The impedance of a battery provides useful information that can be an early indication of performance issues and hidden trouble spots. High ohmic values are often a prompt for further investigation and potentially the replacement of an aging battery. Impedance is a marker that is especially useful in checking stationary batteries.
The Megger BITE 2P Battery Impedance Tester measures ac ripple current and strap resistance, in addition to cell voltage and impedance. Too high of a ripple current can point to issues related to the battery charging circuit. If ripple current is too high over an extended period of time, it could also create thermal issues that are detrimental to the battery and in so doing, shorten its effective usefulness.
The first measurement that the Megger BITE 2P takes is ac ripple current which is one of the measurements that should be trended. The criteria that Battery manufacturers generally recommend for this measurement is no more than 5 amps rms of ac ripple current for every 100 Ah of battery capacity. The Megger BITE 2P receiver stores these readings in its internal memory along with other test data such as cell impedance and strap resistance. The ability to recall and trend this data aides in making decisions concerning the overall condition of battery system, and perhaps the timing of its replacement.
It is recommended that impedance measurements with the Megger BITE 2P be part of a regular battery maintenance program. The frequency of ohmic testing is dependent on battery construction. NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) provides the frequency at which this type of testing should be performed in table 1-4 of Standard PRC-005-6.
Megger BITE 2P Battery Impedance Tester features:
• Internal memory for storing measurements, pilot and ambient cell temperatures and ripple current.
• 15-second testing per cell
• RS232 PC connectivity for data analysis and report generation
• Built-in printer
• 100 to 130 volts and 210 to 250 V AC input voltages
• Large digital LC screen
• 6.50 VDC at 1.10 Amperes output
• 0.5% one sigma precision
• 3-second settling time
• EMC Directive 2004/108/EC and LVD Directive 2006/95/EC compliant
• Weighs 8.2kg unpacked
Related electrical test equipment available for rent from Protec:
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published February, 2015 and has been updated freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.