Companies that use computers on a daily basis often hear the term “UPS” (uninterruptible power supply). Today, it is unthinkable that businesses that use critical loads such as computer servers or large external hard drives would not consider the possibility of power surges or outages.
The solution to these problems is an uninterruptible power supply, and although there are different types of UPS systems, the common denominator is the UPS battery. The battery is the most important component of a UPS system and is the last line of defense against electrical shock. Most UPS systems are not designed as a long-term backup power source but must provide enough time to safely shut down the system and avoid damage to critical consumers.
What are the most common types of batteries?
In most UPS systems, the most common type of battery is a sealed lead-acid battery with valve regulation. This is the product of choice with an excellent service life of 4 to 15 years. Even with this long service life, the batteries are usually checked as part of the annual maintenance of the system.
What influences the service life of a battery?
There are a number of factors that can influence the life of a battery. The factor that has the greatest impact on battery life is the ambient temperature of the room in which the battery is stored. Most batteries are designed to operate at an average temperature of 25°C, but an increase in temperature of about 5°C per year can cut the life of a battery in half.
The capacity of a battery also decreases with the frequency of use. If the battery is used frequently during a power outage, its ability to fully recharge decreases a little each time.
What protection do I need?
Because each critical load requires a different capacity, each installation needs expert advice on how many batteries will support the load during a power outage. It is not uncommon to need more than one battery, as most UPS systems use a battery system to increase reliability in the event of a power failure.
Maintenance and Disposal
As mentioned earlier, the batteries should be checked regularly for the state of charge and general condition. If the batteries need to be replaced in most systems, this can be done without any problem, without the need for a technician (but ask your supplier first).
UPS batteries contain a number of harmful chemicals, so proper disposal is very important. Many companies offer free recycling of batteries when they are replaced.
In the event of a power grid failure, the UPS system relies on an alternative power source to power the critical load, usually a lead-acid battery. These batteries are composed of multiple cells connected together to provide capacity and voltage for critical loads. Typically, six 2V batteries are connected in series to form a 12V unit. 2 V batteries are typically used for safety applications. They are typically open lead acid or valve regulated (VRLA) batteries. Dry batteries are a popular choice because they are more environmentally friendly and require less regular maintenance than other batteries.
There are three signs that a VRLA battery has been properly installed. The battery capacity must be determined and met with all relevant aspects considered. The customer must be aware of the factors that reduce the life of the battery and be able to successfully deal with them. A maintenance plan should be established and implemented, including regular checks.