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When "Good" is Too Good

Brian Hattery

American Electric Power maintains more than 3,000 stations in 11 states. We rely upon over 3,400 stationary battery systems to provide switching and back-up power for these stations. Of these batteries, over 60% are NERC applicable. With the introduction of DC supply testing requirements in PRC-005, AEP responded by developing a uniform testing procedure. The new procedure was pushed out to all areas, including a detailed training document. To guard against missing potential problems, AEP also instituted a layered approach in analyzing test results. The man in the field (servicer), at the station, is the first layer of defense. He can check his test results before he leaves the station (or mid-test) and retest as needed to verify bad readings. The second layer is an internally created program that analyzes each test result and flags areas of concern. The final layer is the local field engineer who reviews the results, looks for deficiencies, analyzes trends, and makes the final decision on any problems. A field engineer may analyze test results for multiple servicers, having as few as a couple dozen to over 200 batteries, depending upon the area.

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