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4.1 General
The DC system includes one or several sets of
chargers and batteries, battery and distribution
monitoring relays, isolator breakers and fused
distributions. This equipment may be factoryassembled and tested as 1 cabinet per set, ready
for connection to the AC supply and external DC
distributions. Alternatively, it may be delivered for
site assembly and installation with batteries to be
installed in a separate batteryroom, separate
charger(s) and separate controlgear. The
commissioner must ensure that the system is set
up and energised to give full capacity and fault
protection as intended.

manufacturers instructions and coated with a
thin layer of Vaseline.
Interconnection cables and unfused parts of
the connection cables are well fixed and
isolated from each other (recomm. distance +/>100 mm), and fastened so they do not stress
the battery terminals.
Battery maintenance equipment is located in
cabinet or on a nearby wall.
Battery room is well ventilated, dry and clean.
The NiCd battery room or cabinet is connected
to the exhaust air duct.

NOTE that batteries will need recharging if stored

for a longer time (>1-2 months) before set up for

4.3 Chargers
The chargers must be built for the type and size of
batteries used. The connections are also to be
checked to conform with the manufacturers
diagrams to avoid damage when energised.

Fig. 4 DC-system

4.2 Inspection of installation

A visual inspection, documented in a checklist,
shall include the following items:
The DC board has no damage, is clean,
erected for easy operation and maintenance,
and well fastened.
All internal work is of good quality. Apparatus,
wiring and terminations are not loose due to
Cable entries are sealed for adequate
protection. Cables are well fastened, marked
and terminated. Creepage and clearance
distances are maintained.
The DC board and chargers are connected to
protection earth.
Battery cells, chargers, fuses etc. are of the
correct type and rating, undamaged and
equipped with essential nameplates.
Battery cells are filled with the right type and
percentage of acid solution to the correct level.
Measure the density in each cell and check
against the manufacturers values. Use the
protective equipment supplied.
Battery terminals are chained correctly.
Connection lugs are of the correct type,
material and dimensions, and are cleaned,

The battery charger(s) may need a temporary AC

supply before the AC systems are operable. The
AC source used should be checked for correct
voltage and earthing before being connected.
All chargers should be put into order in accordance
with the instruction manuals supplied with the
equipment. (Do not connect power to the DC
distribution board and batteries until these have
been inspected and tested.) Measure that
incoming AC voltage is correct before turning on
the charger. Check and adjust the output voltage
before it is forwarded for distribution. Charging and
boost charging voltage / current levels must be set
for values recommended by the battery
manufacturer (see chapter 'Batteries'). For final
setting, a precision voltmeter should be connected
to the terminals of the full charged battery after a
rest of 24 hours.
Please note that if both the DC panel and the
charger are equipped with battery supervision
relays, the earth fault measuring points must not
be connected to the earth potential in more than
one relay so as not to cause false alarms.

4.4 DC distribution board

4.5 Batteries

The effectiveness of mechanical actuating

elements, interlocks, locks etc. should be checked
and the insulation resistance measured before any
voltages are connected to the panel. The insulation
is tested positive (+) circuitry to frame, negative (-)
circuitry to frame and positive to negative circuitry
using a voltage of 500 VDC referring to IECstandard 439-1 (see chapter Insulation Tests).
Make sure battery supervision relays are
disconnected while you perform insulation tests.
Record all test results.

The general methods and values described here

are overruled by any manufacturers instructions
provided with the batteries.

