Lithium Ion UPS Batteries

This morning I received an email from a supplier – extolling the benefits of Lithium Ion UPS batteries.

It cites some very valid points regarding how they are considerably lighter (floor weight, delivery, servicing, fitting are all concerns). Anyone who has ever slid a tray of batteries out of a rack mount UPS and pulled that “oh my” in surprise face will appreciate this – or indeed been ‘judo thrown’ my trying to lay one down on its side without appreciating the mass in play will understand this.

It cites how they are less affected by a warm environment – so their expected lifespan* can be longer than stock VRLA** batteries. While closely packed in racks – one would hope they were in a temperature monitored and maintained environment none the less.

Okay – it goes on to say this is all in relation to in-rack, home, office, “smart” solutions as opposed to single site three-phased or modular units – but none the less… it feels like there is a decided elephant in the room…. you know – the thermal runaway issues – or burn and explode nature of damaged or faulty lithium-based batteries?

On the basis of mentioning “I got an email about lithium-ion based UPS batteries” to three engineers, and the three responses I got were “flames!” “nasty” “burn!”.

So yeah – let’s talk about the main benefits of the VRLA battery – while they are melty and acid – generally flames are minimal… and peoples reactions are not one of horror.

Here is to understanding, here is to embracing the tried and tested.

* For reference – our on site VRLA / sealed batteries have a 10 year warranty, and are in their ninth year, operational, with replacement due soon. Three to five indeed. Tsk tsk.

** VRLA – Valve Regulated Lead Acid – or Sealed lead acid battery … or glass mat, or gel battery – something that is less fussed about its orientation and a lot less “sloshy burny”.

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