The batteries most typically used in UPS applications are “sealed lead-acid” (SLA) batteries that are also known as “valve regulated lead-acid” (VRLA) batteries with a design life of either 5 or 10 years.
The battery’s design life assumes that the battery will be operated in a controlled (especially temperature) environment and will receive regular discharges and recharges. In the real world, UPS batteries are stored in environments that may or may not be temperature controlled and the discharges & recharges they receive will be determined by the reliability of the site’s mains power and not the battery designer.
The two biggest “killers” of UPS batteries are ripple voltage and temperature. Ripple voltage is determined by the design of the UPS rectifier/battery charger and is checked during UPS preventative maintenance. Temperature is determined by the site conditions and can have a dramatic effect on the useful working life of a battery. For example, if a 10 year life battery will last 8 years as 20°C it will last 4 years at 30°C and 2 years at 40°C.
Because UPS users understand that it is better to replace their UPS batteries six months early rather than one day too late, and assuming that the site ambient temperature is 20°C, 5 year design life batteries are typically replaced when they are 4 years old and 10 year design life batteries are typically replaced when they are 8 years old.
Old lead-acid batteries are classed as hazardous waste in the Hazardous Waste Regulations which came into force in July 2005 (replacing the Special Waste Regulations in England and Wales) because they contain corrosive materials such as sulphuric acid and heavy metals such lead. They can also be recycled which is important for sustainability. Centiel’s battery replacement service includes the removal from site and safe disposal of the batteries in accordance with The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 – England and Wales and, in Scotland, with The Special Waste Regulations 1996; The Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Regulation 2004; The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2011.
Centiel can supply and install new batteries in all brands of three phase and large single phase UPS.
For more information on how Centiel can help you with UPS battery replacements please contact Centiel.