Also referred to as a backup battery, an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) generates backup power every time the primary power source fails to deliver energy or when the voltage output falls below a level that is the minimum amount of energy required to power a device. The best UPS batteries ensure the safe powering down of electronic equipment.
UPS batteries fulfill a few different purposes, with standby being the most common reason to use a UPA battery. In standby mode, a UPS battery converts the power system to a backup power supply whenever a typical power shortage occurs. Typical power shortage scenarios include blackouts and voltage surges. A UPS battery changes to DC power, before quickly switching over to AC power to provide energy for every piece of connected equipment.
To get the most out of a UPS battery, you should perform regularly scheduled maintenance, as well as conduct tests to ensure the battery operates at the highest level.
UPS Battery Maintenance
Some manufacturers produce what are called maintenance free UPS batteries, which means the batteries do not need replacement fluid. However, the label maintenance free is a bit misleading, as UPS batteries require regularly scheduled maintenance. Without maintenance, a UPS battery can perform at a less than optimal level. Proper maintenance extends the life of a UPS battery.
One of the most important maintenance tasks involves testing the battery strings to detect loose connections or discover one or more strings that have started to corrode. Professionally trained technicians should inspect UPS batteries, as well as the racks or cabinets, for signs of corrosion. Frequently cited signs of corrosion include the leaking of UPS battery fluid. Technicians will check electrolyte levels and the gravity readings taken from each battery cell.
Here some other common UPS battery maintenance tasks:
- Clean battery tops
- Torque every connection
- Add water, if needed
UPS Battery Testing
With a steady state UPS battery test, you will receive data about every input and output measurement at 0%, 50%, and 100% loads. You should test the following criteria:
- Input voltage
- Output voltage
- Input current
- Output current
- Output frequency
- Input current balance
- Output voltage regulation
Analysis of the seven readings should determine whether all of the seven criteria share in distributing the load equally.
Harmony in Power Generation
Called the harmonic analysis, this test closely monitors the input and output numbers for a UPS battery. The test reveals the efficiency of both the input and output filters. Virtually every UPS battery manufacturer designs the backup batter power source to achieve the highest efficiency at a full load.
Here are a few other tests to perform:
- Measure cell gravities
- Measure cell temperatures
- Measure overall battery temperature
- Measure chargers
- Measure rectifiers
- Measure the temperature of the room
- Measure connection resistance
- Measure internal readings
- Measure float voltage readings
Accurately measuring the different operational components of a UPS battery is an essential part of maintaining the battery’s superior performance. However, you also have to establish a record keeping system that is both easily accessible and protected from any type of data interference mechanism.