Hydrogen becomes explosive at concentrations of 4% or higher. From Lead-Acid to NiCad, most batteries produce flammable hydrogen gas during normal charging. Overcharging, excessive heat and many other factors can quickly cause batteries to produce even more hydrogen. As hydrogen builds up, the risk of fire and explosion increases.
To address the risks hydrogen buildup presents, regulations on battery systems have been put in place with the help of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). More and more, fire marshals and inspectors are requiring H2 monitoring systems even in small battery installations. These regulations impact both unmanned battery installations such as cell towers, power substations and telecommunications buildings as well as manned applications such as data centers, server closets and other applications requiring banks of batteries. As battery installations are becoming increasingly common, states such as Florida, California, Texas and Illinois are also revising their building codes to address the increased risk for unmonitored hydrogen. These regulations and their enforcement are fitting considering the risk of danger inherent to hydrogen.
Installing an SBS hydrogen detector allows the user to monitor for dangerous levels of hydrogen. In addition, when hydrogen is determined to be present, the SBS hydrogen detectors can operate equipment such as exhaust fans and build alarms/SCADA systems.