Thermal Runaway Protection

Thermal Runaway Controller + Cellwatch Software

The Thermal Runaway Controller (TRC) is based on the Cellwatch Control Unit (CU) and includes all of the functionality of a Cellwatch CU in addition to the new thermal runaway features.

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When replacing a Control Unit with the TRC, the existing conduits and wiring can be reused since the wiring interconnections and power requirements are all compatible.  One TRC monitors 4 strings and provides separate controls for thermal runaway protection for each string.  Every TRC also includes an integrated generator extender kit master controller.

Cellwatch Software –  Enhancements for Thermal Runaway

Thermal Runaway Warning
The Cellwatch system administrator configures control parameters for each string to establish the criteria for thermal runaway based on the battery type.  When thermal runaway is  detected on a string, a warning alert appears on the screen and GUI indicators turn red.

trc 3Simultaneous with the on-screen warnings, alarms can be sent to an administrator via email or SMS.  Upstream building management systems are also notified, and lights on the front of the TRC are illuminated providing additional warning for immediate location identification.

Thermal Runaway Isolation
Cellwatch provides a user programmable warn period to allow time for corrective action after triggering a thermal runaway alarm before it isolates the string.  This is an important design feature because this allows the battery engineer to address the fault condition without putting the UPS critical load at risk like many thermal runaway solutions.

trc 5 If thermal runaway conditions are not addressed within the warn period,  Cellwatch will automatically isolate the string, immediately removing the charger from the battery to instantly stop thermal runaway.

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After a string is isolated alarms will continue to indicate there is an isolated string until a maintenance operation has occurred and protection for the UPS is restored.

Who should install or update their systems with thermal runaway control units?

  • All organizations needing to meet mandatory requirements for IFC 608.3 compliance, and
  • Any data center that maintains systems with VRLA batteries should strongly consider installing thermal runaway control units

The Cellwatch thermal runaway solution is the most comprehensive solution for thermal runaway prevention in the industry.  Cellwatch is a listed device that provides the mandatory battery isolation required by International Fire Code 608.3  along with a practical yet highly sophisticated automation process allowing a battery management team time to address a thermal runaway issue while maintaining protection for their UPS load.


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