Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    533

    Confused Hydrogen produced from charging batteries

    this was a first for me this week: a township inspector gave a warning to a company that refurbishes old game machines telling them that their warehouse may not have enough ventilation for two battery operated fork lifts. the warehouse was of significant size, both forklifts were at each end of the warehouse separated by a concrete wall. both had multiple exhaust fans at the roof (at least 18-20ft high). did some research online about hydrogen produced from charging batteries but most of the ventilation warnings revolved around battery producing factories and the like.

    so has anyone else come across this issue with local governments? does duct need to be installed with separate exhaust fans for these two forklifts?
    You have to pay your due's before you pay the rent!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4,340
    Quote Originally Posted by n-e-w Jerz! View Post
    this was a first for me this week: a township inspector gave a warning to a company that refurbishes old game machines telling them that their warehouse may not have enough ventilation for two battery operated fork lifts. the warehouse was of significant size, both forklifts were at each end of the warehouse separated by a concrete wall. both had multiple exhaust fans at the roof (at least 18-20ft high). did some research online about hydrogen produced from charging batteries but most of the ventilation warnings revolved around battery producing factories and the like.

    so has anyone else come across this issue with local governments? does duct need to be installed with separate exhaust fans for these two forklifts?
    Not sure what the code is........but we always had to install a exhaust fans above the charging stations. Height above stations and ventilation rates are stipulated. Just don't remember what the numbers are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    For two electric forklifts? ON opposite ends of a large warehouse? Doesn't seem nessesary to me. Only if it was a smaller room or confined area.

    It may depend on what battery they have. I think the newer maintenance free "gell" and AGM batteries are completely sealed unlike the older lead acid that needed the water level checked and topped off periodically.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    For two electric forklifts? ON opposite ends of a large warehouse? Doesn't seem nessesary to me. Only if it was a smaller room or confined area.

    It may depend on what battery they have. I think the newer maintenance free "gell" and AGM batteries are completely sealed unlike the older lead acid that needed the water level checked and topped off periodically.
    my thoughts exactly. i mean, how many ppm are we talking about once it dissipates into the surrounding area? there are no solvents or open flames near the charging space. again, i saw pictures of roofs blown off of factories due to this phenomenon, but no mention of it happening with singular devices.
    You have to pay your due's before you pay the rent!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    155
    Heck, just start using a forklift that burns LP.....;-)

    I think the inspector is looking for problems that do not exist. Perhaps his wife was mistreating him today?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,088
    It's not about the forklifts them selves but about (the most likely) one charging station for the two lifts.

    Around here code says we need to have hydrogen alarms and ventilation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC area
    Posts
    87
    Your township inspector has probably been to a seminar or read an article on Hydrogen.

    Not sure what code you are under there, but the 2009 IMC section 502.4 indicates the hydrogen limit must be 1.0% or less based on room volume or you must ventilate at 1.0 CFM/SF.

    Given that your warehouse is large and you only have 2 batteries it’s obvious you’re not going to get to 1%, but you are going to have to convince the inspector.

    The fork truck manufacturer can give you the hydrogen production rate for the size batteries and you can assume some infiltration rate maybe .01 CFM/SF or 10CFM per dock door or whatever and show that it is much higher than the Hydrogen rate. Hopefully this will satisfy him.

  8. #8
    My company manufacturers hydrogen/freon detection devices so I get this question a lot.

    It is unlikely that the forklift area would ever be able to accumulate a high level of hydrogen because of the room size and likely the ventilation or even natural ventilation system.

    However, this web site in the UK actually provides you with the formula for calculating potential off-gassing of battery strings so you can easily demonstrate to an overly paranoid, uninformed inspector that a detection device is not required.

    http://www.cisco-inc.com/battery/hydrocon/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westlake, Ohio
    Posts
    2,531
    The gas is actually hydrogen sulfide, a toxic, poisoness and flammable gas. It has set off many a carbon monoxide detector because it does react with their sensors. Not CO but still dangerous. I sold Hydrogen Sulfide Alarms to airport control towers that have quite a few batteries for power back-up.

    Large warehouse, only two batteries, shouldn't be a concern. Why is it that no one is concerned the lift trucks put out 10,000ppm of CO? Do they have any monitors for that?
    captain CO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Caledonia WI
    Posts
    882
    Are you sure he wasn't just looking to get his palm greased?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,742
    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Madera View Post
    Heck, just start using a forklift that burns LP.....;-)

    I think the inspector is looking for problems that do not exist. Perhaps his wife was mistreating him today?
    More like his boyfriend.
    He read one too many articles in his engineering magazine.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event