UPS Batteries

UPS is an abbreviation for "uninterruptable power supply" or "uninterruptable power source." It is also known as a "battery/flywheel backup." A UPS provides emergency power to electrical equipment like computers and also much larger units powering entire buildings, when the mains power fails. A UPS also helps keep power surges at bay and also helps combat line noise.

A good battery is what supplies power to the UPS. For a UPS to be effective it is important that the correct UPS be connected to the equipment and the battery is in good working order. An old or poorly maintained battery will negatively affect the working of the UPS and can cause major damage in the event of a mains power failure. The most widely used UPS battery right now is VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid).

Lead acid batteries go through a natural degradation, which is usually around 5% per annum. Ideal working temperature and regular maintenance can help extend the working life of UPS batteries but even then, they will need to be replaced eventually.

Keeping UPS batteries charged is obviously important. However, it should be kept in mind that over charging can cause battery failures too. Over charging can lead to the batteries drying out. A high rate charging current causes gas pressure in the battery to increase. This in turn causes the electrolyte in the battery to escape via the relief valves and once escaped, the electrolyte can never be replaced.

In order to correctly charge UPS batteries, the battery charger must maintain a constant temperature of 25degrees centigrade. This results in a constant voltage, which is imperative to the proper charging of the UPS batteries.

Replacing UPS batteries is not costly at all. In general, a UPS battery should last anywhere from two to three years.

Usually, replacing a UPS battery costs around the same that it would to replace the entire UPS unit itself, so some people argue that it might be a better idea to get a new UPS rather than replacing the battery.

Disposal of used UPS batteries is an important issue. UPS batteries are after all, lead-based and can release toxic chemicals if not disposed of in a responsible manner. There are ethical ways by which UPS batteries can be safely disposed of and it is always best to choose the most environmentally friendly way of disposing them.

If your UPS battery is beyond being repaired by recharging, then it is time to replace it. A good idea is to trade in your old UPS battery for a new one. Licensed disposal retailers many a times offer a good discount on a new battery if you trade it in with an old one.

A licensed disposal company can assist you in recycling your old UPS battery by coming in to uninstall the battery themselves and taking it away for safe disposal. Keep in mind that some disposal companies charge for uninstalling an old battery and taking it away. Prices vary so shop around.