The best approach to ensuring the ongoing health of your uninterruptible power system (UPS) batteries is to heed the advice popularized by the Boy Scouts of America — be prepared. One merit badge that is essential to complete: Requesting a battery replacement proposal from a qualified UPS service provider.
Most people understand that batteries are the heart of any UPS. Yet they also are the most common cause of UPS failure; research shows that up to 20 percent of all UPS failures can be attributed to bad batteries. Under optimal operating conditions, most VRLA batteries have a maximum life expectancy of five years. Yet these batteries can fail much faster in less ideal environments, such as those that don’t maintain an ambient temperature of 77°F, or where recurrent power problems cause batteries to cycle frequently. Battery life can also be significantly reduced if an organization doesn’t engage in regular service and maintenance, which are essential to ensuring ongoing UPS reliability.
However, even UPS batteries that are well cared for will nonetheless require replacement at some point. This is due to the fact that they are electrochemical energy storage devices that convert chemical energy into the electrical energy UPSs use to operate, and over time the chemicals deplete.
Being prepared means thinking ahead. Don’t wait until your UPS batteries hit their fifth birthday to start preparing for their replacement. Instead, begin requesting replacement quotes as batteries are approaching their fourth year. This way you have one or more proposals on hand when the time arrives. In addition, track UPS preventive maintenance calls and take the time to read service reports closely. If there are any possible impending signs of failure, take steps to replace the batteries right away.
Regardless of your current UPS maintenance provider, consider requesting a battery replacement proposal from Unified Power and share it with your management for review and budgets. Once the proposal is shared with management, the decision to move forward is now in their hands. It is no longer your responsibility if the unit is compromised due to battery failure. And if you aren’t currently engaging in regular service with a preferred maintenance provider, now is the perfect time to consider protecting your equipment — and your overall organization — with a UPS maintenance contract. You’ll not only receive an update on the overall health of your unit and its batteries, but when replacement time arrives, you’ll already have an established relationship with a provider you trust and who has worked on your equipment.
If you are working with Unified Power, please reach out to your account manager, as they can review your last PM/service report with you and discuss what to expect in the future. Being prepared has never been so easy!
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