lead acid battery safety
Lead acid battery safety should be taken seriously. Since it is a DC power source many of us consider it harmless & quite safe. This should be avoided. Treat the lead acid battery or even any battery with some care & you will avoid unexpected surprises. All lead acid battery contain acid which is harmful & injurious to us & the environment. Take care not to get any spilled on your person or on the floor. If it does happen quickly wash the area profusely. The floor can be treated with sodium bicarbonate powder which will neutralize the acid.
When wet flooded batteries are being transported by road and rail, it should be remembered that it is labelled as a HAZARDOUS cargo. The appropriate hazard logo should be affixed on the carton or on the packing materials. If the batteries are sent in a bare condition, the logo should be printed on the battery container.
If any evidence of an acid leak is noticed, the carton should be removed for study and rectification. It is a good practice to use dummy plugs for transportation purposes.
Lead acid battery safety in handling
Forklifts or other lifting machines are necessary for loads of more than 25 kg. While handling flooded batteries, the warehouse should have acid-resistant floors. This is not mandatory for VRLA batteries.
Lead acid battery safety for persons handling the battery
The people handling batteries should not wear metallic items like watches, necklaces, bracelets, exposed tools etc. to avoid accidental shorting of terminals. Always wear personal protective equipment while handling batteries. Rubber gloves, rubber apron, a clean bottle of water to wash the eyes & a bucket of dilute sodium bicarbonate (500 grams to 5 litres of water) for spills should be handy. All tools must be insulated. If it becomes necessary to use the sodium bicarbonate solution, take care that it never enters the battery through the vent plugs on the top.
lead acid battery safety in series connections
In telecom and other applications where a series connection is used to get the desired voltage, clean the terminals free of debris using mechanical brushes. The terminals should be bright and silvery before inter-battery or inter-cell connection.
Check acid level and voltage of all cells/batteries. Add demineralized water to adjust any shortage of acid in the cells. Do not add acid. Take care while topping up the DM water that it does not overfill. Overfilling causes 2 problems, the first is that the environment around the battery becomes acidic & needs to be neutralized. The second is that the acid specific gravity inside the battery becomes diluted & will lead to new problems.
lead acid battery safety
Only well-matched cells should be used. Cell matching is done to ensure the long life of the battery bank without any unexpected failures. Keep apart any divergent cells that don’t match. Check the functioning of grounding in the installation before connecting the battery bank to the system.
A battery monitoring System (BMS) is helpful to maintain the batteries in a healthy condition. This step is expensive but extends battery life significantly. A good investment for the user for trouble-free operation and longer life.
A trial run should be made to test the adequacy of back up and robustness of the systems. Carry out fine-tuning as required