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The Benefits of a Lithium-Ion Battery UPS
According to research by the Ponemon Institute, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failure is the No. 1 cause of unplanned data center outages. Not surprisingly, battery failure is the primary cause of UPS problems. Therefore, careful selection and maintenance of UPS batteries can go a long way toward preventing costly downtime.
Traditional UPSs use valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries, but they aren’t very efficient. A 1kg VRLA battery can only store about 25 watt-hours of electricity, and can only be discharged to about 50 percent before impacting performance.
Lithium-ion batteries represent a smarter choice for data center UPS applications. Although they cost more, they are far more efficient and better suited to the demands placed on UPSs in the data center.
Characteristics of UPS Applications
The role of the UPS is to provide a constant source of power for IT equipment when there are outages or fluctuations in the electric grid. This is known as “float” or standby use. In the typical data center environment, the load is transferred to the UPS infrequently, and the duration of most transfers is less than 10 minutes. However, the transferred load is typically high, so the battery needs to be fully charged and ready to go when needed.
Benefits of a Lithium-Ion UPS
Lithium-ion batteries have a very high energy density compared to other battery technologies. A 1kg lithium-ion battery can store 150 watt-hours of electricity — six times as much as a 1kg VRLA battery. Because of the lighter weight battery, lithium-ion UPSs have a significantly smaller footprint than their VRLA counterparts. That’s extremely valuable where space is at a premium, as in a data center.
Greater Depth of Discharge
A battery’s “depth of discharge” is the percentage of the overall capacity drained in a particular cycle. Many manufacturers will specify the maximum recommended depth of discharge for the optimal performance of the battery. Lithium-ion batteries have a depth of discharge of 85 percent or more, which means that a lithium-ion UPS has additional energy available per cycle.
“Cyclic life” refers to the number of charge/discharge cycles in a battery’s useful life. While cyclic life depends upon the depth of discharge, lithium-ion batteries can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles. What’s more, they have no memory effect, which means they do not have to be fully discharged before recharging. A longer lifecycle means that UPS batteries don’t have to be replaced as frequently.
“Efficiency” is the ratio of energy retrieved from a battery to the energy supplied to the battery. Most lithium-ion batteries have 95 percent or greater efficiency. A lithium-ion UPS operating at peak capacity can reduce energy losses in the data center compared to older technologies.
The Enconnex AC6000 Lithium-Ion UPS
Enconnex has developed a 6kW UPS that delivers all the benefits of lithium-ion technology. The AC6000 is 50 percent lighter than comparable VRLA UPSs and consumes just 2U of rack space. It offers six minutes of battery runtime at full load and 12 minutes of runtime at half load.
The AC6000 provides seven years of battery life, compared to three to five years for traditional VRLA batteries, and delivers almost 100 percent efficiency. What’s more, its peak shaving technology has the intelligence to regulate charge and discharge cycles based upon utility energy rates to further reduce energy costs.
Ready to take advantage of lithium-ion UPS technology? Contact Enconnex to discuss how the AC6000 can save time, money, and headaches while reducing the risk of downtime. Learn more about how the AC6000 can save time, money, and headaches while reducing the risk of downtime here!
Posted by Enconnex Team on October 30, 2020