Friday, May 10, 2019

Invitation to the APCA (Asia Pacific Cloud Application Alliance) Enterprises Hong Kong Data Center Site Visit & Exchange Tour


We are pleased to announce SMA forms a strategic partnership with the IOT HK Association and the Shenzhen Big Data Industry Association (International Hong Kong Branch).


Further to data center infrastructure, critical facilities and building services engineering, SMA expands the service portfolio and becomes a knowledge hub in Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain Technologies & Artificial Intelligence (AI).


You are cordially invited to join the "2019 Cloud Expo Asia HK - APCA Enterprises Hong Kong Data Center Site Visit & Exchange Tour" which is organized by the Asia Pacific Cloud Application Alliance (APCA) and China Unicom Global Limited.




With the support of the fabulous co-organizers - 7th Asian Data Center Technology Expo Organizing Committee, DTDATA, TF INVESTMENT, the Internet of Things Hong Kong Association (IoT HK) and Strategic Media Asia Ltd (SMA), the Site Visit & Exchange Tour creates an interactive and valuable platform for the business representatives and professionals in the field of technologies to visit Hong Kong International Data Center (IDC), to share their views and the development of big data and cloud computing applications.


JOIN THIS EVENT & MEET PROFESSIONALS IN TECHNOLOGIES FIELDS NOW!


Date: 22 May 2019 (Wednesday)
Assemble Time (Hong Kong): 10:30 - 10:45
Assemble Point (Hong Kong): Tseung Kwan O Station (Exit B1, Po Yap Road)

Venue: China Unicom (Hong Kong) Global Limited, 19 Chun Wang Street,
Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, Hong Kong


DOWNLOAD AGENDA > Discover the Full Program Details:-

in Chinese (Participants in Mainland / Shenzhen); or
in English (Participants in Hong Kong)


INTEREST IN THIS EVENT? APPLY ONLINE *


* Lunch & Catering will be included.
* Local round-trip shuttle bus will be provided between the data center & MTR station.
* Seats are limited. Each application will be reviewed by the event team.
* Only qualified participants will be confirmed and notified by email.

We look forward to seeing you in the Site Visit & Exchange Tour!



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Bonding" or "Grounding"?



Distinguish Between "Bonding" and "Grounding"

The terms “bonding” and “grounding” are often employed interchangeably as general terms in the electrical industry to imply or mean that a specific piece of electrical equipment, structure, or enclosure is somehow referenced to earth. In fact, “bonding” and “grounding” have completely different meanings and employ different electrical installation methodologies.




“Bonding” is a method by which all electrically conductive materials and metallic surfaces of equipment and structures, not normally intended to be energized, are effectively interconnected together via a low-impedance conductive means and path in order to avoid any appreciable potential difference between any separate points. The bonded interconnections of any specific electrically conductive materials, metallic surfaces of enclosures, electrical equipment, pipes, tubes, or structures via a low impedance path are completely independent and unrelated to any intended contact or connection to the Earth. For example, airplanes do not have any connection to Earth when they are airborne.

However, it is extremely important for the safety and welfare of passengers, crew, and aircraft that all metallic parts and structures of an airplane are effectively bonded together. The laboratories and satellites orbiting in space above the planet Earth obviously have no direct connection with the surface of our planet. However, all of the conductive surfaces of these orbiting laboratories and satellites must be effectively bonded together in order to avoid differences of potential from being induced across their surfaces from the countless charged particles and magnetic waves traveling through space.

The common method to effectively bond together different metallic surfaces of enclosures, electrical equipment, pipes, tubes, or structures is with a copper conductor, rated lugs, and the appropriate bolts, fasteners, or screws. Other bonding methods between different metallic parts and pieces might employ brackets, clamps, exothermic bonds, or welds to make effective connections.

In addition to preventing potential differences that may result in hazards, effectively bonded equipment can also be employed to adequately and safely conduct phase-to-ground fault current, induced currents, surge currents, lightning currents, or transient currents during such abnormal conditions.



“Grounding” is a term used rather exclusively in North America to indicate a direct or indirect connection to the planet Earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the Earth. The connection(s) to Earth can be intentional or unintentional by an assortment of metallic means.





