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.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

All the security in the world
25 March 2020, Forbatt SA
All the security in the world is useless if there is no power to keep it operational and with the grid under pressure and no respite in sight, the best deterrent is advance preparation.

DC-DC converter for aerospace/defence
25 March 2020, Future Electronics , Power Electronics / Power Management
Vicor announced the DCM5614, an isolated, regulated 270 V-28 V DC-DC converter with an output power rating of 1300 W in a 142,2 x 35,6 x 9,4 mm VIA package. Providing power density of 27,52 W/cm3 at a ...

Switchers for high-power LED displays
25 March 2020, EBV Electrolink , Power Electronics / Power Management
Power Integrations’ InnoSwitch3-MX isolated switcher IC family has been expanded with the addition of three new PowiGaN devices. As part of a chipset with Power Integrations’ InnoMux controller IC, the ...

Synchronous buck converter
29 April 2020, Altron Arrow , Power Electronics / Power Management
Diodes Incorporated introduced the AP62600 synchronous DC-DC buck converter for point-of-load (POL) conversion in applications such as TVs, monitors, white goods, home appliances, consumer electronics ...

Tiny step-down regulator
29 April 2020, Altron Arrow , Power Electronics / Power Management
The LTM4657 is part of Analog Devices’ family of tiny, high-efficiency, identical pin-out, step-down µModule devices. The LTM4657 is designed to operate at lower switching frequencies than the LTM4626 ...

Stackable DC-DC buck converter
29 April 2020, Avnet South Africa , Power Electronics / Power Management
Texas Instruments introduced a new 40 A SWIFT DC-DC buck converter, offering first-of-its-kind stackability of up to four ICs. The TPS546D24A PMBus buck converter can deliver up to 160 A of output current ...

Open-frame configurable power supplies
29 April 2020, Vepac Electronics , Power Electronics / Power Management
The RB series of configurable open-frame power supplies has been expanded. Based on a unique concept, the Cosel RB series offers three configurable isolated outputs, with one having a reinforced isolation ...

Why low quiescent current matters for longer battery life
29 April 2020, Avnet South Africa , Power Electronics / Power Management
From healthcare and biosensing to wearables and environmental sensing, nearly all IoT devices rely on batteries that must perform reliably and over an extended period of time in a variety of conditions.

Bipolar DC-DC supply design sources and sinks current
29 April 2020, Altron Arrow , Power Electronics / Power Management
Most electronic systems depend on power voltage rails that are either positive or negative, but a few applications require individual rails that can be both. In these situations, positive or negative ...

DC-DC converter adds 80 W output
29 April 2020, Vepac Electronics , Power Electronics / Power Management
The popular MG series, with its 10 year warranty, has been extended again by Cosel with the addition of 80 W output models in the MGFS and MGFW family. Offering 4:1 input voltage ranges of 9-36 V or 18-76 V, ...