There’s a compelling reason why fire officials encourage us to replace the batteries in our smoke alarms every year. Similarly, most auto experts recommend installing a new car battery after three years to avoid an unexpected breakdown. In both cases, aging batteries can present a number of safety and reliability issues. Is the possibility that they might not perform when you need them a risk you’re willing to take? Probably not.

The premise is no different when it comes to the lead acid batteries in your uninterruptible power system (UPS). As the most vulnerable part of the UPS system, the battery will deteriorate over time, leading to eventual failure. Replacing UPS batteries every three years is not only essential to maintaining continuous up-time, but also a sound investment for your bottom line. Here’s why:

Avoid load loss. Most UPS batteries have an average lifespan of three to five years under recommended conditions. However, factors such as ambient temperature, chemistry, cycling and service can dramatically impact battery life. As a general rule, large UPS units tend to operate for 15 or 20 years, while smaller models (up to 15 kVA) usually last 10 or more. Therefore, if your batteries are approaching the three-year mark, and your UPS still has years of operation remaining, replacing the batteries makes sense from a return on investment (ROI) standpoint. Numerous studies have shown battery failure to be among the leading causes of load loss in UPS battery backup solutions. In smaller UPSs, it is also wise to considering replacing the fans with every battery replacement.

Protect your bottom line. Can your organization afford to lose $100,000 or more per hour? That’s now the average price tag for a single hour of downtime, according to ITIC. Although many businesses have invested in a power protection solution to safeguard equipment and processes against unexpected downtime, a large percentage fail to understand the risks of not replacing UPS batteries every five years.

Protect your name. Your company’s reputation and brand name are irreparable — and certainly not worth the expense of skimping on protection. This is especially true when the cost to proactively replace your UPS batteries is just a fraction of the amount you stand to lose if those batteries and equipment fail.

Pay less over the long haul. It costs far less to replace a string of batteries within a large UPS or the internal battery in a smaller model than it does to invest in a new UPS. Even more, when you consider the steep consequences of unexpected downtime — such as equipment damage, loss of application services, data loss, damage to reputation and loss of productivity — the option of battery replacement is a clear.

Optimize financial planning. Another advantage to replacing UPS batteries every three years is improved budgeting. Organizations can align their equipment upgrades and/or allocate funds for replacement batteries as opposed to waiting for unexpected — but eventual — failure. Being proactive will help you avoid the potentially devastating results that can accompany that scenario.

Because UPS batteries are such a critical aspect of any effective power protection strategy, we will be exploring this topic in more detail. Look for our next blog in the series, which will examine the importance of battery monitoring.

When was your last battery change? Let the experts at Intelligent Power Solutions help you get the most out of your UPS’s batteries!

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