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what causes the premature failure of batteries

What Causes the Premature Failure of Batteries?

  |   Batteries, Power Failures   |   No comment

In these modern times, total blackouts are rare but there are times when the power supply misbehaves. Unfortunately, we can’t afford it to misbehave; it’s why we install power backups and UPS systems in our offices and organisations. The primary component of any UPS system is its battery. It stores power and immediately supplies it when the primary power supply fails.

However, batteries have a limited lifespan and will eventually have to be replaced. Most people don’t realise that their batteries can fail prematurely and put their entire system at risk. If you want to avoid premature battery failures, you should know what causes them.

#1 Excessive Cycling

A battery can be charged and discharged only a fixed number of times and this process is called cycling. Every time the battery is discharged and needs to be charged again, an electromagnetic generator inside the battery converts acid and paste into power.

This happens when the paste on the positive grid turns from lead dioxide to lead(II) sulphate. A deep discharge (when more than 80% of the battery is used up) can cause a considerable amount of stress to the paste; over time, this compromises its integrity.

A deep discharge also tends to corrode the grid structure within the battery, which can shorten its life. That’s one of the reasons why experts recommend shallow charges as often as possible. That extends the life of the battery and allows you to gain more utility out of it.

#2 Improper Charging

Most battery manufacturers provide an appropriate charge voltage range for your battery. They recommend different voltages for different cells designs and they don’t do this on a whim. The unique chemical composition of the battery demands specific charge voltages.

If you keep the charge within the recommended float voltage, your battery will remain healthy and function well for as long as it’s supposed to. However, if you charge it with low float voltage or high float voltage, you can damage the battery and significantly shorten its lifespan.

#3 Low Float Voltage

If you undercharge it with low float voltage, sulphate crystals form on the battery plates. These crystals harden and won’t revert to liquid form even after you recharge the battery, which causes permanent loss in capacity. If you continue to undercharge, the sulphate crystals will build up on the plates and the negative plates will lose all their active material, and will render the battery useless.

#4 High Float Voltage

Overcharging results in excessive formation of oxygen and hydrogen gasses, which causes flooded cells to lose water and VRLA cells to dry out. Overcharging also increases corrosion and causes the position plats to shed their active material.

#5 Temperature Control

Almost everyone that deals with batteries knows that temperature can have a massive impact on their performance. Manufacturers recommend ideal temperature situations for your batteries and state the minimum & maximum temperatures they can be exposed to. This corresponds with the voltage because batteries generate some thermal output as well.

Temperatures below 16°C can diminish the capacity of the battery and temperatures above 25°C can damage it permanently. The ideal temperature setting for most batteries falls between these two extremes. Beyond that, any decrease or increase in temperature damages the battery in some shape or form.

Things like manufacturing defects, installation errors, and operational errors can also have a negative impact on the longevity of the battery. If you want to know more about causes of premature battery failures or our custom power products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us at KaRaTec Power Supply Pty. You can give us a call at 612 9808 1127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading,
Karatec Power Supply Pty
612 9808 1127

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