Different Types of UPS Batteries: A Critical Component of Your UPS System

One of the most essential components in your vital power infrastructure is your UPS system, and the very heart of this system is the batteries. Although your UPS really needs them, quite often batteries are neglected. We will be going into more detail in the future on each kind of battery that you can use in a UPS system along with the pros and cons of each type. However, it is important to note that no matter what type of batteries you decide to use, all batteries’ abilities over time are reduced when it comes to their ability to deliver and store power. Even if you follow all of the guidelines for usage, maintenance, and storage, you will still need to replace your UPS batteries, such as the APCRBC113, according to schedule in order to get the best usage from your UPS system.

There are three major kinds of UPS batteries:

  • Lithium Ion batteries
  • VLA or Flooded Cell batteries
  • Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries.

Lithium Ion

This type of battery has matured greatly in its design for numerous uses, including for UPS storage and electric vehicles. The advantages that these batteries have include being lightweight and small. They have built-in battery management as well and not only monitoring. The battery manages cell voltage balance, voltage, and current, and also will adjust issues of over-temperature by disconnecting strings of batteries or singles one if the temperature increases over a safe level. Alarms can be sent to the UPS by the battery management and the battery cabinet monitor can also be notified. Lithium Ion batters have high discharge and charge times, and high recharge times as well. In non-traditional UPS applications that make them very attractive, such as for industrial process control support and grid sharing. In addition, the batteries have less expensive operational expense costs since they do not need to be replaced as frequently and are able to work in higher ambient temperatures.

Wet Cell or Flooded Batteries

VLA or flooded cell batteries are quite reliable. Also, they normally have a 20-year life. These batteries are made out of lead-based, thick plates that are flooded with electrolyte acid. Many more safety measures are necessary with the kind of battery compared to VRLA. They also need to have their own separate battery space since they do pose potential chemical hazards. Compared to other types of batteries they tend to have higher upfront expenses.

Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA)

This type of battery is what is found most often in today’s UPS units. Valve regulated is a term that relates to how the battery releases gas. When gas pressure gets too high inside of the battery, there is a valve that vents once the gas gets to a certain level of pressure. Water cannot be added to VRLA batteries. Therefore, battery life is reduced by factors increasing evaporation such as heat from the charging current and ambient temperature.

It is very important for you to have a good understanding of what all of your UPS battery options are, and the proper way to manage them, along with options for the actual machine.