A designated grounding electrode is the device that is intended to establish the direct electrical connection to the earth. A common designated grounding electrode is often a copper-clad or copper-flashed steel rod. However, the designated grounding electrode might be a water pipe, steel columns of a building or structure, concrete encased steel reinforcement rods, buried copper bus, copper tubing, galvanized steel rods, or semiconductive neoprene rubber blankets. Gas pipes and aluminum rods cannot be employed as grounding electrodes.

The grounding electrode conductor is the designed conductor that is employed to connect the grounding electrode(s) to other equipment.



Strategic Media Asia (SMA) -
Connecting IT, Facilities and Design


SMA combines with professional Chartered Engineers (CEng) from the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET), the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). Our engineers have more than 20 years experience in data center design & build, building services engineering and energy conservation in the private and public sectors.

The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of data center and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience, through various training courses, industry events and technical seminars. We prepare the engineers and IT personnel to face any challenges in data centers and critical facilities of any size, in any location.


For other design considerations / topics in data center and critical infrastructure, please visit 


(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection,
(8) Raised Floor,
(9) Code & Standards,
(10) Transformers and Harmonic Distortion,
(11) Multi-mode UPS Systems,
(12) Electrical Rooms,
(13) Generator Systems,
(14) Generator Fuel Systems

(15) Battery Systems, etc.



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

(17th Round) Preparatory Course to Become a Registered Specialist Contractor (Ventilation Works) - RSC(V)

Further to our data center & critical facilities design courses, the team is going to deliver a preparatory course which helps engineers / enterprises to facilitate compliance with the Buildings Ordinance and to become Registered Specialist Contractors (RSC) in Ventilation Works in Hong Kong.

Last update on 19 March 2019

Preparatory Course to Become a Registered Specialist Contractor
(Sub-register of Ventilation Works Category) - RSC (V)

17th Round

Date (Basic Section): 6 and 13 July 2019 (Saturday) - 8 Hours
Date (Advanced Section): 20 July 2019 (Saturday) - 4 Hours

Time: 9:00 - 13:00
Venue: HKBU School of Continuing Education (SCE), 136A Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (Exit B1, Tsim Sha Tsui Station or Exit D, Jordan Station)



The course is designed for ventilation and air-conditioning engineering company's Technical Director (TD), Authorized Signatory (AS) or other officers successfully becoming a registered specialist contractor (ventilation works category).


Please refer to the Practice Note for Registered Contractors (Appendix F) issued by the Buildings Department for the Requirements (1 to 3) on Qualifications and Experience for Registration as a Specialist Contractor (RSC) in the Ventilation Works Category (Alternative Requirement 4 and 5 are no longer accepted).


Participants will familiarize themselves with the interview technique, application strategies, Buildings Ordinance, ventilation and fire safety regulations, occupational safety and health and environmental protection, ventilation / air-conditioning specialized knowledge, etc. within short time and up to a professional standards of ventilation engineer.


For syllabus and content, please visit our website:

Course Details (Chinese) or 
Course Details (English)

Please download the preparatory course's application form at http://www.stmedia-asia.com/images/aircon.pdf




About SMA

Strategic Media Asia (SMA), a critical infrastructure training and event organizer, provides an interactive environment and opportunities for members of engineers to exchange professional views and experience on critical infrastructure and electrical and mechanical facilities.
For other data center design and critical facilities courses, please visit our website at http://www.stmedia-asia.com/trainings.html.


  



註冊專門承建商(通風系統工程類別)預備課程 - 加強版


課程簡介

專門為通風及冷氣工程公司的關鍵人士:技術董事 (TD) 、獲授權簽署人 (AS) 或其他高級人員 (OO) 而設計,旨在幫助公司順利申請成為註冊專門承建商(通風系統工程類別)。

學員將會在短時間內熟習面試要點、建築物條例、通風及消防法例、職業安全健康與環保、通風及冷氣的專門 知識,並達至通風及冷氣工程師的專業水準。



關鍵人士的最低資格和經驗規定 〈 第 1、2 或 3 項 〉,可參考屋宇署網頁 《 註冊承建商作業備考 38 》- 附錄 F 〈註:現時已不接受 4 或 5 項的資格及經驗。〉



修讀條件

對相關註冊及考核事宜有興趣者均可參加。


第一部份 - 基本課程大綱 ( 約 8 小時 ) :


