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.
As much as 65% of all UPS back-up system power failures are battery related. That’s a staggering number, but is easier to understand when you consider all the potential issues that can affect UPS batteries. Power anomalies, overheating, improper charging or low electrolyte levels for certain types of batteries can all cause serious issues for the UPS.
The second battery on our “get to know you” list is the Wet Cell, or Flooded Cell battery. UPS Systems are used in a variety of applications and, as a result, may require a wide variety of run time requirements or discharge characteristics. The battery cell is comprised of a hard plastic enclosure, typically Polycarbonate or Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) Plastic, lead plates and an electrolyte that allows the flow of current. Continue reading “Getting to Know Your UPS Batteries II- Wet Cell Batteries” »
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” »
When you think of power outages in this country, you generally think of weather related incidents and natural disasters – things like floods, fire, ice storms, heat waves and tornadoes.
It’s true, many power outages can be attributed to these events. However, believe it or not, many of the power outages that occur in the US are not the result of bad weather, but instead the result of squirrels and other small animals.
Yes, squirrels! And incidents seem to be on the rise. In fact, the number of incidents has significantly risen since we last touched on the squirrel issue in 2014. This squirrel problem is noteworthy enough that there is even a tongue-in-cheek website devoted to tracking power outages, or “cyber squirrel attacks” across the world: http://cybersquirrel1.com/ Even the Eaton Blackout Tracker lists animal related outages as causing 5% of all outages country-wide.
No one expects a UPS system to last forever. But when your mission-critical equipment must keep running, the obvious question is, “How long does a UPS last?” The answer lies in understanding the lifecycle of a UPS – in particular, its key components. Continue reading “How Long Does a UPS Last?” »