You were recently promoted and now the battery backup system is your baby. Your predecessor had installed a battery-monitoring system that sends event notifications to specific mobile devices, such as your Blackberry. But the system monitors so many things, the list makes your head spin.

That's not the real problem, however; throughout the day, you're getting alerts all the time. Yesterday afternoon, for example, you received 33 alerts for various conditions. There's no documentation showing why some of these conditions are alerted. You went through the standard diagnostic procedure and checked everything. All you found was some corrosion on a jar connector, which you cleaned off.

Today, the alerts are at it again. Can you ignore some of these? Is there something wrong that your diagnostic doesn’t detect? Or is something else happening?

Your first action should be to have a frank discussion with your boss, perhaps at lunch off-site. Management probably knows something about your predecessor that you are only now getting a glimpse of. Explain what's going on, clarify that you will be putting together an action plan, and ask your boss for comment.

Next, work on that action plan. Focus on three steps:

  • Review the diagnostic with a battery maintenance specialist, the battery manufacturer, or a battery monitoring specialist. Fix any deficiencies.
  • Eliminate the unnecessary alerts. For example, you set the float voltage so you can get the correct cell voltage and overall string voltage. Alert on those, instead. For VRLA batteries, monitor the float current so you can be alerted when there's a runaway condition.
  • Look at the alerting set points. Is the band too tight? For example, set your cell voltage alert based on the actual tolerance specifications.