Before energising the panel open all distributing

MCBs and then connect the charger output
voltage. A short-circuit and polarity check must be
made (and recorded) step by step when
energising the circuits to avoid damage due to
short-circuit / polarity faults.
Close the battery (fuse) switch as soon as the
battery and battery installation are inspected. Note
the battery voltage and charge current and if
necessary adjust to acceptable values.
The battery monitoring relay(s) is set and tested to
give alarms for earth faults and for voltage faults;
the earth fault detection level is normally set high
for a new installation (e.g. 40k). For voltage
settings the fluctuations accepted by consuming
equipment should cause alarms at limit values but
normal variations due to expected charging / highload cycles should not. Settings 85% / 110% of the
rated value should normally not be exceeded.
Earth fault monitoring is tested by making an earth
fault between each pole (at a time) and earthed
frame. The test earth faults are connected using a
resistor of ca. 90% resistance of detected leakage
resistance level as set on the monitoring relay.
Voltage monitoring alarms may be tested by
changing the settings to see that an alarm is
released as the value of the connected voltage is
passed. If this is not possible, the measured
voltage is decreased / increased using a
potentiometer or separate voltage source
connected in series with the monitoring input.
Alarm signals which cannot be checked for full
functionality at this stage will have to be tested
again when the alarm system has been set up.
Fault indications should, if necessary, be observed
using temporary means to help during
commissioning work until the alarm system is

Batteries for power plant control system backup

are generally of the lead-acid type. Valve
Regulated Sealed (VRS) or catalyst-cap
enclosed battery units are housed in the same
cabinet with the chargers and main distribution
VRS batteries are delivered charged and they
need no initial maintenance. The lead-acid cell
should be maintained fully charged for a constant
float charging voltage of 2.23 V1% (at 30 C)
(some types however 2.27 V). The boost charge is
recommended to be set at 5% higher (2.35-2.40
V), maximum 2.70 V/cell. If using constant current
charging a value of 20 A / 100 Ah should not be
exceeded until 2.40 V/cell is reached; above this
level the charging current is reduced to a maximum
of 5 A / 100 Ah. (Check that constant current
charging is allowed by the battery manufacturer.)
The battery float voltage should be adjusted for the
yearly average ambient temperature as follows:
2.35 V per cell at 0C
2.30 V per cell at 10C
2.27 V per cell at 20C
2.25 V per cell at 25C
2.23 V per cell at 30C
2.21 V per cell at 35C
2,19 V per cell at 40C

State of chge Voltage Density

100% 2.15 V per cell 1.24kg/
2.09 V per cell dm3 at
2.06 V per cell 20C
2.02 V per cell
1.97 V per cell
100% at 35 C 1.23 kg/dm3

The latter column shows how you can

approximately determine the state of the battery
charge by measuring the open circuit voltage after
the battery has been at rest for a minimum of 24
hours. Battery cells will become damaged if the
open circuit voltage is left to fall below 1.8 V/cell,
which can also occur due to self-discharge during
long storage times. For this reason stored batteries
should also be regularly inspected and recharged if
To initially charge a new, filled up lead-acid battery,
the charger is generally used to float charge the
battery with the charging current slowly descending
from the current limit level until the float charge
voltage level is reached. Thereafter the high-rate
boost charge is switched on until the boost charge
voltage is reached and for a few more hours until
the density measured at 1 h intervals no longer
changes (tot. max. 10h). Finally set the charger
again set for float charge. The unsealed lead-acid
battery cells should always be filled up (above the
electrodes) with a de-ionized water / acid (H2SO4)
solution. Top up when necessary with distilled

water and boost the charge voltage until gas has
been developing for h. The charging current limit
is generally set for 5...10% of 10h capacity.
WARNING! The acid used in accumulator
batteries may cause serious injury if it comes
into contact with skin, eyes or clothing. Always
use protective glasses and gloves when filling
and inspecting batteries.

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) alkaline batteries are

used when the special characteristics of this
battery type are needed. These battery units must
be located in a ventilated batteryroom or a
separate cabinet with exhaust air discharge duct
NiCd battery cells should be filled to the correct
level using electrolyte and according to the filling
instructions provided by the manufacturer. For the
first commissioning charge, a charge at constant
current is preferable. Charge cells for 15 h with the
current recommended for this type of cell by its
manufacturer. If only constant voltage charge is
possible, a 20...30 h charge using 1.65 V/cell
should be sufficient. In service for continuous
parallel / buffer operation a single-rate charge of
1.45...1.50 V/cell is recommended. For two-rate
charge see the manufacturers recommendations.