Gas Detection for UPS Systems
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Gas Detection for UPS SystemsExpand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, May 06, 2009 12:14 PM


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Hi all, is anyone familiar with gas detection used when a UPS system is present? I'm semi-familiar, but by no means an expert. At what size UPS do you need to start worrying about dangerous levels of Nitrogen?

Is anyone doing this now? What systems do you monitor it with? I would imagine fire alarm and security would be best from a notification standpoint, but I always like to send SNMP traps for things like this happening in equipment rooms, as well.

Anyone anyone?


Ethan Ace
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Post #3368
Posted Thursday, May 07, 2009 12:21 PM


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Wow, I guess this was a stumper!

Ethan Ace
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Post #3369
Posted Thursday, May 07, 2009 1:57 PM


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Yes,

It is almost like a final jeopardy question!

Post #3370
Posted Thursday, May 07, 2009 3:20 PM
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Is it Nitrogen?  I remember when I was in the service we had to be mindful of hydrogen gas build up from our backup powersupply batteries.

We even had a commo shelter explode due to inadequate venting. 

Post #3371
Posted Friday, May 08, 2009 12:56 AM


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It is nitrogen that you have to monitor, I just don't know when. I'm familiar with gas detection, but really only carbon monoxide, having dealt with it in certain fire alarm systems. Other applications are new to me.

How big were the battery backup systems you're talking about? I'm guessing a smaller ER with a few racks and a 10kVA UPS with a few batteries isn't a concern, but I can't find anything to back this up.


Ethan Ace
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Post #3374
Posted Friday, May 08, 2009 9:25 AM
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This was a mobile military communications system that was powered directly from a 10Kw generator.  In the event of power loss (depleted fuel, genny servicing or failure) the systems would fail over to the back up power supply.  These were four 12-volt batteries (essentially lead-acid car batteries) wired in series.

These required constant preventative maintenance (replenishing fluid levels and keeping the terminals and wiring free of corrosion).  Also part of the PM was to make sure the compartment vents remained clear and the vent fan was operational.  Our specific concern was hydrogen gas buildup. 

Post #3376
Posted Friday, May 08, 2009 1:42 PM


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Here are some good documents which complement both the Canadian Electrical Code

and the National Electrical Code regarding venting of batteries. I believe they only

deal with hydrogen gas.

IEEE Std 484-2002, IEEE Recommended Practice for Installation Design and Installation of Vented Lead acid Batteries for Stationary Applications.

• IEEE Std 1106-2005, IEEE Recommended Practice for Installation, Maintenance, Testing, and Replacement of Vented Nickel-Cadmium Batteries for Stationary Applications.

• IEEE Std 1187-2002, IEEE Recommended Practice for Installation Design and Installation of Valve-Regulated Lead acid Storage Batteries for Stationary Applications.

Post #3377
Posted Friday, May 08, 2009 4:43 PM
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One other reference is the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) 2007. Try 140 to 146
Post #3378
Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 4:27 PM


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Thanks, all.

Ethan Ace
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Post #3381
Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:52 PM
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Near our lead acid batterys we monitor for hydrogen.  We use a sensor from Arrgh!!!  The link http://www.arrgh.com/pdf/hydrogen_Gas_Detectors_FAQ.pdf addresses which batteries produce hydrogen and why, of course they also provide some product specific information as well.  I was not involved in researching these sensors but assume there are other manufacturers out there with similar products.
Post #3383
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