Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems serve two main purposes: provide temporary backup power if the mains supply fails and protect electrical equipment from irregular power feeds such as spikes and surges.
UPS systems come in different sizes and specifications, but the core component in every unit is a battery. The batteries also vary in size and design to match various specs. When the UPS detects power loss, voltage spikes, surges or sags in the mains, it immediately switches the load to battery power. This maintains a consistent and safe power supply to the devices hooked up to the UPS.
Like all electrical devices, batteries have a finite lifespan. The charging and discharging processes naturally degrade a battery. So, the very act of using a battery gradually kills it until it can no longer hold a charge. When that happens, there is no other option but to replace the UPS battery.
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The battery is the most vital component of a UPS system. It determines how much load the UPS can handle and for how long. You can replace a UPS battery based either on its age or performance.
We’ve already established that batteries naturally degrade over time. Most UPSs use zero-maintenance nickel-cadmium, lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries with useful lifespans of between 3 to 5 years. The most durable ones can run for up to 7 years. Ideally, you should replace your battery every three or four years regardless of its performance.
A UPS battery may not necessarily reach its end of life to start losing charging capacity. Some UPSs make a beeping sound or flash a light to indicate a problem with the battery. But these are not entirely reliable. The best way to be sure about your UPS battery health is to run a load test. Pick a convenient time to cut power to a fully-loaded UPS and note the battery’s runtime.
Compare the actual runtime to the theoretical runtime the UPS should provide on the existing battery block and the given load. If the figure is off by a wide margin, then it's time you replaced the battery. Repeat this test regularly, depending on the UPS’ usage. Run a thorough check every couple of months to monitor the battery’s performance.
Every UPS model has a unique battery configuration and components layout. However, the basic battery replacement process is the same for all UPSs. When replacing a UPS battery, simply locate the old battery, remove it and install a new one. But it’s not always that straightforward. In some cases, you may have to disassemble the UPS or its storage compartment to access the battery. And you also have to know the right replacement battery to buy and how to install it properly. It’s best to leave this part to the experts.
Speaking of battery and UPS experts, UPS Solutions is here to solve all your UPS installation and UPS battery replacement and servicing problems. We’ve partnered with top world-class UPS manufacturers to bring unmatched quality UPS products and services across Australia, from Darwin to Adelaide. Contact us to learn more about our IT power solutions.While we have you, discover why we are the right UPS partner for your business. And check out some of our recent projects and the industries we proudly serve.