When using batteries in your facility, be it in a medical research unit or product development company, one of the serious problems that can happen is internal short. It is a type of failure that happens when separators used in a battery get loose or melt because of overheating.
Internal shorts can easily affect your research or product development as the voltage levels get compromised. This is why you should use high-quality battery load testers to check the state of health of batteries. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of shorts and their causes.
What are the Different Types of Internal Battery Shorts?
Battery shorts can be grouped into soft shorts, lead drop, and mechanical failure.
A soft short is very common in starter batteries of most cars, where they shed lead to the container bottom. The effect is the development of a layer that progressively fills allotted space in the sediment tap.
Then, the conductive liquid rises to the top, reaching the plates and causing shorting effect, which is referred to as a soft short.
A soft short is very difficult to note because the battery operates normally immediately after. It is like the charge wipes off evidence of the shorting condition. The battery only starts showing anomalies after about 6-12 hours.
Mechanical Failure Short
This short happens when the suspended battery plates get loose and touch each other. Unlike with a soft short, the mechanical failure results in a sudden high discharge current and excessive heating. The main causes of this failure are excessive vibrations and shocks in your industrial facility.
Here, large amounts of lead break loose from the welded bars that connect the battery plates. This problem is a very serious one because it happens early in battery life.
Therefore, make sure to check all the batteries with battery load testers to detect possible defects and only use the best ones. If you had ordered the batteries from a manufacturer for your research facility, it might be a good idea to ask for replacements.
Cause of Battery Shorts
Having identified the main types of shorts that happen in batteries, the next question might be, “What causes them?” In most cases, the cause of shorting is external factors, especially defects on the battery cell package. Here are other causes of the problem that you should know:
- The problem can result from sloppy manufacturing that causes several plates to touch each other. In such a case, the battery will require a replacement.
- Large growth of sulfite crystals caused by the contraction and expansion of plates during charging and discharging cycles. You need to test the battery regularly with a load tester because failure to identify the problem early is likely to result in failure.
The best way to avoid or minimize internal shorts is by following good battery maintenance practices. Particularly, you need to ensure they are kept within the right temperature range and charge them to the recommended levels.
Furthermore, you should use load testers to check their health and get the damaged ones replaced immediately to avoid compromising your work.