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What are the benefits of conductance in testing for standby batteries?See Answer
There are actually many benefits. There is a proven relationship between conductance and capacity. Conductance testing is quick, safe, accurate and an excellent indicator of state of health. Please watch the video for a detailed overview.
What is the best way to test a 2 Volt battery system?See Answer
Always remember to test by following the straps. Test from the most positive to the most negative battery. Please view the video to gain further detailed insight on testing a 2 Volt battery system.
What is conductance?See Answer
Conductance describes the ability of a battery to conduct current. In scientific terms, it is the real part of the complex admittance. Various test data have shown that at low frequencies, the conductance of a battery is an indicator of battery state-of-health showing a linear correlation to a battery’s timed-discharge capacity test result. Trending this measurement can be used as a reliable predictor of battery end-of-life.
What is ohmic analysis?See Answer
In simplest technical terms, ohmic technology is based on Ohm’s Law, which expresses the relationship between Volts, Amperes and Ohms in an electrical circuit. Ohm’s law can be expressed as follows: Volts (E) = Amperes (I) x Ohms (R). If any two of the three values of voltage (Volts), current (Amperes) or resistance (Ohms) are known, the third value can be calculated using the above expression of the law. Thus, Ohmic technology attempts to use voltage and current to determine the resistive characteristic of a battery. Higher resistance equates to a reduced ability to produce current. This characteristic is translated into a measurement of resistance or impedance (Ohms) in some Ohmic technologies; more recent technology uses a converse measurement, called conductance. Through years of laboratory and field-based research, conductance has been found to correlate with battery capacity as measured in a timed discharge test. Since voltage and specific gravity testing are not predictive, timed discharge testing is very time consuming and expensive, conductance testing is a very effective and economical way of analyzing the health of your battery systems.
How long has the conductance method been used for testing batteries?See Answer
The original technology was developed by Motorola in the 1970s for testing automotive batteries. Today’s products are manufactured under license from Motorola, and include many new patents in North America, Europe and Asia. Midtronics has been developing and manufacturing conductance testers for more than twenty years, and customers include the world’s major battery manufacturers, major automotive manufacturers, telecommunications providers, electric power utilities, UPS manufacturers, and organizations in a variety of other industries. Midtronics has manufactured tens of thousands of battery conductance testers under the PowerSensor™, Midtron®, and Celltron® brands, as well as various private labels. In July of 2018, Midtronics Stationary Power Division was purchased by Franklin Electric.
Has conductance been proven and accepted by the international community?See Answer
Yes. Extensive data has been gathered by the global telecommunications industry, battery manufacturers worldwide, international rail and transportation providers, and the electric power industry.
Since the qualitative conductance test requires a standard, how can that standard be established?See Answer
The most effective method for the establishment of a reference requires the performance of a timed discharge test to locate a cell or battery that performs at 100% of the rated discharge capacity. A conductance test can then be performed and a reference established. A sample of 20 or more new batteries can also be used to establish a standard. Without a set reference value, conductance testing can still be utilized to trend state-of-health, as batteries can be monitored through periodic conductance readings and the observation of deterioration over time.
What is a Kelvin Connection and why is it needed for accurate conductance measurement?See Answer
Kelvin connection refers to any four-point connection electrical test interface. This technique provides for both a test signal injection and a detection circuit. It provides an electronic method to reduce the effect of the variable resistance of the test interface. It is used to ensure the most accurate conductance measurements possible.
Can conductance testers measure the condition of sealed valve-regulated batteries as well as flooded cells?See Answer
Yes. Correlation studies have been performed on a significant number of valve regulated cells. These studies have shown that conductance test results are very predictive of battery timed discharge capacity, while voltage measurements are shown to be of little value. This data has been presented to a number of international organizations. Additionally, recent data includes gel batteries and flooded cells. This data has been presented to the IEEE Standards Committee, which now includes conductance testing in the standard for testing sealed valve-regulated batteries. Additionally, the data has also been presented to the International Lead Zinc Research Organization, the Battery Council International, and the International Telecommunications Energy Conference.
What is a conductance reference value?See Answer
A conductance reference number is a benchmark value which is based on data collected of known good batteries. It is important to remember that a reference value provides an estimate of where the reading should be, but it is not an exact value. Trending the life of the battery using conductance, over time, is the best method.
How can conductance readings be used with a reference value?See Answer
A significant number of tests on a variety of valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries demonstrate that conductance is predictive of battery state-of-health. Since conductance is directly related, and very nearly linear with timed discharge capacity, a reading of the percentage of a known conductance reference value is a reliable predictor of a capacity test result. The conductance test gives a quantitative measurement in Siemens (or Mhos), as well as a qualitative indication (percent of reference) of a battery as related to a standard.
What is the proper method of interpreting conductance?See Answer
Trending is the preferred method. Taking a "snapshot" may not provide enough information required for a reliable health indicator or warranty administration. Unlike other testing techniques that require interpretation and mathematical calculation, conductance readings can be read instantly and can be related directly to the condition of the battery being tested. Midtronics testers also output a percentage of the reference with a pass/warning/fail threshold built in.
Will the battery manufacturer have reference numbers for my batteries?See Answer
Many battery manufacturers now publish conductance reference or base line values. If not, a specific reference value can be established during installation for a new, healthy battery. An average can also be used from a sample of batteries of the same model, manufacture date, installation date, and service history as detailed in the operating guidelines and instruction manuals.
Can a measurement be conducted without a reference value? What if the batteries I am testing are really old? How do I determine a reference number?See Answer
Yes. First, take the age of the batteries into consideration. If the batteries are 1-5 years old, then take a few of the highest conductance measurements and use the average of those values. If the batteries are more than 5 years old, use the highest reading. If the batteries are less than 1 year old, the string average can be used. New batteries should read within 15% of each other. These are general guidelines. Some CELLTRON analyzers include a "Reference Developer" built-in to help facilitate this process. For older batteries, combine conductance testing with a full physical inspection for any visible faults. Utilize the highest measurement as an initial benchmark and the string average as starting 30% below the highest jar; consider a discharge test to determine actual run-times.
Can conductance be used to evaluate the quality of inter-cell connections?See Answer
Yes. Since a conductance reading of a cell plus an inter-cell connection can easily be related to the conductance of the cell alone, conductance provides a very simple and reliable indication of the system's inter-cell connection integrity.