lithium-ion batteries for UPS

The Benefits of Using Lithium-Ion Batteries With Your Uninterruptible Power Supply

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices protect hardware during a power failure using a battery backup. A popular battery backup option offered by many battery suppliers is lithium-ion batteries. 

What is a lithium-ion battery?

Also known as an Li-ion battery, lithium-ion is a rechargeable battery which is used in many modern devices such as laptops, cellphones, smart devices and UPS devices. In the case of a UPS device – or ‘battery backup’ – the lithium-ion batteries will be charged when power is available and, when there is a drop or surge in power, the UPS will ensure a consistent flow of power to the hardware.

What are the benefits of lithium-ion batteries?

There are many types of batteries available – both rechargeable and non-rechargeable – but lithium-ion is fast becoming the preferred battery for UPS devices, replacing the valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries. 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-ion battery can weigh up to 80 percent less – making it 50 percent smaller overall. When it comes to large-scale UPS systems, the size of the battery backup is increasingly relevant as it will minimise the amount of real estate needed for storage. As battery suppliers will argue, this provides clients with more flexibility with regards to system installations, as well as cost savings on space. 

2. Lifespan of the battery backup

Both a lithium-ion battery and a UPS device should last 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. No ventilation requirements 

Traditional VRLA-based battery backups need ventilation to remove the hydrogen exhaust, which means they are housed separately from the UPS. This results in a longer connection and bigger space requirements. With a lithium-ion battery backup, there is no need for ventilation and excess space. 

4. More energy for battery backup

Despite the smaller size and lower mass, lithium-ion batteries deliver the same amount of power as VRLA batteries, so you’re not having to compromise less space for less energy. 

5. Less sensitive to temperature changes

Many battery backups are affected by fluctuations in temperature, with traditional VRLA battery life reduced by half for every 10°C increase over 25°C. However, lithium-ion batteries are much less sensitive, with almost no impact on battery life when there is a spike in temperatures. 

6. Lower carbon footprint

The lithium-ion battery is recyclable and does not contain hazardous materials, such as lead. In addition, the enhanced lifespan and reduced energy needed to power these batteries makes them a much ‘greener’ battery option.  

While there are certainly some disadvantages associated with lithium-ion for battery backups – such as initial cost – there are so many 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-ion batteries are a viable option for your UPS device needs, particularly if you are looking to upgrade.

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