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In the Corner of UPS Battery Maintenance

  • Posted by QUS_admin
  • On August 23, 2018

BeQuality Uptime Services UPS Battery Maintenancefore we dig into the topic of UPS maintenance and asset management, we need first to bring up a topic that is uncomfortable for most.  No, don’t worry, we aren’t going to talk about politics or religion this month, but this one could cause a fight.

What I’m talking about is critical power downtime.

While you may have heard these facts, we think it is worth pointing out that in a recently updated Ponemon study, the undisputed downtime heavy-weight champion of all time is – ring the bell please – the data center’s UPS and battery system.  And of all those outages, it is the latter – your batteries – that are the primary source of a TKO.  Compounding this fact is another:  the average cost of downtime is on the rise, increasing 38% since the study began back in 2010.


Short of tearing out your infrastructure and throwing in the towel, what should you do?  The answer is simple and inexpensive:  have a solid plan to both monitor and maintain so that you can avoid premature UPS battery replacement.  Your monitoring system and service plan should be working in sync to combat the three most common battery issues:

Proper charging:  overcharging or undercharging your batteries can lead to their demise, and even pose safety concerns.  Overvoltage currents will create heat and cause gas emissions.  On the other hand, undercharging will reduce battery performance, lifecycle, and may cause a condition known as sulfation, the build-up of lead sulfate crystals in lead acid batteries.  This condition leads to a permanent loss of power and an increase in charging time.

Temperature regulation:  plan to keep your batteries well-ventilated, but also plan to make sure they are kept in an environment where they can enjoy a constant 77 deg. F temperature, plus or minus a few degrees.  Batteries lose approximately 1% capacity for every 1-2 deg. F they wander outside of the nominal storage guidelines, an issue when they are called to the ring in an emergency outage.  Although ambient temperature is important, intra-cabinet temperatures are key as well.  Batteries at the bottom of the rack will increase temperatures for those above, necessitating a change in the float voltage required for charging.

High cycling environment:  understanding the discharge frequency of your batteries is as important as understanding the load on your UPS.  Just as tracking load and growth is essential to knowing your capacity and ability to support a failure, so too is understanding the nature of the power in your location.  Too many spikes, surges, or micro-outages from the utility will decrease the life expectancy of your batteries.

Longer battery life leads to lower life cycle operating costs for your facility.  To make sure that your monitoring and maintenance are working in unison to protect your investment, look to the UPS maintenance and asset management experts at Quality Uptime Services to give your equipment a fighting chance.

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