Hydrogen becomes explosive at concentrations of 4.2% or higher. From Lead-Acid to Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad), most battery strings produce flammable hydrogen gas as part of normal charging. Equalization, overcharging, excessive heat and many other factors can quickly cause batteries to produce even more hydrogen. As undetected hydrogen builds up, the risk of fire and explosion increases.
To address the risks that hydrogen buildup presents, entities like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have placed regulations on battery systems and hydrogen gas safety. 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 the SBS-H2 hydrogen gas detector allows the user to detect levels of hydrogen before they reach dangerous and explosive concentrations. In addition, when hydrogen is determined to be present, the SBS hydrogen detectors can operate equipment such as exhaust fans and building alarms/SCADA systems.