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Battery Management

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Organizations can utilize a variety of deployment options, technologies and services to increase the reliability of their power protection solution. Here are some of the most effective ones.

Redundant Deployment Architectures

Deploying UPSs in redundant groups can increase availability by ensuring that critical loads remain protected even if one or more UPSs fail. There are three main kinds of redundant UPS architecture:

Zone – In a zone architecture, one or more UPSs provide dedicated support for a specific set of data center resources. That way if a UPS fails during a power outage, the impact is limited to the zone that device supports.
Serial –  In a serial architecture, multiple UPSs are connected end to end such that if any one UPS in the string fails, the others can compensate automatically.
Parallel – Parallel architectures use multiple independent parallel-connected UPSs to achieve increased redundancy. If any UPS fails completely, the other systems can keep protected information technology equipment (ITE) loads operational.

Hot-swappable components – Technicians can repair or administer a UPS that uses hot-swappable components without powering the UPS down, thereby exposing IT equipment to decreased risk of downtime.

Extending battery runtime – A typical UPS battery provides five to 15 minutes of backup power. Organizations that need more than that can use supplemental external battery modules or cabinets to add as much as several hours of emergency runtime at full load.

Battery management – One of the most important parts of the UPS system is the energy storage system, which is typically a battery. Many UPS systems continually “trickle-charge” the battery, which has a tendency to degrade the battery’s internal chemical composition, reducing battery service life.

While large banks of flooded electrolyte batteries for high power (greater than 500kVA) UPS systems need to have the battery trickle charged, most non-spillable (VRLA) batteries used in today’s lower kVA UPSs can benefit from a charging technique where the charger turns off and “rests” the battery.

Some manufacturers have labeled this charging technique as Advanced Battery Management.

This technique helps increase battery service life by as much as 50 percent.

Batteries utilizing this battery management technology last longer and are more reliable thanks to the UPS system’s three-stage charging technique, sophisticated sensing circuitry and an automated battery test routine that notifies the end user of deteriorating battery conditions that warrant replacement.

Remote monitoring – The best way to address UPS problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Remote UPS monitoring applications continually watch for warning signs of future trouble, such as deteriorating performance or an overheating battery, and send real-time notification when potential issues develop.

That enables technicians to make repairs before serious breakdowns have a chance to occur. Data centers can perform remote monitoring themselves or contract with an external provider to do it for them.

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