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Choosing the Right Battery for UPS


Today’s data centres depend on uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to provide clean, continuous power throughout the facility’s entire operational life. While the mains supply is available, the UPS protects the data centre’s sensitive information and communication technology (ICT) equipment from electrical noise and any other power aberrations that may appear on the incoming power feed. If the supply fails, then the UPS battery must take over instantly and use its stored energy to support the load until either the mains is restored, or a generator can be started, or the data centre systems can be shut down safely.

A UPS battery’s ability to store energy reliably and efficiently during normal operation, making it immediately available to the load during a mains failure, is critical to data centre security. Accordingly, in this article, Mark Coughlin, Applications Manager for Reserve Power at EnerSys® reviews the key battery technologies currently available, to inform commercial and technical specifiers responsible for battery selection.

The article starts by looking at how data centre evolution is affecting the demands placed on batteries. It then compares Lead-Acid, the pre-dominant battery chemistry used within data centres, with alternative technologies, in particular Lithium-ion (Li-ion), which has been generated rising interest in recent years. Finally, it examines why data centre operators should consider advanced Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology to optimise the performance of their UPS and power systems.