Your UPS system is one of the most crucial components in your critical power infrastructure, and for your UPS, the batteries are really the “heart” of that system. Even though your UPS needs that heart, batteries are often neglected. We’ll go into more detail about each type of battery that can be used in a UPS system and the advantages and disadvantages for each type. It should be noted though, that regardless of the batteries you choose, all batteries decrease in their ability to store and deliver power over time. However, if you follow all guidelines for storage, maintenance and usage, eventually you will still have to replace UPS batteries on a schedule to get the best usage out of your UPS.
We are all familiar with going to the doctor to get a check up on our health. At the end of our visit, we typically receive a summary of what the doctor discussed with us, any tests they did, and recommendations they have for us related to those test results. A field service report (FSR) for your UPS system maintenance is similar to a health check for the unit, giving information on the condition and reliability of the UPS. Most UPS field service reports should include the unit information and location, a job description of what is being inspected, what actions were performed and their results, and the recommendations as the result of the job. In the coming weeks, we will break down a UPS service report and cover some of the main items that you should look for.
Now that we have a better idea of our UPS battery options from our previous article, we can take a look at these options individually in more depth. We will start with the most popular option currently, the VRLA UPS battery.
VRLA, or Valve Regulated Lead Acid UPS batteries, are also sometimes called “maintenance free” batteries. This term is a misnomer, as VRLA batteries still require cleaning and regular functional testing. The term “maintenance free” comes from the fact that you are not able to add fluid to the battery. The term “valve regulated “means these batteries limit the inflow and outflow of gas to the cell.
In a standard UPS configuration, VRLA batteries are typically set up in internal or external strings that can range from 1 to 40 batteries, depending on the application they are being used for. You may also see either single or multiple strings running in parallel to each other.
VRLA batteries are the most popular UPS battery type currently. Why the popularity? There are four easy reasons: Continue reading “Getting to Know Your UPS Batteries: VRLA” »
We previously discussed what you should look for when reviewing a proper service contract for emergency back-up power systems maintenance. When you hire a qualified firm to perform maintenance inspections on your equipment, you need to have total confidence in that firm’s level of knowledge and level of execution of inspection and testing. But how do you know what is most important to look for when that firm shows up at your office, ready to perform maintenance? We will briefly discuss what you should be looking for, and also what to watch out for with these inspections. Please be aware that this is an abbreviated list and should not be considered comprehensive.
You are feeling good about your negotiations with your new service provider. The discussions about your equipment have been excellent, and your rep really seems to understand your needs. You have a service contract in hand and are ready to sign.
Before you put pen to paper sealing the deal, it is very important to review your service contract carefully before moving ahead. While you think you know what your costs will be for services, you need to beware of potential “hidden costs” that can trip you up and cause headaches in the future. Here are some things to look out for when you are doing that review: Continue reading “The Hidden Costs of Your Service Provider” »
For many companies, we get caught up in the cost of a UPS system purchase and installation. However, the real cost for most UPS systems happens after the unit is installed. We’ve covered the lifecycle of a UPS before, but it is worth repeating. The main driving factors in the cost of a UPS system include the efficiency of the unit, battery replacements and the ongoing cost of maintenance agreements.
When we install a new UPS system, we often are asked the question, “How long will my UPS system last?” While this may seem like a simple question, the answer is not always as clear.
For some facilities, selecting the manufacturer’s service team as your UPS service provider might make sense, but for most facility managers, power solutions extend beyond just the UPS unit. Consider these three reasons why going with the manufacturer might not be the right move. Continue reading “Three Ways to Choose the Best UPS Service Provider” »