Railway Signaling Batteries

Instructions for safe handling of lead acid batteries

Guide to safety measures while transporting, installation of Batteries

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 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. 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.
The workmen should not use metallic utensils like watches, tools etc to avoid accidental shorting of terminals.
On receipt at the site of installation, the batteries should be unpacked. Look for any evidence of a leak and take remedial action. The top cover of the battery should be clean and dry. If acid is present on the top cover, the terminals will develop a leakage path for current, draining the battery. CLEANLINESS OF TOP COVER IS ESSENTIAL FOR ALL BATTERIES.
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. Only well-matched cells should be used. Keep apart any divergent cells. Check the functioning of grounding in the installation before connecting the batteries 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.

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