Batteries in utilities and Petrochemicals are used mainly for UPS backup and Switchgear protection. Flooded planté or flat plate cells are normally used. Most power and substations in South Africa use planté batteries because of their long service life, maintaining full capacity for full life span, and their reliability. Flat plate cells are used mainly in substations.
Some substations especially in municipalities use Nickel Cadmium cells because of the smaller footprint and positioning of batteries in relation to chargers i.e. self-contained and longer life span. The challenge with Nickel Cadmium is the environmental impact at the end of life. There are few recycling plants for nickel cadmium in the world and the disposal process is costly.
Some of the substations use valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries. However, flooded batteries seem to be the preferred type.
The nuclear industry requires that batteries used be tested and approved to be used in seismic-prone environments. In South Africa, the OPzS RCT type batteries from First National Battery are approved to be used at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station.
Below is the list of battery types used in power and substations:
|Planté||2V||16 – 2144Ah||20 years|
|Flat Plate||2V||64 – 4450Ah||15 years|
|OPzS||2V||150 – 3000Ah||12 years|
|VRLA||12V||1.2 – 200Ah||5-8 years|
|VRLA||2V||10 – 3500Ah||7-12 years|
To choose the correct battery for your application, one needs to consider the following:
- Load Profile
- Required Service Life
- Maintenance Frequency
- Space constraints on site
- Site environmental conditions
- Environmental Impact (recyclability)