How to correctly conduct load testing on batteries used in fire systems. Batteries used to start pumps in fire systems play an integral role in protecting the lives of people in both residential and commercial buildings.
Technicians who install and maintain fire systems are required to conduct regular battery load testing in accordance with Australian Standard AS1851.2012. This Standard outlines specific requirements for the routine servicing of fire protection systems.
Correctly conducting load testing is extremely important in ensuring fire system batteries always have the ability to function correctly in the event of an emergency.
The Constant Current Load Tester (CCOLT) is the preferred load tester for testing in accordance with AS1851.2012. The tester can be programmed to the requirements set out in Section F2 – Battery test.
In this blog post, the experts at Valen take a look at the proper method for testing battery capacity in fire systems using the CCOLT as well as some general battery advice for technicians.
What is the CCOLT and how does it work?
The CCOLT is a battery load tester specifically designed to test large batteries by applying a constant current load.
It has the capabilities to:
- Measure battery capacity
- Conduct Cranking Amps (CA) testing
- Conduct Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) testing
Current drain, cut-off voltage and duration can be programmed into the CCOLT and the CCOLT will monitor the voltage and time elapsed during a test.
The CCOLT will automatically disconnect the load once the selected cut-off voltage or selected time period is reached, whatever comes first.
Current drain depends on the model or combination of units up to 1000A at 12, 24, 36 or 48 volts.
Once testing has been completed, the CCOLT will produce the run time on its LCD screen along with a downloadable report that can be exported onto the technicians’ computer.
AS1851.2012 includes very strict load testing guidelines that technicians must follow to ensure fire system batteries are accurately tested.
Failing to conduct correct battery testing will potentially place lives at risk when the equipment is required.
It’s important to note that technicians should always receive proper training before using any load testing equipment.
Top battery tips for fire system technicians
- Ensure all batteries used in fire systems meet the requirements of AS1851.2012 and FPA (Fire Protection Australia) recommendations. Absorbent Glass Matt (AGM) type batteries have been suggested as the safest option for this application. Replace any non-compliant and non-conforming batteries with the correct battery as recommended by the Australian Standards. Once batteries have been replaced, its essential to check the charging to ensure it is suitable for the new battery, some chargers may need adjustments made to the charging voltages.
- When conducting battery replacements, ensure the batteries are SSL (Scientific Services Laboratory) Approved
- All batteries used in fire systems must be AS4029.2 compliant. This Standard specifies requirements for valve-regulated lead-acid cells and batteries intended for use in stationary applications.
- Under AS1851.2012, batteries used in fire systems are tested and replaced periodically, refer to the standard to ensure you are testing and replacing your batteries as required.
- Always install appropriate warning signage, such as Battery Warning Stickers.
Need some extra advice about fire system batteries? Just ask Valen!
We do much more than just sell batteries and testers. The experts at Valen are proud to offer our clients the highest level of technical support including on-site CCOLT training for fire system technicians.
We can also work with you to recommend and supply the right type of batteries to meet the needs of your systems.
To talk to one of our knowledgeable team members about the CCOLT or any of our battery products, simply click here to get in touch.