The battery in a UPS system is its most valuable – and most vulnerable – component. The battery is the part that picks up the slack if you lose power from your electric utility. It keeps your equipment online until you can safely ramp down, or regular service is restored.
It’s critical to know when the system was last serviced and especially when UPS battery replacement was performed. Batteries can lose effectiveness over time even under light use.
What Kind of Batteries Does a UPS System Use?
A UPS can use several types of batteries.
Three kinds dominate the market:
Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid Battery (VRLA)
The most common UPS batteries are lead-acid batteries, used thanks to high efficiency, low costs, and resistance to environmental factors. This type of battery safely vents gas from the system if the internal pressure of any battery unit becomes too high.
Water can’t be used as a coolant in a VRLA setup. With that in mind, its placement and environment are keys to extending its service life. A VRLA battery should be stored at room temperature in a dry location, preferably with automated climate control.
UPS Battery Replacement: Optimally, once every three years; up to once every five years.
Flooded Cell (VLA) Batteries
Flooded cell batteries are more reliable than VRLA batteries. Because the battery unit is flooded with hazardous acid, it must be contained in its own battery room. Upfront costs and difficulty handling VLA batteries have made them less popular in recent years.
UPS Battery Replacement: Once every 15 years with a maximum lifespan around 20 years.
Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium ion batteries are used in a wide variety of technologies, including many electronics. In effect, they are a more advanced version of the household batteries you probably have stashed away in your kitchen. As a UPS solution, they remain small and lightweight.
Lithium ion storage capacity has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. These batteries can last hours – they even power electric cars. From a UPS perspective, they are unusual for their internal management of charge current, voltage, and other factors that raise efficiency.
A lithium ion battery can send UPS alarms and notify the battery cabinet monitor if internal conditions aren’t as they should be. Heat sensitivity is lower and units last longer.
UPS Battery Replacement: Varies based on application.
For expert UPS battery replacement, contact Nite & Day Power.