electronics / Power Management


Tips for resolving common battery faults

30 April 2019 Power Electronics / Power Management

Forbatt SA not only provides high-quality batteries but advises on maintaining batteries and prolonging their lifespan. The following is a quick guide for how to spot and resolve common battery faults that one might encounter while using batteries in UPS and/or telecommunications applications.

Reduced run time or backup time

When one or more batteries are below capacity it will result in reduced run time or backup time, which is a sign that maintenance is required. The best way to resolve this will be to discharge all the batteries to 10,5 V, then fully charge and discharge again, and then repeat these steps two more times. A battery that cannot recover to its full capacity needs to be replaced.

Terminal colour change/ burn marks

Battery terminal damage is a common fault that can be easily spotted by visually inspecting the terminals. Also check if there are any colour changes or burn marks on the battery, colour changes in the terminal glue or melted grease on the terminals. If the terminals are not damaged they can be cleaned and reassembled. If they are damaged the battery needs to be replaced.

Terminal corrosion

Terminal corrosion may be caused by some residual electrolyte that remained on the terminals during manufacturing or the electrolyte may be leaking. To resolve this, you need to disassemble the connection and clean the terminals. Then seal the terminals with oxidation grease and reassemble the connection securely. If leakage is detected and the terminals are corroded, the battery needs to be replaced.

Battery container cracked

Impact damage to a battery due to it being dropped or struck by something will usually cause the battery casing to crack. In such cases the damaged battery needs to be replaced.

Zero voltage or no current

Incorrect usage of the battery is most likely to cause short circuits. The good news is that short circuits can be detected and resolved by cutting open the battery to check if there are any cells that may have short-circuited.

If there are two or more cells that have short-circuited, then this may have been caused through human error (incorrect usage). If there is only one cell that has short-circuited, and the cell cross-bridge is melted, this may also have been caused by human error. If the cast-on strap or cross-bridge has any irregular cracks, it is defective.

Very low voltage or zero voltage

Very low to zero voltage may be a sign that the battery might contain foreign material. To verify this, the battery needs to be cut open to see if there is any foreign material inside it that may have caused damage to the cells. Take note of the following points when inspecting the cells:

1. Is the top cover of the battery cracked?

2. Are there any traces of holes and repairs on the battery container?

3. Has the top cover been re-sealed?

Knowledge is power – make the right choices to prolong your batteries.



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