According to the FIA Guidance on Fire Alarm System Power Supply Battery Testing document, battery voltage reading “does not give a true indication of the health and condition of the battery; surface charge, temperature and age of the battery affect results.” So with this in mind Dycon has announced NGI (Next Generation Intelligence) technology is to be fitted to its range of EN54-2 & 4 power supplies which allows the measurement of battery impedance, not simply voltage.
“Battery impedance can now be checked locally with a hand-held data logger or it could be transmitted to an ARC,” explained Tony Makosinski of Dycon. “Voltage and current measurements could also be measured and transmitted as could fuse faults, low battery power, power failure and PSU internal problems. In the future all information could be recorded and signalled as seen from the PSU’s perspective, i.e. faults conditions are real and the PSU could be interrogated and report ‘My readings indicate that I will give a false alarm if my voltage drops another 30mV’ for example.”
This way of working means that all measurements are ‘absolute’ not based on specified tolerances and outputs can be switched on or off remotely, either under local or remote control. On-site calibration will be possible with a hand-held diagnostic data logger, which has the possibility of changing fault thresholds, if necessary and with overcharging at high-temperatures one of the biggest causes of battery failure; real temperature and voltage measurements can be made to ensure there is no overcharging. Temperature has been shown to be a real problem in hot countries and in cases where the PSU is cited in a poorly ventilated area.