The UPS system is one of the vital components in power and IT infrastructure. The system, however, depends on one main component to function well: the battery. Without the battery, the UPS system wouldn’t be able to keep your devices and appliances powered up after a power blackout. Nevertheless, many people still do not have the batteries serviced or cared for, thus reducing efficiency over time. However, you need to have an idea of the type of batteries installed in your UPS system before taking on any servicing and maintenance. While each type has its benefits and disadvantages, the battery’s efficiency declines over time. Following the manufacturer’s support and usage recommendations should however help them last much longer. Although you’ll have to replace the batteries at some point, they will have served their purpose very well. Outlined below are the 3 most commonly used cells in UPS systems:
- Flooded Cell or VLA Batteries
- Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Batteries
- Lithium-Ion Batteries.
1. Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Batteries
This is the most commonly used battery in many UPS units today. The valve system helps regulate how gas is released from the battery from frequent charging and discharging. The valve, however, only opens when a certain pressure is reached within the battery. Its form and build eliminate the need to add water if the water level is too low. While this may be an advantage based on its application, external factors that contribute to increased evaporation such as heat from charging the battery, ambient temperature, among others, reduce the efficiency and life of the battery.
2. Wet/Flooded Cells
This type of cells, commonly known as VLA batteries, can last up to 20 years without losing their efficiency. These batteries are made of thick, lead-based plates covered with electrolyte acid, hence the term wet cells. Unlike the VRLA batteries, wet cells call for regular maintenance, and are expensive too. Strict safety measures also have to be adhered to when using these batteries. For instance, the UPS and the batteries have to be kept in a separate room – to reduce chemical hazards that come with using acids.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most evolved of all in this sector. They are widely used in many applications, including smartphones, laptops, electric cars, and UPS as well. Among other reasons, lithium-ion batteries are considerably lightweight and small in size – they can be designed to suit various uses and applications. Lithium batteries also come with built-in battery management features such as charge current, voltage, voltage battery, and the ability to disconnect in case of temperature issues. These batteries are known to have higher charge and discharge cycles, as well as recharge times. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly preferred in industrial process control and grid sharing. Many people today prefer lithium batteries for the UPS systems, for they don’t have to be replaced often and have a lower operational cost.
Understanding the type of battery installed in your UPS makes maintenance much easier. Take a look at the range available from the UPS Battery Shop.