Answering questions that may arise related to the meaning of portions of an IEEE standard concerning specific applications.

IEEE Standards Interpretation for IEEE Std 1184™-1994 IEEE Guide for the Selection and Sizing of Batteries for Uninterruptible Power Systems

Copyright © 2005 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 3 Park Avenue New York, New York 10016-5997 USA All Rights Reserved.

Interpretations are issued to explain and clarify the intent of a standard and do not constitute an alteration to the original standard. In addition, interpretations are not intended to supply consulting information. Permission is hereby granted to download and print one copy of this document. Individuals seeking permission to reproduce and/or distribute this document in its entirety or portions of this document must contact the IEEE Standards Department for the appropriate license. Use of the information contained in this document is at your own risk.

IEEE Standards Department, Copyrights and Permissions, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855-1331, USA

January 2005

Interpretation Request #1
Topic: VRLA batteries Relevant Clause: Annex B

Annex B states "It is accepted that VRLA batteries are more sensitive to temperature effect that vented cells, but quantitative factors have not yet been identified." Have such factors since been identified?

In the work on revising the Standard, is there any evidence emerging that would support the existence of non-linear or progressive-damage mechanisms in VRLA batteries or even allow the model to be revised to accommodate these effects?

Interpretation Response #1
The life calculation in Annex B is not strictly ‘pro rata,’ as you imply. It takes its input from the graph in Annex A, which shows that the impact of temperature is exponential (the ‘% life’ axis is logarithmic). Thus, 1 month of operation at, say, 40ºC will ‘consume’ 1/0.34 = 2.94 months of the battery’s life expectancy at 25ºC.

This calculation assumes that the time period chosen, one month, is short enough to capture the effects of temperature swings. You may be interested to learn that a similar annex has been included in the latest draft of an update to IEEE Std. 450-1995, with the following text added to the first paragraph:

“When determining the number of intervals to be evaluated, the user should consider the maximum deviation in temperature. Intervals should be selected where the maximum deviation within the interval does not exceed 3ºC. Use of intervals with larger temperature variations will result in a less accurate prediction of battery life.”

This modification of the original text from IEEE Std 1184 recognizes that large temperature excursions of short duration may have a considerable impact on battery life. A similar modification is planned for the next revision of IEEE 1184. It should be noted that the draft update to IEEE Std 450 is currently being balloted and this text may change.

Note that this calculation does not consider the effects that battery cycling may have on battery life. Nor does it consider the impact of larger changes in individual ‘weak’ cells.

The issue of quantitative factors for the greater sensitivity of VRLA batteries to temperature has not yet been addressed by the working group; please note, however, that the example in Annex B explicitly refers to electrolyte temperature, rather than ambient. Depending on system design and operating parameters, the operating temperature of a VRLA battery may be higher than that of a vented battery.

There is some additional discussion of temperature issues with VRLA batteries in the IEEE installation and maintenance recommended practices (IEEE Std. 1187 and IEEE Std 1188, respectively), and particularly in IEEE Std. 1189, IEEE Guide for Selection of Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) Batteries for Stationary Applications.