Battery room

Battery room


A battery room is a room in a facility used to house batteries for large-scale custom-built backup power systems. These batteries are usually wired together for 12, 24, or 48 volt supplies primarily for telecommunication and computing equipment in datacenters, central office facilities, and remote telecommunications stations. The batteries can provide power for minutes, hours or days depending on the electrical load and equipment design. Sometimes the batteries only have to supply power until a diesel engine or gas turbine coupled to a generator can be automatically started, assuring backup power for hours or days until the public electrical service is restored. The rectifiers used in charging and trickle charging these battery loads can be hot swapped if there is a failure without disrupting the system. Failing batteries can also be swapped because of the redundancy built in to this design.

Electrical utilities

Battery rooms are also found in electric power plants and substations where reliable power is required for operation of switchgear, critical standby systems, and possibly black start of the station. Often batteries for large switchgear line-ups are 125 V or 250 V nominal systems, and feature redundant battery chargers with independent power sources. Separate battery rooms may be provided to protect against loss of the station due to a fire in a battery bank. For stations that are capable of black start, power from the battery system may be required for many purposes including switchgear operations.

Submarines and ocean going vessels

Battery rooms are found on submarines of the diesel-electric type, where they contain the batteries used for undersea propulsion of the vessel. Even nuclear submarines contain large battery rooms as backups to provide maneuvering power should the nuclear reactor fail. Batteries in surface vessels may also be contained in a battery room.

Design Issues

Since typical secondary batteries may give off hydrogen gas especially if overcharged, ventilation of a battery room is critical to maintain the concentration below the lower explosive limit.

The life span of secondary batteries is reduced at high temperature and the energy storage capacity is reduced at low temperature, so a battery room must have heating or cooling to maintain the proper temperature.

Batteries may contain large quantities of corrosive electrolytes such as sulfuric acid or potassium hydroxide. Materials of the battery room must resist corrosion and contain any accidental spills. Plant personnel must be protected from spilled electrolyte.

Battery rooms on ocean-going vessels must prevent mixture of seawater with acid, since this will produce toxic chlorine gas. This is of particular concern on submarines.

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