Vented Battery

Maintenance Workshop

Course Duration

8 hours


Delivery Platform

Classroom-PowerPoint on-screen

Hands-on labs with client battery


Delivery Location

At client facility


Course Description

This one-day course is designed to help persons who need to learn to perform typical measurements and visual inspection of vented lead-acid battery systems in stationary applications. The reference document used as the cornerstone for the course is IEEE 450. The course begins with a half-day of classroom activity consisting of a review of IEEE 450 and the recommendations for periodic maintenance on a monthly, quarterly and annual inspections and measurements. Basic theory of operation is reviewed for lead-acid based vented (VLA) batteries.


The second half of the course includes field lab work using the customer’s vented battery system. A complete annual system inspection is conducted. The inspection includes measurement and recording recommended operational parameters such as cell voltage, specific gravity, internal ohmic values, (where applicable) such as resistance, impedance and conductance, temperature, and connection resistance.


A detailed visual inspection of the battery and the rack will also be conducted by the attendees. Visual inspection tasks include examination and identification of cell elements, plates, sediment levels, container and cover integrity, corrosion and leaks, battery rack integrity among others. Discussions will focus on determination of the physical condition of the battery system, potential problems, causes and recommendations for corrective action where applicable.


Upon completion of the field inspection, attendees will reconvene in the classroom to review the readings taken in the field. The battery manufacturer’s instructions will be consulted to determine if the battery meets the requirements set forth by the battery manufacturer. Should deficiencies be found, each will be discussed along with a suggested plan for corrective action.


Basic corrective tasks will be discussed and will include water additions, reworking high resistance connections, replacing cells and proper battery cleaning methods.


Attendee Prerequisites

Attendees should have previous experience working on electrical systems and understand the basic hazards associated working on energized electrical systems.  Familiarity with the overall power system, i.e., UPS,  dc system controls the battery supports is also required. The customer/attendee shall provide their own personnel protective equipment (PPE) and ensure it is fit for use prior to training.


Test Equipment and Tool Prerequisites

The customer will provide the below listed tools and test equipment. Should the customer not possess any of these tools, most of these items can be supplied at no additional charge for the duration of the course.


  • Digital volt meter with leads

  • Conventional digital hydrometer

  • Digital low resistance ohmmeter

  • Internal ohmic test equipment with connection resistance measurement capability (if no digital low resistance ohmmeter is available)

  • Infrared non-contact thermometer

  • Bright plastic case flashlight (no metallic units)

  • 3/8” drive insulated torque wrench capable of 17 Newton Meters or 150 Inch Pounds


Certificates & Course Materials

Each attendee who completes this course will receive a certificate of completion confirming attendance and participation. All certificates are provided to the customer point of contact and are in full color PDF format.


By default, all course material is provided on USB flash drive with all files in PDF format. Optionally, customers can have this material burned to a CD. Printed workbooks are available for an additional fee. Each attendee is provided with course formats including a note pad, pen, and promotional ball cap.



Course Outline


  1. Introduction

  • Plan for the day
  • Basic battery safety

  • Classroom work

  • Hands-on lab work

  • Readings analysis and visual inspection

  • Determine fitness for service

  • Corrective action needs


  1. Fundamentals

    • Electrochemistry

    • Basic lead-acid battery theory of operation

    • Electrolysis and effects on electrolyte level

    • Charge behavior

    • Discharge behavior

    • Temperature effects on performance and life


  1. Battery Applications and Battery Integration

    1. UPS

      • Industrial UPS

      • Data center UPS

    2. DC systems

      • Switchgear & control


  1. Charging Equipment

    1. Basic design and types for specific applications

    2. Front panel controls and indicators 

  1. Industry Recommended Maintenance Practices

    1. IEEE 450 periodic inspections

      • Monthly inspections

      • Quarterly inspections

      • Annual inspections

      • Special inspections

    2. Capacity testing

      • Acceptance tests

      • Periodic performance test


  1. Failure Modes

    1. High internal ohmic values

      • Age related

    2. Low cell/unit voltage

      • Low float conditions

    3. Failure to maintain proper float voltage

      • Temperature correction

    4. Increased connection resistance

      • Corrosion or fail to retorque

    5. Low specific gravity

      • Low float conditions

      • Recent water addition

    6. Positive post rise

      • Old cells nearing end of life

    7. Positive plate growth & cracking

      • Age related

    8. Sulfated positive plates

      • One cell failure

      • Under-floated battery-wide

    9. Improper water selection for addition to cells

      • Short life condition

      • Shorting/contaminating cells

    10. Orange negative plates (Copper)

      • Contaminated / defect

    11. Cracked containers & covers

      • Cleaning solvents, degreasers

      • Positive post growth


  1. Lab Work

    1. Vented battery PM readings

      • Cell or unit float voltages

      • Specific gravities

      • Cell or unit temperatures

      • Connection resistances

      • Internal ohmic measurements (optional)


  1. Bolt torque

    • Re-torque if so prescribed by battery manufacturer


  1. Detailed visual inspection

    • Cell element

      1. Positive plate color

      2. Negative plate color

      1. Positive accumulation

      2. Negative accumulation

    • Electrolyte levels

      1. Acceptable within high / low level lines

    • Terminal post and connector corrosion

      1. Check against connection resistance measured values


  1. Data Analysis

    1. Reference IEEE 450 or battery manufacturer manual as applicable

      • Cell or unit float voltages

      • Specific gravities

      • Cell or unit temperatures

      • Connection resistances

      • Internal ohmic measurements (optional)

    2. Visual inspection results

      • Action required if any – detail


  1. Corrective Tasks

    1. Water additions

    2. Connection re-working

    3. Cell/unit replacements

    4. Cleaning cell tops