5 Tips for UPS Battery Maintenance and Monitoring
1. Monitor UPS Batteries for Effective Emergency Back-Up
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a device that allows computers or computing devices to keep running for the time period between when the main power source is lost and when the alternative power source picks up. It also protects said devices from power surges. The UPS has a battery that kicks in when loss of power from the main source is detected. This battery acts as a secondary power source and allows the data on the computer or computing device to be saved before the battery gets discharged. These batteries that support the UPS should be monitored, possibly with remote monitors, to minimize your chances of power outage data loss and power surge equipment damage. (Learn more about Re-Tron’s inventory of UPS batteries.)
2. Maintain the Correct UPS Battery Ambient Temperature
The environment around the batteries is what dictates their life. Batteries cannot operate in an environment that is too hot or too cold because this compromises their ability to store and dissipate energy. The temperature recommendation from a manufacturer should strictly be followed. It is believed that increasing the upper limit temperature halves the lifespan of a battery every 10 degrees. If the effectiveness of one battery in the UPS battery stream is compromised, this presents a great risk in a data center’s downtime. Of all the causes of UPS failures, battery failure constitutes half of them. These make batteries the most vulnerable equipment in the UPS system, thus warranting high maintenance and monitoring.
3. Do Not Rely on UPS Battery Lifespan Claims: Monitor Batteries to Be Safe
It is important to monitor these batteries because they are critical for ensuring that uptime in a data center is always maintained. Batteries have a lifespan which is, in most cases, three times less than the lifespan claimed by manufacturers. A practice of monitoring these batteries closely will greatly reduce the frequency of costly downtime at data centers. Data center operators should, therefore, pay close attention to battery maintenance, among other equipment.
4. Reduce Fire Risk with Remote UPS Battery Monitoring
When monitoring battery performance, it is important to pay special attention to the temperature they contribute to a server room. These batteries could also be a fire hazard in the data center when lithium ion batteries are used. Such batteries are susceptible to fires because in their architecture, there is a middle layer coated in a flammable substance. The purpose of this layer is to ensure that there is efficient movement of ions in the battery, as this is what helps the battery dispense energy and store charge as well. To prevent a fire from breaking out, it is essential for data center operators to leverage room temperature monitoring solutions. When a battery begins to overheat, or malfunction, this can be easily detected through remote monitoring, and consequently, a fire is avoided.
5. Maintain UPS Batteries’ Float Voltage through Regular Maintenance
Another essential measure in battery maintenance is ensuring that they are charging as they should. Manufacturers list the float voltage of a battery and data center operators should ensure that this float voltage is adjusted as measured at the input of the battery string of the UPS. This ensures that there is enough voltage to charge the batteries with a value that is in the manufacturer’s specified range. These measures are performed to ensure that the downtime of a data center is not greatly compromised, as well as protect stored data.
If you have any questions about the above practices, or to discuss battery maintenance and monitoring at your facility, please contact Re-Tron’s expert battery service team at 201-969-3456. From our offices in northern New Jersey, we are easily able to service locations throughout the northeastern U.S. and we maintain a wide inventory of batteries to accommodate most battery applications.