Battery containment systems to the rescue

Many hospitals, government entities, telecommunication firms and other large companies have backup power systems to make sure they never lose power at a critical moment.

The backup power systems are vital for those operations. But one problem with them is that sometimes the batteries leak a hazardous material.

Franksville (Racine County)-based Quick Cable Corp. has come up with a solution to that problem. The company recently broke into the battery containment systems market with its new Rescue line of products.

Batteries can break and leak hazardous electrolyte material and battery acid, said John Leto, Quick Cable account manager for Motive and Standby Power.

“That liquid has to be contained, absorbed and neutralized and that’s what a containment system does,” he said.

Quick Cable has developed absorbent pillows and socks for the batteries. They are the most absorbent battery pillows on the market right now, Leto said.

“Our pillows are able to effectively absorb and neutralize four quarts of electrolyte liquid per pillow,” he said.

The pillows are white and are a square foot in size. Once the pillow comes in contact with the battery acid the pillow turns purple.

“Once acid is absorbed, the breathable fabric on the pillow will turn reddish purple indicating that acid is present and it’s being neutralized,” Leto said. “The colored stain leaches onto the outside fabric so that anyone looking down can see they have a leak developing and need to take additional steps.”

The pillows will not stain with any other liquid, Leto said.

Federal and state governments have rules that govern the way the neutralization process is done, and the government continues to add more regulations.

“Depending on what state you are in there are specific regulations when it comes to battery acid containment and neutralization,” Leto said. “We’ve made our systems comply with even the strictest regulations.”

The Rescue containment system can be shipped in either stainless steel or PVC materials, Leto said.

“Both materials are impervious to acid, and we’ve made the commitment to stock the product,” he said. “For the most part we can ship any products by the next business day, that’s critical when facilities need that system.”

The convenient size of the pillow also makes it easy to determine how many pillows a facility will need in order to fill their containment system. Systems can be laid out and installed in one day, Leto said.

“We started developing alternative energy market products when we realized that some of the government grants and initiatives were leaning more towards wind and solar,” Leto said. “We designed the Rescue products to facilitate our dealers who were interested in the containment systems and rack systems for those niche markets.”

In addition to back up power systems, battery racks can also be set up to store energy produced by wind or solar energy components.

Big box retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s have started to install standby systems as well, because in a crisis situation those stores need to stay open to provide the supplies and assistance individuals need, Leto said.

“Systems like these are going in everywhere, they are going to become more and more prevalent as new containment regulations are put in place,” Leto said.

Quick Cable is headquartered in Franksville, a suburb of Racine and has one other location in Canada, Leto said. The company has approximately 100 employees in the Franksville location and 35 in the office in Canada. Quick Cable is also trying to expand into Mexico and South America, Leto said.

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