Hydrogen Detection System Reduces Explosion Risk at Battery Storage Facility

Jan 30, 2018

Hydrogen Detection System Reduces Explosion Risk at Battery Storage Facility

by | Jan 30, 2018


At a research & development facility, a climate controller houses a large number of batteries which are being tested for safe use in water meters.

A comprehensive range of water metering solutions are being designed and manufactured, which includes high accuracy mechanical meters, fully electronic water meters and Smart metering solutions for residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

The development and implementation of innovative metering solutions for the water industry is part of a commitment to address the unique challenges the industry faces, including increasing customer demand and water scarcity.




As dozens of batteries are being housed within a household refrigerator sized enclosure, gases produced or released by the number of batteries while they are being charged can lead to a significant safety concern, particularly because of the enclosed area.

Overcharging or battery faults can produce Hydrogen (H2). In fact, there is almost certain to be a little H2 around in areas where batteries are being charged. So H2 needs to be monitored within the climate controller.

Hydrogen does not disperse evenly. It’s lighter than air, so it rises, hopefully into your facility’s venting system. However, depending on the shape of your battery room, the gas might rise into corners or create small, potentially explosive pockets of gas.

Hydrogen is not toxic, but at high concentrations it is a highly explosive gas. For LEL range measurement, using a standard catalytic combustible gas sensor, the 100% LEL concentration for hydrogen is 4.0% by volume. At this concentration, a source of ignition is all it takes to cause an explosion. A spark from the battery terminal within the charging system is more than adequate as a source of ignition.




The most-effective way to measure H2 in an area where batteries are being charged is with a fixed gas monitoring system.

Specialists in design and integration of bespoke gas monitoring systems, a1-cbiss were called in to design a bespoke sampling system. The a1-cbiss technical sales manager visited site to discuss the project with the metering company.

By understanding what the metering company was trying to achieve and inspecting the area where the climate controller is, a1-cbiss were able to put forward a sensible solution.

The metering company was concerned about the release of Hydrogen and its potentially explosive properties within the climate controller. A warning system was needed to alert workers of a high level of gas release from the hydrogen batteries.

The system was designed to continually extract a gas sample from the climate controller, from which it would be cooled and filtered before being analysed by the LEL OLCT100XP gas sensor within the sampling enclosure which is positioned adjacent to the climate controller.




The readings from the OLCT100XP gas sensor are transmitted to the MX32 gas controller to activate the alarm.

It was agreed that a beacon and sounder would be wall mounted next to the climate controller to potentially raise the alarm if high levels of H2 are encountered.

Most facilities will never encounter dangerous concentrations of hydrogen from a battery room alone, but a few simple precautions will give you the assurance you need to operate safely with peace of mind.

Contact a1-cbiss for more details