Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices protect hardware during a power failure using a battery backup. One of the battery backup options offered is lithium-ion.
What is a lithium battery?
Also known as Li-ion battery, it is a rechargeable battery which is used in many modern portable devices such as laptops, cell phones, smart devices etc. In the case of a ‘battery backup’ – the lithium battery will be charged when mains power is available and, when there is a drop or surge in power, the back device will ensure a consistent flow of power to the hardware.
What are the benefits of lithium batteries?
There are many types of batteries available – both rechargeable and non-rechargeable – but lithium is becoming a popular option for domestic & industrial application inverters, replacing the valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) type of battery. Here are some of the benefits associated with this particular battery type:
1. Size of the battery backup
Compared with the previously dominant VRLA battery, the lithium battery can weigh up to 80 percent less – making it 50 percent smaller overall for the same power output. When it comes to large-scale UPS systems, the size of the battery backup is increasingly relevant as it will minimise the amount of space needed for storage.
2. Lifespan of the battery backup
Both a lithium battery and a UPS device should have a design life in the region of 10 to 15 years, which means you will not have to replace the battery before replacing the device. This, once again, cuts down on costs and also greatly reduces the risk of potential downtime or an interrupted connection.
3. More energy for battery backup
Despite the smaller size and lower mass, lithium batteries deliver the same amount of power as VRLA batteries, so you do not have to compromise less space for less energy.
4. Improved cycle life
The cycle life of a battery determines the usable life span of a battery. Lithium batteries by nature of design have an inherent long cycle life. By definition, cycle life is the amount of full cycles a battery can deliver before reaching the end of its cycle life.
5. Controlled charge circuitry
Lithium batteries require controlled charging and monitoring and this is achieved by the use of an integrated battery management system. This will communicate with the backup power supply charging circuit to regulate accordingly improving battery capacity and life span.
While there are certainly some disadvantages associated with lithium battery backups – such as initial cost – there are cost-savings in the long run that the initial capital is quickly recovered. It is worth consulting with a reputable battery supplier to discover whether lithium batteries are a viable solution for your back up power needs, particularly if you are looking to upgrade your system.
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