UPS batteries have a forecasted lifespan of 3 to 5 years under recommended conditions. But what are these recommended conditions, and just how much do they affect the lifespan of your UPS battery? Maybe even more importantly, how do you make sure the life of your UPS itself is maximized?
Unit placement, temperature and cycling frequency are three factors that contribute heavily to UPS and battery life expectancies. Following some simple guidelines can help make sure you are getting the most out of your UPS, and maximizing your availability.
Unit Placement – The UPS should not be placed near open windows or areas that contain high amount of moisture; and the environment should be free of dust and corrosive fumes. The ventilation openings at the front, side, or rear of the unit must not be blocked in order to provide proper air circulation, and avoid over-heating.
Temperature – Most UPSs have a recommended operating temperature, typically from about 30°F to just over 100°F. However, while most users probably feel confident they will rarely if ever operate their UPS outside this temperate range, they may not realize that there is actually an optimal recommended temperature. A general rule to remember is that for approximately every 10°C (18°F) above the ambient temperature of 25°C (77°F), the life of the UPS and its battery will be reduced by 50 percent.
Cycling – When a power disruption occurs, the UPS will automatically switch to battery power to provide the attached equipment (load) energy. Once utility power has been restored the UPS battery will automatically recharge the battery to prepare for the next power outage, a process known as the discharge cycle. The more often discharge cycles occur, the quicker your battery will be depleted.
Cycling is a necessary and unavoidable part of UPS operation, however being aware of cycling frequency will help to notice abnormal / frequent cycling. Many UPS models are also adjustable, allowing the user to regulate the sensitivity to voltage sags and other transients to reduce ‘nuisance trips’ that unnecessarily consume battery capacity.
UPSs that last the longest, and provide the best performance are the units that are being provided the best management and care. Providing optimal oversight to your UPS should be simple; just make sure your plan is simple, consistent, and proactive in nature. If your battery is approaching the end of its usable life, and your UPS is less than 5 years old, consider exploring if your UPS is eligible for the Charge-UPS program; which provides a unique total refreshment package. An RBC purchased through the Charge-UPS program will provide an additional 1 year warranty on the entire UPS system, with replacement if a problem occurs.
Alternatively, if you are interested in purchasing in a new UPS system, consider utilizing our Trade-UPS™ program, which offers up to a 25% discount on a new UPS system when trading in your old UPS, regardless of manufacturer. For further discussion on prolonging the life of your UPS please refer to white paper 210, Single Phase UPS Management, Maintenance, and Lifecycle.