- 一般建築承建商和專門承建商的註冊事宜
- 註冊承建商作業備考 (PNRC)
- 通告函件
- 香港法例第 123 章建築物條例
- 香港法例第 123J 章建築物(通風系統)規例
- 香港法例第 132CE 章附表所列處所通風設施規例
- 香港法例第 95 章消防條例
- 防火閘、過濾器及聚塵器實務
- 通風 / 空氣調節控制系統實務
- 年檢證書
- 職業安全健康與環保
- 面試技巧


第二部份 - 進階課程大綱 ( 約 4 小時 ) :


- 申請食肆牌照通風設施規定
- 通風(空氣調節)系統標準發牌條件
- 申請符合通風系統規定通知書
- 暫准普通食肆牌照的衞生設施規定
- 正式普通食肆牌照標準發牌條件
- 符合規定證明書 D
- 工廠及工業經營(安全管理)規例
- 空調設備工程的工作安全及健康指引



課程資料

日期 (基本課程):2019 年 7 月 6 日 及  13 日 ( 星期六 ) - 共 8 小時
日期 (進階課程)
2019 年 7 月 20 日 ( 星期六 ) - 共 4 小時
時間:9:00 - 13:00
地點:香港浸會大學持續教育學院 - 香港九龍彌敦道 136 號 A 
( 尖沙咀 地鐵站 B1 出口 / 佐敦 地鐵站 D 出口 )


授課語言:粵語 (輔以 中 / 英文講義)
報名表格:按此下載 或瀏覽課程網頁 (http://www.stmedia-asia.com/aircon.html)





主講導師

Ir Edmund Fok
BEng(Hons), MSc, PFM, REA, RSO, CEnv, CEng, FCIBSE, FSOE, FIPlantE, MHKIE

擁有二十多年豐富冷氣通風、消防、水務、電力及建築工程經驗及十多年教學經驗,並是註冊專門 承建商 (通風系統工程) 獲授權簽署人、第 1 , 2 & 3 級註冊消防裝置承辦商合資格人士、一級水喉匠、註冊電業工程人員 (級別: C0 H0)、註冊小型工程承建商獲授權簽署人和註冊能源效益評核員。 



主辦機構

Strategic Media Asia Limited (SMA)

由多位經驗豐富的英國註冊工程師組成,榮獲 英國屋宇裝備工程師學會 (CIBSE) 認可,提供持續專業發展短期課程 / 進修時數 (Approved CPD Course Provider),定期舉辦不同程度的關鍵設施課程、專業研討會及論壇,旨在提供合適的交流機會予機電工程師、屋宇裝備工程師、通訊及資訊科技界專業人士等等,同時提供關鍵設施及數據中心設計技術及知識。

詳情可瀏覽  www.stmedia-asia.com 。



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Join the Analytics Leaders Summit - Artificial Intelligence & The Cloud in Jakarta from 20 - 21 June, 2019



EnigmaCG's Analytics Leaders' Summit
has achieved tremendous success and acknowledgement in the market since its introduction in May 2016 after being organized in 5 different locations - Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines and attracting over 1000+ Data Professionals who live and breathe analytics.


After a sell-out last November in Indonesia, EnigmaCG's is back with Analytics Leaders Summit - Artificial Intelligence, The Cloud in Jakarta, Indonesia from 20 - 21 June, 2019.

With more than 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data being produced daily through multiple channels such as social media, ecommerce transactions, sensors as well as mobile there is no escaping it. So whats the trend now for companies who can't store data at their own data centres? The Cloud!

Whilst this is a fantastic option for many it does come with a different set of challenges such as privacy and control, downtime, vendor lock out but more importantly cyber security. This is why EnigmaCG thought it would be important to touch upon some of these issues over the two days to ensure you avoid any pitfalls that others may have encountered.


EnigmaCG's event on analytics through its speakers and panel of judges from

LinkedIn, Samsung, Coca Cola, Grab, SWIFT, Standard Chartered Bank, Bukalapak, Singapore Exchange, Bank Negara, Flipkart, Indosat Ooredoo, etc.

will deliver the highest quality content, address the most current topics related to predictive customer behaviour through analytics with indepth case studies which have proven to be the success stories in the market today as well as studies of what analytics can be used for in the future such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Cloud Security.


