Testing emergency unit equipment (battery packs with heads)

kungfuthug

Member
Location
Alabama
Hello.

I have a fire inspector giving me some grief. I look after a handful of buildings, I do my monthly and annual battery pack tests. This new inspector is asking me for the following...




Alberta Fire Code 2014
6.5.1.6. Inspection of Unit Equipment
1) Self-contained emergency lighting unit equipment shall be inspected at intervals not greater than one month to ensure that
a) pilot lights are functioning and not obviously damaged or obstructed,
b) the terminal connections are clean, free of corrosion and lubricated when necessary,
c) the terminal clamps are clean and tight as per manufacture's specifications,
d) the battery surface is kept clean and dry, and
f) the lightheads are aligned in a acceptable manner.

2) Self-contained emergency lighting unit equipment shall be tested
a) at intervals not greater than one month to ensure that the emergency lights will function upon failure
of the primary power supply, and
b) at intervals not greater than 12 months to ensure that the unit will provide emergency lighting for a duration equal to the design criterion under simulated power failure conditions.
3) After completion of the test required in Clause (2)(b), the charging conditions for voltage and current and recovery period shall be tested to ensure that the charging system is functioning in accordance
Wit the manufacturer's specifications.
6.5.1.7. Inspection of Emergency Lights
1) Except as provided in Article 6.5.1.6., emergency lights shall be inspected at intervals not greater than 12 months to ensure that they are functional.










My problem lies with the following...

3) After completion of the test required in Clause (2)(b), the charging conditions for voltage and current and recovery period shall be tested to ensure that the charging system is functioning in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

How am I supposed to monitor the current during the charging period? Break the circuit and put an ammeter in series is all I can think of. This will be painful considering I have dozens of packs to do.

Any suggestions?
 

kungfuthug

Member
Location
Alabama
I contacted Lumacell( the manufacturer) and apparently the voltage and current measurements are nearly impossible to get on the field. He laughed at my situation with my inspector and told me to tell him to call tech support.

The Canadian Electrical Code only mandates 30 minute test monthly but doesn't specify the duration of annual tests. I cannot find anything for duration in building or fire codes. Weird.


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Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
I contacted Lumacell( the manufacturer) and apparently the voltage and current measurements are nearly impossible to get on the field. He laughed at my situation with my inspector and told me to tell him to call tech support.
Well if the manufacturer has no charging specifications, testing is moot, right? ;)

While I could get into general requirements for battery charging, that too would be moot. Only the manufacturer's specifications will do.

The (2)(b) test confirms the battery capacity is good if it passes. The manufacturer should be able to provide the maximum recharge time required to repeat and pass the capacity test again. That should be all that is necessary.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
I contacted Lumacell( the manufacturer) and apparently the voltage and current measurements are nearly impossible to get on the field. He laughed at my situation with my inspector and told me to tell him to call tech support.

The Canadian Electrical Code only mandates 30 minute test monthly but doesn't specify the duration of annual tests. I cannot find anything for duration in building or fire codes. Weird.
Here the tests are 90 minutes, maybe more in some cities. I dont have any relevant codes other than mfg specs of US market elights and exit signs are for 90minute minimum run times on battery power.
 
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