UPS power supplies tend to sit right in between a wall socket and a computer that it is powering and they are plugged into one another using separate cables. Typically, a Source UPS battery backup is relatively compact as it is intended to power smaller electronics. That being said, the overall power capacity and the specifics of the size of the unit will primarily depend on the intended usage environment.
Previously, this used to mean that the UPS featured a VRLA battery which is lead-acid. However, because there have been such enormous developments in lithium-ion technology, it has become increasingly popular to see these batteries powering a lot of the modern UPS units you can find on the marketplace.
VRLA batteries are generally low-maintenance and they are seen as reliable options that typically last around 5 years. The VR in the ARLA acronym stands for ‘valve regulated’ which refers to the built-in and auto-operated vent systems that can be found in the units that work to release any gas buildup at variable times throughout the charge and drain cycle. This is a very important function that is automatically triggered by built-in pressure sensors internally. All VRLA cell batteries work best when they are kept in a very controlled climate without a lot of hot and cold fluctuations like an office or even a home.
Consider Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-Ion batteries are much more lightweight and compact. Likewise, they offer a lot of built-in management features that offer greater efficiency including voltage balancing and advanced charge features. A lot of the brands that offer Li-ion batteries in UPS systems advertise much longer lifespans. Because of this, they can prove to be much more cost-effective options in the long run as compared to the acid-based alternatives. That being said, these advantages do come at a fairly hefty cost. You will generally find the high production price of these batteries reflected in the retail price point. Because of this, the initial up-front costs associated with a VRLA-unit will be much cheaper.
There is another option that you can choose if you are buying a UPS battery which is known as VLA types. These are the UPS systems that aren’t as easy to find being sold as they have much more specific use-cases and applications than some of the other available options. First, the chemical makeup of these units makes them much more dangerous when they aren’t kept in safe-rooms and they require a lot more maintenance because you have to continually top up the distilled water levels in the unit. Likewise, you have to continue to monitor everything from the equalisation and calibration data that it offers.
Because of this high-maintenance upkeep and because of the danger it can present if it’s not stored properly, it makes this option impractical for the majority of office and home users. However, these wet cell batteries do offer unique advantages and a practical use-case for larger scaled server centres where they require longer-term stability and reliability which are seen as priorities over the convenience factor that a lot of home users are likely to seek.
What Are The Range Of Features?
Along with the battery and the housing of the unit, UPS systems usually offer a range of other features that sometimes vary based on the model and the actual cost of the unit in question. These can include:
On-board monitoring software
Power surge, low voltage, and temperature protection
Display screens with readout panels
Graphical calibration interfaces
Connectivity and external hardware options
Battery replacement options