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Tips to Prolong the Life of Your UPS Battery

Increase the Life of Your UPS Battery

Tips to prolong the life of your uninterruptible power supply-UPS battery Single Server

The typical lifespan of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery is 3 to 5 years. This silent hardware is found in server rooms everywhere protecting data centers from electrical interruption downtime.

The type of load and conditions that the UPS battery has been put under will make a difference in how long it will continue to optimally perform. If the charge stays above 80% their lifetime and it doesn't experience many full drains, you can expect that they will last closer to the 4 to 5-year time frame.

If you have lost all power for extended periods of time, and the battery has had to empty to compensate for that, it may be a good idea to replace the unit after 3 years.

Placement of the UPS Unit

To provide power backup for the IT equipment in the room, consider where the UPS will be installed. The UPS should have sufficient space around it to allow for proper ventilation. As batteries charge, they give off heat. Heat not ventilated could cause a decrease in the operational lifespan of the battery. Take care to not block any ventilation openings on the unit. Do not place the UPS near windows or areas that contain a high amount of moisture. Keep the environment free of dust and corrosive fumes.

MK sealed-lead acid battery from Batteryheads.com. UPS battery backupMaintenance

While most UPS batteries are considered “maintenance-free”, that only refers to the fact that these batteries do not require any replacement fluid. They must still be maintained.

Having a defined maintenance and replacement schedule will help to prevent unanticipated downtime. Schedule testing and replace what fails. If software plays a role in monitoring or testing, be sure to keep up on software updates. You can manage some risk by stocking extra batteries on site, however, unused batteries will degrade over time.

Temperature

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends operating temperatures of IT equipment such as UPS batteries be between 68-77 F (20-25 C). A sealed battery will typically operate at 75-77 degrees F. (23-25 C) will help to maximize the life of the battery. While it will still continue to function in varied temperatures, this may result in a diminished performance and lifespan. Keep the unit at a comfortable temperature to ensure maximum UPS life and performance. The further you get from the recommended ambient temperature of 77 F (25 C) the more the life span will be decreased.

Cycling

The UPS will automatically switch to battery power when a power failure occurs. This will provide the attached equipment the required energy to function. Once the utility power has been restored to the equipment, the UPS battery will automatically recharge to prepare for the next power outage. Each discharge and subsequent recharge will slightly decrease the relative capacity of a battery.  Be aware of the frequency of cycling the UPS battery.

The UPS batteries that last the longest and provide the best performance are the units that received the best managements and care.  Make sure your plan is consistent, easy to follow, and proactive.

You may also enjoy Selecting and Installing your First UPS from TechRepublic and How to Find a Quality UPS Replacement Battery from Batteryheads.com.

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