For registration, please email to preetika@enigma-cg.com


Pre & Post Event Workshops Include -

  • Introduction to Python on 10 and 11 June, 2019
  • Machine Learning Using Python on 12, 13 and 14 June, 2019
  • Artificial Intelligence, Data Visualisation and Advanced Machine Learning in Python on 17, 18 and 19 June, 2019
  • Cloudera 'Data Analyst' Workshop on 24, 25 and 26 June, 2019


Email preetika@enigma-cg.com or visit the event website

http://www.analyticsleaderssummit.com



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Learn How to Design Electrical Systems for Mission-Critical Infrastructure (28 - 29 March 2019)




Course in Electrical Design for Mission Critical Supply (2-day)
(28 - 29 March 2019, approved CPD course by CIBSE UK)


Mission critical facilities have particular power requirements that significantly impact how they are designed and operated. You will gain insight into the critical supply system, from power components to distributions and efficiency; from power requirements to sizing, design, testing and commissioning:-


-- Concept on primary supply and secondary supply
-- Power flow in mission critical supply system
-- Features of major equipment for critical supply

    > Uninterrupted power supply and power storage
    > Backup generator
    > Automatic transfer switch
    > Static transfer switch
    > Isolation transformer

-- Efficiency assessment
-- Power quality review
-- Configuration diagram of critical supply (N+1 / 2N) design & analysis
-- Review of cable sizing to incorporate harmonics content
-- Earthing system design
-- Testing and commissioning requirements
-- Brief of Systems Merging Appraisal Test (SMAT)


The course details about the power system components that support typical data centers or mission-critical infrastructure. It prepares individual to fully understand the high voltage systems' design & build by exploring the international best practices and the instructors' experience.

All sections are conducted by Chartered Engineers (CEng) who have more than 20 years experience in electrical engineering, project management, sustainable engineering and facility engineering for critical services.


Date: 28 - 29 March 2019 (Thursday - Friday)
Time: 10:00 – 18:30
Venue: 19/F, New Victory House (Officeplus), 103 - 93 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
(Near Exit A2, Sheung Wan Station)


Fee: Special rate for (1) the HKIE / CIBSE or all professional membership classes in engineering; or
(2) more than 1 enrollment made at the same time


For course details, please refer to http://www.stmedia-asia.com/newsletter_6.html.



Enrollment & Registration

Kindly complete and return an Application Form together with a crossed cheque made payable to “Strategic Media Asia Limited” - Room 403, 4th Floor, Dominion Centre, 43 - 59 Queen's Road East, Hong Kong.


About the Organizer

Strategic Media Asia Limited (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Our mission is to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for the engineers to exchange professional views and experience on critical infrastructure and data center services.

SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For details, please visit www.stmedia-asia.com/about.html.


Adverse Weather Arrangement - Events in the morning, afternoon or evening will be cancelled if typhoon signal No. 8 or above or black rainstorm warning is still hoisted after (or is announced by the Hong Kong Observatory to be hoisted at / after) 6:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. respectively. Delegates will be notified when the class will be made up as soon as possible.






Subscribe to the Knowledge Blog in Critical Infrastructure Design


RELIABILITY & REDUNDANCY MATTER - Your facilities and IT infrastructure are complex that are different from general buildings and require special design and operation knowledge and skill. Understanding the design considerations and avoiding costly downtime are critical.

Subscribe to our Knowledge Blog (http://green-data.blogspot.com or http://data-center-design.tumblr.com), share your view and get monthly readings online. All topics focus on key components and considerations of designing / operating mission-critical facilities and infrastructure:-




P.S. Think your team might also be interested? Pass it on >

Strategic Media Asia Limited
Connecting IT, Facilities and Design

T (852) 2117 3893 | F (852) 2184 9978

Room 403, 4th Floor, Dominion Centre, 43 - 59 Queen's Road East, Hong Kong
http://www.stmedia-asia.com | http://green-data.blogspot.com




Thursday, January 3, 2019

Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (4)

Refer to the Previous Article: Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (3)




Vented Nickel-Cadmium Batteries

Just like the name suggests, these batteries are a vented (flooded) type, where the positive plate is made of nickel hydroxide and the negative plate is made of cadmium hydroxide. These batteries are often preferred because they:
  • Have a high cycle count
  • Can be charged very fast
  • Have a long shelf life
However, these batteries have the following drawbacks:
  1. The NiCd batteries have lower voltages (1.2 V instead of 2 V for lead-acid batteries), which could be a problem for space. For a 120 V system, we would need 60 lead-acid cells, but 100 NiCd cells.
  2. Cadmium is toxic, so these batteries are not easy to dispose.
  3. NiCd batteries have memory, which means they remember the capacity delivered the last time and don’t deliver more than that. Because of this, they need to be discharged to lose the memory and then fully charged again.


