Energy Technologies, Inc. (ETI) manufactures its UPS Internal and External Battery Modules using the safest and highest reliability battery designs. The following describes several of the features of sealed, lead acid versions.
One of the typical areas of concern is the transportation of batteries. Many types of lead acid batteries are considered Hazardous Materials. As such those standard batteries must be specially marked and receive special handling. ETI utilizes batteries that meet Department of Transportation CFR 49, Section 173.159 paragraph d and IATA (International Air Transportation Association), Dangerous Goods Regulations, and United Nations recommendations UN2800. As such they are not classified as dangerous goods and are suitable for all forms of shipment without special markings or special handling. This includes commercial motor vehicle, both passenger and cargo vessels (ships) and both passenger and cargo aircraft. This includes those UPS units that have internal batteries as well as those having external modules.
One of the hazardous issues with standard battery designs is the evolution of hydrogen gas during battery charging. In normal lead acid batteries, this gas is released to the atmosphere through vents. In the designs used by ETI, the battery is totally sealed with only a self-resealing pressure relief valve for safety. The battery starts out at a negative pressure with a nitrogen purge. All gases and vapors are retained within the battery case. In addition, ETI’s charger designs avoid overcharging the battery to avoid out-gassing and to maintain maximum battery life.
Another area that causes concern with lead acid batteries is the potential for them to leak electrolyte or acid. The technology used by ETI incorporates plate separators that are micro-porous glass fiber that also serves to retain the electrolyte in suspension. This results in no free liquid within the battery case. If the battery case ever became ruptured, no battery acid would leak. In fact if you cut the battery in half, it still would not leak. In addition, this design is superior to the previous ‘gel cell’ technology that has proven to be less reliable.
The charging and discharging processes are chemical reactions releasing water in one cycle or producing hydrogen and oxygen in the other. Traditional lead acid batteries have required the addition of distilled water periodically to make up for lost water or gases through this process. This is true even for the so-called ‘maintenance free’ batteries that we buy for our cars and trucks. The battery technology utilized by ETI incorporates a built-in design that controls the generation of gases and induces recombination of more than 99% of the gases generated. Combined with the truly sealed case design, this results in no maintenance required.
Most battery cases manufactured today are made of high-impact ABS plastic resin materials. If a fire or other source of ignition were in contact with a battery case, the plastic resins would ignite and support combustion on their own. The melting plastic can carry the fire to other equipment via the ‘dripping flame.’ Also as part of the combustion process, the burning plastic releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere. As remote as this may be, ETI considers this unacceptable. The battery cases ETI incorporates in its products are constructed of flame retardant materials that meet UL94-V0, with an oxygen index of greater than 28. This means that the battery case will retard combustion from external sources and will not burn on its own.
The ETI Battery Modules are specially constructed to survive harsh environments such as found on board ships, submarines, aircraft, transport vehicles and field deployed equipment. Batteries have traditionally been a problem for equipment subjected to shock and vibration. Since batteries are primarily lead, they have a concentrated mass that requires rugged designs to contain them in place. Without it, the batteries break free and destroy themselves and any equipment in the same enclosure. ETI designs all of its battery modules to withstand the rigors of Mil Std 901 and 167 for shock and vibration. This includes putting a metal shroud around the batteries, providing shock absorbing materials between the batteries to prevent case abrasion, using fully insulated terminals and stainless steel hardware. This design has been proven out in numerous formal shock and vibration tests as well as the real life tests of thousand of deployed systems aboard Navy ships and aircraft, Marine vehicles, and Army/NATO field deployed systems.
As we all know, batteries are heavy and awkward to handle. We also know that the bigger your load or the longer your backup time, the more batteries you need. ETI’s standard designs take the human aspect into consideration. The size of each battery module considers the type on installation and how they will be installed. To this extent, the internal battery modules and the rackmount battery extension modules are kept to a weight limitation that can be handled by one or two persons. To further aid in this installation, handles or handholds are installed to facilitate safe and secure installations. Also all terminals are fully insulated to prevent electrical contact and all metal corners are rounded to avoid cuts to the installer.
All of the ETI battery modules feature the unique sealed-construction design that permits them to be stored, charged or discharged in any position with no danger of leakage. This means that the user has more choices in his installation design for this equipment. For example, the same module can be mounted horizontally in a rack, on a table or on the floor; or vertically on the floor, deck, wall or bulkhead.
ETI designs all of its products with the concept of modularity and interchangeability between products. This includes the battery modules. For example, the standard internal battery module is used in numerous UPS products. The external battery modules can be used with multiple versions of UPS as well.
The MSDS for the batteries used in ETI UPS products can be found at the following link: MSDS