Short Circuit Battery Installation Damage

Improper Battery Installation by Unqualified Installers
Short Circuit Battery Damage

The white paper explores the problems that occur when stationary battery systems are installed by unqualified installers. These problems can manifest into larger issues that lead to downtime and expensive repairs.

Our Service Technicians are trained to properly install battery systems along with following procedures and best practices in order to avoid damage during installation. Don't be without power when you need it most.

Introduction

An electrical contractor created a short circuit during a battery installation.

In 2016, we received a called for assistance from one of our customers when their “embedded” electrical contractor installed two battery systems in a new unit at their refinery. During one of the installations, the electrical contractor inadvertently connected cell #1 to cell #60 in one of the 120-vdc battery strings.

Fortunately for the installer, there was a loose connection between cell # 39 and cell #40 further down the string. This loose connection acted as a fuse for the short. Unfortunately, this did result in the disintegration of the connector nut and bolt hardware, turning the parts into shrapnel.

No one was injured during the event but five of the cells were damage requiring replacement to get the string in service.

During the initial call, the customer asked us to assess the battery damage and to get their system back in service as soon as possible.

Actions We Performed

  • Our technical service manager was on-site the day after we received the call to evaluate the damage and to develop a plan of action to get their system up and running a soon as possible
  • Damaged cells were identified and removed from the damaged string
  • Using identical cells from the second string on-site, we were able to build a fully functional 120-volt battery for the customer’s new unit allowing them to bring the new system on-line as scheduled
  • A capacity test was performed on the battery to ensure that it would support the connected load
  • Replacement cells were ordered
  • When the cells were received, we returned to the site to reconfigure both battery strings
  • A final acceptance test was performed on both
  • Both battery string passed and were placed in service

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