5 Tricks To Maintain and Extend The Life Of UPS Batteries
At its most basic, an uninterruptible power supply or UPS system is a battery backup power system that supplies power to protect critical loads from power interruptions, such as brownouts, power outages, spikes, and fluctuations. In case of a blackout or power outage, the UPS switches immediately to battery power to allow devices to power down sensitive computer systems, servers, and even game consoles without risking data loss or damage. Allowing a computer system to shut down properly also helps avoid damage to hardware caused by voltage spikes and overcurrent.
A UPS system also prevents data loss or corruption because a UPS allows the controlled shutdown of a computer system. Also, it ensures that a network and other applications are available while avoiding downtime when used in conjunction with a power generator. Just like investing in cybersecurity measures, such as anti-virus software and port blockers, buying a sound UPS system is necessary to keep your computer running smoothly and optimally for a long time.
When choosing a UPS, keep in mind that its capacity has to be large enough to support all of the equipment you need to plug into it. The higher the capacity, which is measured in watts, the more electronic devices a UPS system can support. So, it would help if you calculated the load to find a UPS with enough capacity. Generally, a suitable power supply should have a 20-25% capacity higher than the total load.
Once you’ve found a UPS that perfectly suits your needs, the next step you need to take is to maintain it and extend the life of its batteries.
1. Test the batteries frequently
Most UPS in the market nowadays use nickel-cadmium, lead-acid, or lithium batteries. Each one offers its own set of pros and cons. However, all of them will degrade, reducing their performance. This is why it’s essential to carry out frequent battery testing for charge and other parameters.
Run the impedance test by administering an AC signal and measuring the voltage loss across the length of the battery. This calculates the impedance, which is the degree of voltage loss, using Ohm’s law. So, when there is more impedance, the battery has a lower capacity, which means that it needs to be replaced.
2. Ensure the batteries are within the recommended temperature range
In order for ions to move through the battery, batteries must have an optimum temperature range. If the temperature falls below or above the battery’s respective range, it can result in a lack of voltage, subpar battery performance, and internal cell structural destruction.
The recommended ranges for different battery types are:
- Lead-acid – 20-25◦C
- Nickel-cadmium – 0-30◦C
- Lithium-ion – 15-35◦C
3. Minimise the number of discharge cycles
UPS systems come with instructions from the battery manufacturer to tell you how often you need to charge and discharge them before they lose some of their power. The majority of the batteries have a fixed lifetime of 500 cycles. Over time, the lithium dendrites, which are metallic microstructures, will seep out, causing short circuit currents that reduce the batteries’ capacity even when fully charged.
To extend the life of your UPS batteries, make sure to minimise the number of times the cells will discharge. While most cells only discharge during blackouts, cabling issues like water damage can cause batteries to wear out faster. If this happens a lot, you might need to have an expert look into it to fix the problem.
4. Install power-saving devices
Aside from using a UPS system to back up your power supply during power outages, it’s also essential to use energy-saving equipment to lower the draw on the batteries. LED lights, for example, help reduce the burden on your UPS batteries during blackouts because these lighting options use less energy. Additionally, you can opt for UPS devices with power-saving features to prolong the life of your equipment.
5. Store replacement batteries with care
If you have an older UPS device, it’s wise to keep spare batteries in hand. This is especially true if you operate full-time. Just like ensuring that your UPS system is kept in a cool, dry place, battery replacements must also be stored with care. Aside from that, replacements must not be kept stored and unused for more than 12 months, as this can cause permanent loss of capacity.
Overall, the life of your UPS batteries depends on storage, temperature, cycling frequency, and maintenance. Keep all these tips in mind to make the most of your UPS device.
DBR Systems is a highly recommended supplier of UPS devices, which you can shop for in our online store here. We can also supply you with cables and adapters, ink bottles, toner cartridges, and ink cartridges. We are the only one-stop source for all your IT-related peripherals, including physical cybersecurity like products like Lindy USB port blockers in Singapore. So, if you are looking to buy ink cartridges online in Singapore, DBR Systems is your best bet.