IEEE has developed a standard for this type of battery: IEEE 1106-2015, Recommended Practice for Installation, Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of Vented Nickel-Cadmium Batteries for Stationary Applications (https://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/1106-2015.html).

As with other kinds of batteries, personal protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and aprons, are recommended when servicing the NiCd batteries.




IEEE 1106-2016 recommends a quarterly inspection, which is the same as the vented lead-acid batteries’ monthly inspection:

A visual inspection of:
  1. The general condition of the area
  2. The battery cells, looking for cracks
  3. The electrolyte levels
  4. The battery terminals for corrosion
A measurement of:
  1. The float voltage at the battery terminals
  2. The float current
  3. Room or area temperature and ventilation
There is a semiannual inspection as well. This inspection encompasses what the quarterly inspection requires and adds cell voltage measurements. The yearly inspection also requires looking at the condition of the cable connections and measuring the resistance.



A list of simple corrective actions to a few abnormalities


The NiCd batteries can be submitted to a high-rate charge. Normally, they are charged at around 1.4 to 1.47 V per cell, but in a high-rate charge, the voltage can go to 1.55 V for a maximum of 1.8 V.

A NiCd battery is more tolerant of higher temperatures. The NiCd battery life and temperature correlation is shown below.




The relative correlation of nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery life expectancy and temperature.

NiCd batteries, if operated at 20 to 25°C (68 - 77°F), can last a long time. Their capacity drops slowly, reaching 80% after 20 years. Even after that, they can be used in less-demanding applications.



Summary: The Importance of Design


Maintenance is especially important for mission critical systems because of the importance of the reliability of these systems. Indeed, maintenance does not start when problems with the equipment arise; rather, maintenance starts with the design of the systems. The design professional always needs to keep maintenance in mind when designing electrical systems, and the same goes for battery systems.

Keep the following tips in mind when designing and specifying batteries in mission critical facilities:

  • Decide early, in conjunction with the owner, what type of battery to use. Choosing the battery type early helps with nailing down the design and operation conditions of the battery system.
  • Design a cooling system in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. As mentioned, the ambient temperature plays a big role in the battery lifespan.
  • Design a ventilation system to properly refresh the air in the area to not allow hydrogen concentration in the area.
  • Design proper clearances around the battery racks.
  • Design proper containment in case of a leakage of the battery solution.

After the system (or facility) is up and running, it is critical to make sure that the design conditions mentioned above are enforced. It is also critical to follow IEEE recommendations for weekly, monthly, and yearly inspections (add a semiannual inspection for NiCd batteries). A visual inspection, as simple as it might seem, is very important to catch early what could become a serious malfunction.


It is best for the maintenance team to prepare a standard form for each type of inspection. These forms could have boxes for check marks and spaces for notes where certain conditions observed can be explained. Having a log of the inspections helps in tracking certain conditions and compiling a plan of action if the conditions deteriorate.



Strategic Media Asia (SMA) -
Connecting IT, Facilities and Design


SMA combines with professional Chartered Engineers (CEng) from the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET), the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). Our engineers have more than 20 years experience in data center design & build, building services engineering and energy conservation in the private and public sectors.

The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of data center and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience, through various training courses, industry events and technical seminars. We prepare the engineers and IT personnel to face any challenges in data centers and critical facilities of any size, in any location.


For other design considerations / topics in data center and critical infrastructure, please visit 


(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection,
(8) Raised Floor,
(9) Code & Standards,
(10) Transformers and Harmonic Distortion,
(11) Multi-mode UPS Systems,
(12) Electrical Rooms,
(13) Generator Systems,
(14) Generator Fuel Systems

(15) Battery Systems, etc.




Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (3)

Refer to the Previous Article: Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (2)


Valve-regulated Lead-acid (VRLA) Batteries


VRLA batteries currently are very popular. They are known as "nonmaintenance" batteries, mostly because of the fact that they are sealed and employ a "recombinant technology." The fact that the battery is sealed ensures the preserving of the electrolyte, no matter the position of the battery cell (you can even turn it upside down). Recombinant technology means that the oxygen released from the positive plate ends up in the negative plate, where it recombines with hydrogen and turns into water. This process preserves the battery water.

Just as it has for vented batteries, IEEE has developed a standard, 1188-2005, IEEE Recommended Practice for Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of VRLA Batteries for Stationary Applications (https://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/1188-2005.html).

Even though VRLA batteries are sealed, there are always dangers associated with installing and maintaining batteries. Only trained and knowledgeable personnel should work around batteries. In addition, unauthorized personnel should not have access to the batteries. The battery area should not be used as storage for tools or anything else. All personnel should use personal protective equipment, such as goggles, gloves, and safety shoes, while working on batteries.



The table shows typical steps to be taken when adverse situations are witnessed.


Just as with vented batteries, inspection is an important part of maintenance. IEEE recommends monthly, quarterly, and yearly inspections. But this recommendation is for general use. For mission critical facilities or processes, there needs to be a weekly inspection as well.

The monthly inspection for VRLA batteries is more or less the same as the one for vented lead-acid batteries. This inspection includes the following areas -


A visual inspection of:

  1. The general condition of the area. The area (room) should be maintained as clean as possible so that dirt or excessive dust does not cover the battery cells. Unclean equipment is harder to assess during a visual-only inspection.
  2. The battery cells, looking for cracks. This inspection is important because a crack in the cell’s outer shell could allow the electrolyte to leak.
  3. The battery terminals for corrosion. Corrosion of the battery terminals will increase the resistance of the connection, thereby decreasing the amount of current supplied by the battery system.

A measurement of:

  1. The float voltage at the battery terminals. If the battery system performs at a float voltage outside the manufacturer’s recommended range, the battery’s life expectancy would be adversely affected.
  2. Room or area temperature and ventilation. The temperature is important because it affects the battery’s life expectancy. Ventilation is important because proper movement of the air mitigates high concentrations of hydrogen, which is a byproduct of chemical processes in the battery cells. High concentrations of hydrogen in the air significantly increase the risk for explosions.
  3. The float current of the string. A high float current would adversely affect the battery life, as it increases the temperature in the cell.

The quarterly inspection includes measurements of the following:

  1. The cell’s internal Ohmic values. Care should be taken to use the same method each time so that a credible baseline is set. If the Ohmic values change drastically (30% to 50%), a battery replacement might be warranted.
  2. The temperature of the negative terminal of each cell. A higher temperature than other cells could indicate a higher charging current. Higher temperatures adversely affect the battery life.
  3. Cell voltages. Both high and low voltages could be problematic. Prolonged low voltage-lower than the manufacturer’s limit-without an increase in temperature could indicate an internal problem. Prolonged high voltage-higher than the manufacturer’s recommended limit-could impact the battery life by accelerating the dryout.

The yearly inspection is then limited to measuring the following:

  1. Cell-to-cell and battery terminals resistance. If the value is 20% or more than the baseline, corrective actions should be taken, such as cleaning the connections and retorquing.
  2. Battery-charger ripple current. It could impact the battery temperature.





About us


SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the other design considerations, please visit 

(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection,
(8) Raised Floor,
(9) Code & Standards,
(10) Transformers and Harmonic Distortion,
(11) Multi-mode UPS Systems,
(12) Electrical Rooms,
(13) Generator Systems,
(14) Generator Fuel Systems

(15) Battery Systems, etc.

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.


Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.


Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (2)

Refer to the Previous Article: Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (1)



Inspection


The maintenance of the batteries in mission critical facilities is especially important. When maintained regularly, batteries will perform according to design to support the critical systems, ensuring the continuity of power. Maintaining the batteries also elongates their life, resulting in lower operation costs. But the first step of maintenance is to inspect. By first inspecting and then assessing, we can develop a plan for remediation.

Let’s look at each battery type separately. IEEE has developed separate standards for just this reason.


Vented Lead-acid Batteries


The most routine inspection for this type of battery is a visual inspection. IEEE has developed a standard, 450-2010, IEEE Recommended Practice for Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of Vented Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary Applications (https://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/450-2010.html). This standard is a very good guide for the operations staff to create a maintenance procedure.

