Skip to main content

Automate NERC Reporting and Save Time and Money!

By August 25th, 2022No Comments
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
North American utility workers are buzzing with chatter these days.  They are all becoming aware of the “North American Electric Reliability Corporation“, or “NERC” for short.  Standards have been established, inspections are being made, violations are being sited, and…fines are being paid.

Fines. Operations personnel hate fines.  CFO’s hate fines.  I suppose no one likes fines…except those who impose them.

The truth is, change always presents some level of difficulty.  In the case of NERC standards, the changes make sense and should be adapted as a best demonstrated practice.

With regard to battery maintenance, I want to post pertinent information specifically regarding NERC prc-005-2.  Here is my conclusion in advance: NERC compliance can either add a lot of manual work, or hardly any work, if automated.  The key, as an end-user that must pay attention to the standards, is to partner with a company that cares about working with you, rather than a vendor that cares about selling to you.

Whenever new standards come into existence, there are vendors who pounce upon the early confusion, and use it as a catalyst to maximize profits and commissions. Yeah, I know…sales guys.  But, let’s not be too harsh on sales guys; many times they don’t understand what the real Customer need is, either.

An example of selling to confusion? Electrolyte monitors.

Electrolyte monitors – NERC’s version of the mood ring.

OK, electrolyte monitors do perform a NERC standard, albeit a minuscule one that holds little, or no, value when continuous battery monitoring is implemented.

Here is why:

  • It takes two minutes (Give or take a few seconds) to walk the length of 60 vented batteries to manually inspect and record the electrolyte level of each cell.
  • Manual inspection must be logged every 4 calendar months (3X per year).
  • Techs are onsite well over 3X per year and can schedule 2 minutes per 60x2V string.
  • Electrolyte monitors do away with the scheduled manual inspections.  However, every other state-of-health (SOH) measurement must be manually recorded at various scheduled times.  This renders electrolyte monitors almost useless, and in most cases, sixty points of failure.
  • A growing number of utility sites are forbidding the installation of any electronic equipment inside vented battery rooms, due to the possibility of hydrogen gas being present.  There are no explosion-proof electrolyte monitors available for purchase.  Are they worth the risk?

By the way, BatteryDAQ can sell electrolyte monitors. They are not exclusive to any vendor.  The thing is, we don’t aspire to be a vendor. We want to partner with you.

So, what does continuous battery monitoring allow that manual testing does not?

  • The varying reporting times to meet NERC requirements are covered by continuous monitoring.
  • Manual testing must be scheduled at various specified times, depending on the NERC standard that applies to the SOH measurement.
  • Continuous battery monitoring measures SOH data 24/7.
  • As noted in the NERC standard testing table, when “Any Valve Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) or Vented Lead Acid (VLA) station battery with monitoring and alarming of   each cell/unit internal ohmic value” is implemented, then “No periodic inspection of the condition of all individual units by measuring battery cell/unit internal ohmic values of a station VRLA or Vented Lead-Acid (VLA) battery is required”.

Therefore, by implementing the correct continuous battery monitoring system, the pressure placed on scheduled inspections and testing greatly reduced.  That is a huge thing! Scheduled visits place way too much pressure on the technicians, who’s days often change the minute they arrive onsite.  The specter of fines will always loom, if manual testing remains the norm.

Of course that doesn’t mean that continuous battery monitoring allows you to ignore the SOH data, and eliminate NERC reporting!  For sure, your local NERC representative will expect plenty of dated pertinent information and standard verification, when they come calling.

SPOILER ALERT!!! – You are about to smile.

In addition to BatteryDAQ’s battery monitoring hardware, specifically designed for utility applications, and the unparalleled software that allows the efficient management of 1 to 1 million remote sites, you will also have the extraordinary ability to auto-fill NERC reporting for every site that has continuous battery monitoring!

Auto-fill NERC reporting.  Let it sink in.  By implementing continuous battery monitoring, you will remove scheduled manual inspections, measure SOH 24/7, remotely manage from 1 to 1 million sites, AND auto-fill your NERC reports for every site, with the click of your mouse!

Here is a teaser of the auto-fill NERC report:

Oh, did I mention it is fully customize-able to mirror any internal reporting requirements you company may have.  The report will match your exact needs.

This is what I mean by partnering with you.  Of course, we will sell you solutions, but only after all confusion is removed.

We want to learn more about your applications and needs.  At BatteryDAQ, you will work directly with a dedicated Account Executive throughout the entire process.  For more information, contact me directly at [email protected], or call BatteryDAQ at 800-455-8970.

Tom Shannon

Author Tom Shannon

Tom Shannon is the Director of Business Development at BatteryDAQ, LLC and has enjoyed success in both entrepreneurial and fortune 20 corporate settings. His expertise lies in establishing and nurturing business relationships. Tom has worked with some of the world's largest institutions in implementing strategies that solved for operational inefficiencies and maximized customer satisfaction and return on investment.

More posts by Tom Shannon