Do I need a hydrogen detector in a battery room equipped with forced ventilation?
There are a number of ways to avoid an explosive buildup of hydrogen in a battery area. Some installations use an interlock between the high-rate charge switch and a fan. Others may use the charger’s high dc voltage alarm to turn on a fan. The correct operation of the fan itself can be detected with a low-pressure switch in the fan’s airflow, and this switch could be used to switch the charger back to float in the case of fan failure. It is sometimes possible for hydrogen detectors to be unreliable, and some say that they can be difficult to check and calibrate. Before deciding on the use of hydrogen detectors, it is worthwhile to explore the alternatives, and indeed to verify just how much hydrogen could be produced by the battery. Normal gas production from today’s batteries is generally quite low, and inexpensive alarm packages can detect a charger malfunction before it can lead to major problems with gas buildup. The only caveat is that battery surveillance procedures must be adequ