The monthly inspection, as recommended in the IEEE 450-2010 standard, includes the following:

A visual inspection of:
  1. The general condition of the area. The area (room) should be as clean as possible so that dirt or excessive dust does not cover the battery cells. Unclean equipment is harder to assess during a visual-only inspection.
  2. The battery cells for cracks. This step is important because a crack in the cell’s outer shell could allow the electrolyte to leak and the battery to discharge.
  3. The electrolyte levels. A significant drop in the electrolyte level means that the specific gravity of the electrolyte has increased. A greater specific gravity would impact the life of the battery.
  4. The battery terminals for corrosion. Corrosion of the battery terminals will increase the resistance of the connection, thereby decreasing the amount of current supplied by the battery system.
A measurement of:
  1. The float voltage at the battery terminals. If the battery system performs at a float voltage outside the manufacturer’s recommended range, the battery’s life expectancy would be adversely affected.
  2. Room or area temperature and ventilation. The temperature is important because it impacts battery-life expectancy. Ventilation is important because proper movement of the air mitigates high concentrations of hydrogen, which is a byproduct of chemical processes in the battery cells. High concentrations of hydrogen in the air significantly increase the risk for explosions.
The recommended quarterly inspection includes the following:

A measurement of:
  1. The voltage of each cell. Lower-than-recommended (by the manufacturer) voltage levels could have an adverse affect on the life expectancy of the battery.
  2. The specific gravity of the cells’ electrolyte. One needs to keep in mind that specific gravity of the electrolyte increases in a full charge. It would be best if three measurements are taken: one on top, one in the middle, and one on the bottom of the cell. The average of the three values is the value to be used. If taking three measurements is not possible, taking a reading as close to the middle as possible is best. Note that it’s not necessary to measure the specific gravity of each cell in the battery string, rather only about 10% of the cells.
  3. The electrolyte temperature of a few cells. If we have a 125 V battery system, we’d have 60 cells. It would suffice to check the temperature of six of them. The desired temperature is the one recommended by the manufacturer. If the electrolyte is at a higher temperature, a higher float current is required to maintain the cell voltage. Too high of a charging current could adversely affect the electrolyte composition, as more of the hydrogen and oxygen is being gassed. On the other hand, the lower temperature causes a smaller floating current, which in turn, slows the charging process.


Corrective actions are shown for some abnormalities in vented lead-acid and nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries.


There is also a yearly inspection that applies the quarterly inspection to all the battery cells, which is, therefore, much more involved. If abnormalities are observed during these inspections, there are corrective actions that can be taken. See Table 1 for some common corrective actions.

Of the abnormalities mentioned in Table 1, the room temperature and ventilation usually are set during the design. Total cost of ownership analysis is usually done by taking into consideration the optimal conditions so that the battery life is longest. The rule-of-thumb correlation between ambient temperature and lead-acid battery life, be it vented or VRLA, is as follows: battery life decreases by 50% for every 8°C above the normal temperature, which is 25°C (77°F).


Battery Life


Determining the battery life is important, especially in mission critical facilities. With proper maintenance, battery life could be predicted accurately, thereby avoiding any downtime. The most important factors affecting battery life are:




Ambient Temperature:
Keeping the temperature at 25°C (77°F) is optimal.

Maintenance:
Keeping the cell temperature in check; large temperature differences among the cells will affect battery life.
Keeping the cell voltage in check. The following should be corrected:

- Voltage below open cell voltage + 0.06 V
- Voltage above open cell voltage + 0.1 V (or 0.05 V for lead antimony).

Cycling:
The more discharges occur, the shorter the battery life.

Chemical Components:
Vented batteries can be lead-calcium, pure-lead, lead-selenium, or lead-antimony. All the outside factors affect the battery life differently, depending on the chemical composition of the battery.



Next Article:
Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (3)



About us


SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the other design considerations, please visit 

(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection,
(8) Raised Floor,
(9) Code & Standards,
(10) Transformers and Harmonic Distortion,
(11) Multi-mode UPS Systems,
(12) Electrical Rooms,
(13) Generator Systems,
(14) Generator Fuel Systems

(15) Battery Systems, etc.

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.


Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.


Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (1)

 

Proper design, maintenance, and testing of battery system in mission critical facilities are crucial for business continuity and safety.

In these articles, we are going to

(1) Understand the need for reliable batteries in mission critical facilities;
(2) Explore the most common battery abnormalities that can be spotted through inspection; and
(3) Review simple steps that can be taken to find out battery problems.

When we say the systems are mission critical, it means "Power remains uninterrupted!". But this mission critical label does not apply to every single part of the facility. Some processes are more important to the business than others, and that is where the focus of the design lies. Certainly, designing for a mission critical facility can be challenging. There are many considerations in play. The system has to be very robust with no single point of failure.

Designing electrical systems, maintenance is an important factor, especially in deciding what battery to implement. Maintenance includes but not limits to the cost of replacement of a battery cell. It also involves the accessibility of the battery system, the ease of disassembly and reinstallation, the frequency of service, and the conditions needed in the actual environment (temperature, humidity, etc.).


The goal of maintenance is to prolong the life of batteries and to make sure the batteries perform as designed. Inspection is done to catch any abnormalities that could impact battery performance as well as long-term life expectancy. It is important to place the batteries in an environment that agrees with the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Battery Types


There are several types of batteries used for providing power to electrical systems. The most popular types of batteries being used nowadays are lead-acid and nickel-cadmium (NiCd). NFPA 110: Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems defines two types of lead-acid batteries:

Valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA): A lead-acid battery consisting of sealed cells furnished with a valve that opens to vent the battery whenever the internal pressure of the battery exceeds the ambient pressure by a set amount.

A typical valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery used in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) application


Vented (or flooded): A lead-acid battery consisting of cells that have electrodes immersed in liquid electrolyte. Flooded lead-acid batteries may have a provision for the user to add water to the cell and are equipped with a flame-arresting vent, which permits the escape of hydrogen and oxygen gas from the cell in a diffused manner such that a spark, or another ignition source, outside the cell will not ignite the gases inside the cell.

Although NFPA 110-2010 recognizes the usage of NiCd batteries for emergency systems, no definition is provided for such batteries. A definition can be found in IEEE 1106-2015: Recommended Practice for Installation, Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of Vented Nickel-Cadmium Batteries for Stationary Applications (https://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/1106-2015.html).


Battery Uses


Mission critical facilities are not only the buildings that are critical to human life, such as hospitals, but also are facilities for business continuity, like data center. Many methods are employed to mitigate the risk of power outages. But, almost always, the risk mitigation relies upon batteries. Uses include:

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Systems: Batteries are used to back up power where UPSs are involved. While the power is processed and converted through the UPS to the load, the batteries are kept charged to provide the much-needed power to the critical system when normal power is out. Even though standby generators are most likely used as backup power, the batteries provide the critical power needed until the generators are able to receive load.




Standby Generators: Batteries are used to provide the initial crank to the generators as well as power the generator controls.

Controls: Batteries also are used to back up controls, especially when medium-voltage distribution is found throughout the facility. Nowadays, the operation of critical systems is more reliant on controls to avoid nuisance tripping and to enable fast-acting protection.




Emergency Systems: Batteries are widely used to back up life safety systems, such as exit lights. Exit lights normally are backed up by a 90-minute battery to allow people to recognize the way out of the building in case of a life-endangering situation. All of the above-mentioned uses (UPS, generators, and controls) could be part of an emergency system as well.



Next Article:
Battery Systems for Mission Critical Infrastructure - Design, Maintenance and Testing (2)



About us


SMA connects IT, Facilities and Design. For the other design considerations, please visit 

(1) Site Selection,
(2) Space Planning,
(3) Cooling,
(4) Redundancy,
(5) Fire Suppression,
(6) Meet Me Rooms,
(7) UPS Selection,
(8) Raised Floor,
(9) Code & Standards,
(10) Transformers and Harmonic Distortion,
(11) Multi-mode UPS Systems,
(12) Electrical Rooms,
(13) Generator Systems,
(14) Generator Fuel Systems

(15) Battery Systems, etc.

All topics focus on key components and provide technical advice and recommendations for designing a data center and critical facilities.


Strategic Media Asia (SMA) is one of the approved CPD course providers of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) UK. The team exists to provide an interactive environment and opportunities for members of ICT industry and facilities' engineers to exchange professional views and experience.