Replacing Lead-Acid UPS Batteries with Lithium-Ion Batteries

New Lithium-Ion Smart-UPS Products FAQs

You’ve heard of the impressive new Smart-UPS product line, but did you know that you can use lithium-ion batteries in your UPS too? The use of lithium-ion batteries brings many added features and benefits. Read on to hear what the UPS battery service and replacement experts at Facility Gateway Corporation have to say about this impressive new technology.

An Overview of Lithium-Ion Smart-UPS Products

If you’re tired of frequent battery replacements, have encountered unexpected battery failures noticed higher temperatures and runtime degradation overtime, or even if you’re just interested in lowering your total cost of UPS ownership, you may have considered lithium-ion Smart-UPS products.

How long do lithium-ion batteries last? Lithium-ion batteries have a life cycle of up to ten times that of a traditional sealed lead-acid battery. For lead-acid batteries, a typical life cycle is up to 500 cycles while for a lithium-ion battery used in a UPS, the typical life cycle can be up to 5,000 cycles. (For reference, a cycle refers to a full discharge and recharge.)

After a battery’s capacity at full charge reaches around 70%, you should replace the battery. Are lithium-ion batteries lighter? Yes, lithium-ion batteries are lighter, take up less space than traditional sealed lead-acid batteries, and are typically up to one third smaller overall.

Can you hot-swap a lithium-ion battery pack? Yes, you can hot-swap a lithium-battery pack in a single-phase UPS. You can even replace internal batteries while your UPS is still running in online mode.

Benefits of Switching to Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries save your company money and time, and lead to fewer risky situations during the Smart-UPS’ lifecycle, all while keeping run-times up. How exactly is this accomplished? Let’s explore the benefits lithium-ion batteries bring and their unique advantages over lead-acid batteries.

1. Lithium-Ion Batteries have a Higher Capacity than Lead-Acid Batteries. In fact, the exact number is almost double. Translation: when you switch from lead-acid to lithium-ion, you receive more power from a smaller, lighter unit.

2. Lithium-Ion Batteries are more Environmentally Friendly than Lead-Acid Batteries. Not only do lithium-ion batteries have an easier and more environmentally conscious disposal method, but they can even be recycled in some circumstances.

3. Lithium-Ion Batteries Cost less than Lead-Acid Batteries Long-Term. In terms of start-up costs or initial investment, it’s true that traditional sealed lead-acid batteries are a cheaper option as compared to lithium-ion. But keep in mind, lead-acid batteries require more frequent maintenance, creating an additional cost for you, and need to be replaced more quickly and more frequently. On the other hand, Lithium-ion batteries last longer, and require less preventative and responsive maintenance.  

4. Lithium-Ion Batteries Are More Efficient than Lead-Acid Batteries. Lithium-ion batteries simply store more power than their traditional sealed lead-acid counterparts. Your UPS will be run more efficiently when making the switch to lithium-ion. Lithium-ion batteries can use about 95% of stored energy from a single charge, while a lead-acid battery will only use about 80-85% of stored energy.

5. Lithium-Ion Batteries Charge More Quickly than Lead-Acid Batteries. Lithium-ion batteries charge more quickly, and they can handle a higher charge amperage than a traditional sealed lead-acid battery can. Why is this? Lead-acid batteries are rather limited in terms of handling a charging current. Faster charging lead-acid batteries mean overheating and low efficiency throughout the cycle.

Can You Safely Use Lithium-ion Batteries in a UPS?

Yes, you absolutely can safely use lithium-ion batteries in your uninterruptible power system. For example, Schneider Electric has been doing so successfully since 2013. Lithium-ion Smart-UPS products can offer features like a battery monitoring system (BMS). With this BMS, you can monitor and control the energy flow in the battery pack, utilize overvoltage and overtemperature protection at cell level, thermal runaway protection, overload and short circuit protection at pack level, and even harness a dedicated fuse within the battery pack.

How Can Lithium-Ion Smart-UPS Products be Replaced?

You can replace your traditional sealed lead-acid battery with lithium-ion batteries in your Smart-UPS products.  For a successful transition, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Make sure you check and replace the voltage on your battery bank. A low charge will not provide the power you need, but a very high charge can lead to damage of your new lithium-ion battery. A happy medium is best!

2. Immediately set your Battery Monitoring System (BMS) to “AH.” This produces the most reliable reading. Most Smart-UPS are designed for a drop-in swap, but you’re better off here. Make sure you check your connections.

Could You use UPS Battery Service and Replacement Help from Trusted Experts?

As the “heart” of any UPS system, batteries are the source of emergency power in the event of a power loss. During a utility power failure, the UPS batteries must support the connected load to prevent catastrophic outcomes, from data loss and business disruption to injuries. That’s why proactive maintenance and replacement of UPS batteries is crucial. We recommend replacement every 3-5 years of all UPS batteries - your UPS may have more than one!

At Facility Gateway, our experts in battery service are here to keep your business running 24/7/365. We offer a wide variety of UPS battery service and replacement options for all uninterruptable power systems. Our experts understand the importance of proper UPS battery maintenance and replacement, not to mention the technical requirements needed to install and recycle any string of batteries.

Contact Facility Gateway Corporation (FGC) at any time at 866-255-6030 for UPS & battery service needs, or call our U.S. based National Operating Center’s emergency line at 866-432-1711 that is staffed 24/7. Let us be your partner for all mission critical equipment services. To speak with one of our experts directly, we invite you to contact us via our online contact form, or start a chat with our team in the chat feature at the bottom right corner of this page!

Posted on

February 28, 2022


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