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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    33

    Default Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    I inspected an off-grid house today with a solar system. My CO detector went nuts when I entered the room with the battery bank. Any clues as to why this would happen?

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    John Thompson
    Shelter Works Home Inspections, LLC
    Missoula, MT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    Thanks Jerry! After doing some internet research, it appears that off gassing of Hydrogen will set off a CO detector. Hydrogen is flammable, and there was a gas fired water heater in the same room. I recommended that the battery bank be moved do another location.

    John Thompson
    Shelter Works Home Inspections, LLC
    Missoula, MT

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Thomas Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now that was interesting and appreciated. MB's are meant for meaningful discussion and the passing of information. Thank You.

    Bryce Jeffrey
    Jeffrey Home Inspection
    St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    Also

    http://www.fireengineering.com/artic...detectors.html

    Interfering gases of similar molecular size and chemical reactivity may produce false positive response. Major interferents that can affect CO detectors are acetylene, dimethyl sulfide, ethyl alcohol, ethylene, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, isopropyl alcohol, mercaptan, methyl alcohol, propane, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    San Luis Obispo
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    Thanks Jerry! After doing some internet research, it appears that off gassing of Hydrogen will set off a CO detector. Hydrogen is flammable, and there was a gas fired water heater in the same room. I recommended that the battery bank be moved do another location.
    Wet cell batteries (the ones that outgas) should be installed in there own room or compartment that is fan ventilated with a make up inlet to the space. No other equipment should be there except cables and perhaps some equipment rated to be installed in a battery compartment (some charge controllers for example, battery watering gear). Corrosion is common with any metal components in the battery compartments. In earthquake country the bank needs to be braced or tied down.

    Inspectors should look for fusing or DC breakers as every battery bank needs protection from shorts, over amps etc

    Also large battery banks have a crazy amount of Amps in them so don't drop any tools on them or you are in for a dangerous surprise.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Solar battery bank setting off CO detector

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tilleux View Post
    Wet cell batteries (the ones that outgas) should be installed in there own room or compartment that is fan ventilated.

    Stephen, I believe it was the last issue of either NFPA Journal or IAEI News (caught up with both on last week's vacation) that had an article on batteries. It warned against relying on power ventilation.


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