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Testing to evaluate state of charge in nuclear grade lead acid batteries

Matthew McConnell

Liliana Ramadan

In 2010, the NRC and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) began research to confirm if charging current is a suitable indicator of a fully charged condition for nuclear grade, vented lead-acid batteries. The project will verify the adequacy of recommendations in industry standards, namely "IEEE 450, Recommended Practice for Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of Vented Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary Applications." This project will provide additional data on the use of charging current to assess the fully-charged condition of batteries. In conducting this study, BNL has cycled battery strings from three nuclear grade battery suppliers and measured both specific gravity and charging current over time, while also monitoring cell and ambient temperatures and cell conductance. This paper presents preliminary data and observations to date.

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