Specifying an industrial UPS solution is a lot about balancing aspects such as a performance, safety, and cost. It isn’t uncommon for some business owners to place excessive emphasis on cost, without focusing on the safety aspect. Ignoring the latter can only increase the risk to the people that work around that equipment, as well as the property itself.
An incorrectly configured battery system can develop a number of problems such as acid and/or chemical leakage, fire, excessive hydrogen gas emission and thermal runaway etc. Specifying and properly configuring battery systems can, however, be quite a tricky task. Any kind of mistakes in configuration can result in safety risks and higher operational costs over the life of the UPS.
About Industrial UPS Systems
Although there are a large number of new battery technologies emerging on the market today, a vast majority of these systems that support UPS applications have different types of lead-acid batteries. There are three general approaches to specifying & configuring UPS battery systems:
- Standardised battery systems
- Vendor-engineered custom solutions
- Battery solutions customised by the end users
Standardised UPS Battery Systems
A standardised battery system that has been configured based on field-tested and proven designs are optimal with reference to system reliability and risk minimisation. These systems are often modular and pre-engineered; they also eliminate risks associated with one-time engineering. All these systems are designed, analysed, qualified, proven and tested-out over an installed base of numerous systems. When these are being configured the designers only need to choose the required or specified back-up time.
Customized Battery Systems
When a customised UPS battery system is needed in a particular application, a vendor-engineered battery becomes the best option. Today, most well-known and well-established vendors use best practices and apply these to various end-user settings. They take into account aspects such as charge and discharge characteristics, types of potential faults.
The other aspects they keep in view include UPS’ performance, battery service life, the environment, and the maintainance schedule/plan. They know exactly how to manage different problematic situations and which issues need avoiding.
End-User Battery System (customised)
Today, many end users opt for a customised UPS battery system. Since they source this system themselves, it becomes important that they follow a detailed checklist in order to ensure they get a reliable and safe system. This checklist should include:
- The right size of batteries.
- Appropriate discharging current.
- Conductor size.
- The right short-circuit current.
- Appropriate protection devices such as switches, fuses or circuit breakers.
- Analyse the whole battery system for safety and validate the assembly under regular and abnormal operation. Conduct an analysis at full charge & at end-of-discharge.
- Strict quality control checks off all critical devices such as the actual UPS, the protective devices and batteries.
- Make sure you have sufficient inventory of spare parts.
- Consider getting a suitable battery monitoring system – the performance of batteries tends to decrease over time. A good monitoring system would be able to keep regular checks on the health status of the different battery blocks.
- Make sure you have a regular maintenance plan in place.
If you want to know anything more about any of our products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us at KaRaTec Power Supply Pty. You can give us a call at 612 9808 1127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we will respond within the shortest possible time to help you with the guidance and information you need.
Thanks for reading,
Karatec Power Supply Pty
612 9808 1127