Data centre batteriesDesign engines follow an established practice for choosing the best battery for an application or project, by analysing the potential options with a rigorous approach comparing the goals and technical requirements with ongoing maintenance requirements and cost.

Several factors are included in the established process including: duty cycle and application outlooks, communication issues and system interface, ease of visitation and geographic location, replacement cost and schedule, ongoing maintenance cost, installation cost, initial price, and environmental conditions.

The order of some of those considerations might be jumbled, but it is extremely important that the application is matched with a suitable battery. Requirements and expectations for usage, in addition to low/high temperatures, could end up foiling all of the other considerations from the beginning unless they are thoroughly addressed from the start.

Analysing Vendor Claims

Next, decisions need to be made regarding the claims of the battery vendors, like UPS Battery UK, on the life of the batteries that are designed for the specific application. To determine the best estimate on the actual cost of a battery, taking the initial price, the following should be assessed by the design engineers:

  • Ensure that the initial price includes freight, racks, and batteries.
  • Installation complexity especially if it’s different for the various types of batteries that are being considered.
  • Maintenance difficulty and commitment.
  • Replacement timelines for the different types of batteries (5, 7, 10, 12 years or more?)
  • Reliability of the battery models and manufacturers.
  • Compare vendor warranties and negotiate.

After varying costs and performance requirements have been compiled for the various battery options, long, medium, and short term costs can then be calculated. At this point, the equation’s objective portion meets with the subjective estimates.

Consulting with Technicians

To formulate the most accurate battery cost evaluation, there are several different things that should continuously occur.

Consult with maintenance technicians on the current as well as any known future processes to maintain the battery strings. Some of these include the following:

  • Decreased or increased visitation schedules
  • Changes to any other system maintenance schedules that are used
  • Future estimates and current workload
  • Levels of expertise and personnel number
  • Wages and benefits
  • Battery and site maintenance prioritisation
  • Researching new maintenance tools
  • Battery monitoring advances for saving money, effort and time
  • Site monitoring requirements
  • Upgraded environmental conditions
  • Time-saving techniques

When all of the considerations above have been calculated and reviewed before the final decisions can be determined comfortably, the results need to pass the final criteria – just one question: how do the shortlisted options rank  on the requirement of continuation of power?

Considering the Worst Case Scenario

While batteries are continuing to have a lack of a built-in mechanisms for independently communicating the state of their health, over the years, battery monitoring has dramatically evolved. To the extent that if service companies, end users, and UPS manufacturers have not conducted a very recent and thorough review of the Battery Monitoring Systems (BMS) that are currently available, then it’s well past the time to do this. Beyond the UPS market, reduced costs and BMS technology have been able to break through the glass ceiling when it comes to remote site monitoring for the utility and telecom markets. Battery cabinets may be affordably monitored. Also, actionable data may be provided to end users for making immediate decisions.

To meaningfully conduct this type of a search, it is critical to make a commitment to the reality that there needs to be backup battery power in place in order to protect services, data, and hardware that are exponentially more valuable and important compared to just the basic cost of the batteries.

The real cost of batteries, ultimately, goes well beyond the price that is paid. The true cost may be found in what the batteries protect, and what occurs when they don’t work when and how they are needed.

When the grid suddenly goes down it’ nice knowing that the power is going to stay on.