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Storage Battery Maintenance and Principles

Bijan Ghayour, P.E.

Course Outline

This 10-hour course provides basic engineering guidance in operation, maintenance, diagnostics, and testing of lead-acid batteries and associated equipment. The contents cover the principles of the lead-acid batteries along with practical information and recommended schedules on maintaining and testing of lead-acid battery systems. This course also offers guidelines in identifying the potential problems and recommends remedial actions to be taken.

This course has been developed from industry standards, the evaluation of the existing facilities, and from surveys of the many existing battery systems which have been put into service in the past. In addition to operation and maintenance of
lead-acid batteries other relevant topics such as battery safety, battery room design, ventilation, and sizing of replacement batteries are also discussed.

The course materials are based entirely on the Unified States Department of the Interior, Facilities Instructions, Standards, and Techniques Volume 3-6.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objective

The purpose of this course is to provide guidance for the maintenance engineers in operation, maintenance, diagnostics, and testing of lead-acid batteries and associated equipment.

At the conclusion of the course the student will be familiar with the:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for electrical engineers and maintenance personnel involved in the service and maintenance of lead-acid batteries and associated equipment.

Benefit to Attendees

The student will become familiar with the general guidelines and techniques of operation, maintenance, inspection and testing of lead-acid batteries. Items discussed include different lead-acid battery systems and the potential problems and remedial actions needed for each type. This course also included tables for recommended maintenance schedule for lead-acid batteries.

Course Introduction

Lead-acid batteries provide reliable d.c. power to vital systems in industrial, commercial, power generation, communication, and data processing facilities. Typical life of flooded vet cell batteries is about 20 years. Typical life of valve regulated lead-acid batteries (gel type) is about 10 years.

Lead-acid batteries require proper inspection, testing, and maintenance in order to function. It is very important to follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule to ensure the availability of the d.c. power during the expected life time of these batteries.

This course provides practical information in testing and inspection of lead-acid battery systems. The course also offers practical information in mitigating the problems associated with different types of lead-acid batteries. It is understood that with proper testing and scheduled inspection many of the battery problems can be diagnosed in advance and by taking remedial actions the life of the batteries can be extended resulting in less capital expenditure and reliable service.

Course Content

This course contains specific examples, with practical emphasis on the inspection, testing, and maintenance of lead-acid batteries.

You are required to study volume 3-6, Storage Battery Maintenance and Principles, published by the Unites States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

It is recommended that the section 2 of this volume should be studied first in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles of the lead-acid batteries, before studying the different issues associated with battery operation, maintenance, and inspection.

FIST 3-6 Storage Battery Maintenance and Principles (PDF File 3.2 MB)

(For an electronic copy of FIST 3-6 go to and then click on volume 3-6)

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

The following contains the outline of the FIST 3-6 of Department of Interior, Bureau of reclamation:

FIST 3-6 Storage Battery Maintenance and Principles (PDF File 3.2 MB)

Table of Contents

1- Condensed instructions: lead-acid batteries

2- Lead-acid battery principles

3- Battery testing

4- Optional instructions lead-acid batteries

5- Condensed instructions: valve regulated lead-acid batteries

6- Vented nickel cadmium battery principles

7- Batteries for microwave and VHF radio equipment testing

8- Battery safety

9- Battery charging equipment

10- Replacement storage battery sizing

11- Standards


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.