The most important part of your critical power infrastructure is your UPS system, and for the UPS, the most integral components are the batteries. Many times, the batteries are not prioritised, though they are the heartbeat of your UPS. In the coming weeks, we will discuss in detail each kind of battery that a UPS system can utilise, and highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each kind. It should still be noted that all batteries deteriorate as time progresses leading to reduced storage and delivery capabilities. But, if you stick to storage, servicing, and usage guidelines, eventually you will need to change the UPS batteries at a particular date to optimise the performance of your UPS.
There are 3 major kinds of UPS batteries:
- Lithium Ion batteries
- Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries
- Flooded Cell or VLA batteries.
Lithium Ion batteries have advanced greatly in their specifications for a variety of uses, such as being included in electric cars and, as expected, in UPS storage. They are lightweight and small in size which serves as a major advantage, and also they feature inbuilt battery management capabilities that exceed monitoring alone. This feature handles voltage, charge current, balance in cell voltage, and also regulates for conditions of extreme temperatures, cutting the connection to strings or single batteries if temperatures increase to unsafe levels. The battery control can communicate alarms on the UPS and also report to the battery cabinet monitor. Also, the charge, recharge, and discharge durations of lithium ion batteries are high. This property makes them ideal for non-traditional UPS uses, such as industrial process management support and grid sharing. Since these batteries can function at higher ambient temperatures and can last for a long time without a replacement they offer lower operational overheads.
Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA)
This kind of battery predominates in present-day UPS units. “Valve regulated” is used to denote the mechanism that is used to release gas from the battery. If gas pressure increases to a very high level in the battery, a valve will release the gas when it attains a given pressure level. VRLA batteries do not support water addition, so determinants that enhance evaporation such as heat due to charging and ambient temperature negatively impact battery life.
Flooded, or Wet Cell
This kind normally has a lifespan of about 20 years and is very reliable. The battery is made up of broad, lead plates that are submerged in electrolyte acid. This battery requires additional safety safeguards when contrasted to the VRLA. Also, they demand a separate battery area since they can pose dangerous chemical harms. Lastly, these batteries require a larger initial investment than the other kinds.
Just like you know all the alternatives of your machine itself, it is vital to know your UPS battery choices, and how to control and handle them. You can find out more from Source UPS.