Maintaining a DG set battery

Owning & maintaining a diesel generator set, can be a huge effort and need to organisations seeking insulation from unreliable power supply. In a DG set, the most critical part is the starter motor and its battery.

Starter motor and dg set battery need to do the hard work of cracking the diesel generator engine from 0 rpm. This makes the starter motor and battery a undeniably important part of the dg ecosystem.

#MINSA TECH being the authorised distributor of Cummins battery, is in a responsible position to educate consumers. The below information would help organisation, maintain dg set batteries.

The following are key signs of existing or pending battery failure.

  • Local action – A slow chemical reaction between a battery’s plates and trace impurities will slowly discharge a standing battery. Manufacturers recommend charging any wet lead batteries shipped three months before installation and any NiCd batteries shipped 12 months earlier Battery chargers should be connected to standby generator set to maintain a minimum float charge that compensates for local action discharges.
  • Cell voltage – Cell voltage is critical to correct battery operation. Any deterioration from recommended levels in any cell should be recorded and tracked on battery maintenance charts. Just one cell with low voltage will drop overall battery voltage, which can harm equipment and result in too little power to start an engine.
  • Cell balance – One cell that fails to charge equally with others also indicates a problem. An undercharging will cause gradual sulfation of negative plates and reduce battery life or capacity of lead acid batteries. Overcharging corrodes the grids of the positive plates. NiCd batteries are not affected like lead acid batteries.
  • Specific gravity (SG) – SG indicates electrolyte weight. Heavier electrolyte means a heavier charge. Low SG indicates plate sulfation, cell deterioration and reduced battery capacity.
  • Water use – All batteries other than valve regulated types use water. Using the maintenance chart to track the rate at which water is added will identify excessive use. Reasons for any increased usage must be identified.
  • Battery connections – Terminal connections over time can loosen causing excessive heat.
  • Dirty battery: Dirt on the top of the battery can lead to conductivity between the poles. Dirt will also mask other problems such as leakage and loose connections.
  • Reduced capacity – Reduced capacity will degrade a battery’s ability to crank the engine during start.