UPS power supplies ensure the computer keeps running in case the primary power source is lost or is unstable – enabled by a connection using cables. Combined with a cooling server rack, the normal home UPS battery backup is a small, compact unit from a high-drain power cell that’s rechargeable after use. However, the specifics and features of a UPS greatly depend on its power capacity and its intended use.
Earlier, this system was mostly made of a lead-acid (VRLA) battery. Recently, improvements are featuring in the lithium-ion technology and thus Li-ion cells are becoming major components of the current UPS systems.
The lead-acid batteries or VRLA are amazingly efficient and highly reliable. Their ability to supply power is superb and last a bit long – about 5 years. Its name suggests some of its components. The ‘VR’ in full stands for valve regulated. What does this mean? VRLA batteries have automated vent systems within them that prevent gas buildup in some points within the battery during the battery charge-drain cycle. The internal pressure sensors are responsible for initiating this function and to work out perfectly the battery needs to be in a dry environment with some optimal temperature, which can be maintained by a heating system.
Li-ion UPS batteries are a bit different. They’re light and more compact. Within them, they boast several power control features like the advanced charge and voltage balancing that’s necessary for booting. Some brands of Li-ion battery are a bit more long-lasting as compared to the lead-acid batteries meaning that for longer periods they are as well economical. UPS units from LI-ion batteries are a bit expensive to produce and thus their price is terrific and this means a VRLA-based unit is quite cheap.
Isn’t that enough? There is another greater and better option of the UPS batteries – the ‘wet/flooded cell’ in other words the VLA types. Generally, these specific types of UPS systems are highly unavailable since their usage and environments are more specific. Again they have a different and unique chemical composition and thus can be hazardous. For safety, they should be placed in safe battery storage rooms. Maintaining them is also demanding since the need to top up their distilled water levels is an often task and monitoring their equalisation and calibration data is inevitable.
Though these features make VLA batteries unreliable for use in many homes and offices, wet cells are highly advantageous in their specific areas of use. For example in the long-scale server centres, none can compete with them due to their incomparable stability and reliability, which matters most ahead of convenience.
Features of UPS Batteries
Apart from the battery and in-built elements, UPS power supplies have a variety of other useful features. However, this depends on the model type and total cost of the unit. Additional elements include:
- Management card slots and more data-reading abilities;
- Supreme on-board performance monitoring software;
- Graphical calibration interfaces;
- Deep discharge, power surge and the low voltage – temperature protection;
- LCD and OLED screens for display and panels that allow users to read through;
- A wide number of power sockets and outlets;
- Lots of connectivity and external hardware Input and output expander;
- Several IP ratings;
- ‘Hot exchangeable’ battery replacement or live UPS maintenance options.