In between the main wall socket and your computer are located UPS power supplies, which will contain plug-ins for computers on separate cables. Depending upon the environment, and its intended usage, a home or office UPS backup battery can be very small and designed to work directly with a rechargeable power cell that has a high drain.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are very common, but ion technology is now becoming much more widespread when looking at UPS systems, or VRLA batteries that are used most commonly today.
These lead acid batteries are extremely low maintenance, and are considered somewhat basic and reliable power supplies that will have up to a five year lifespan. Looking at the acronym of VRLA, the VR is representative of the term ‘valve regulated’ which refers to the fact that built into the batteries are vent control systems that are able to release gas buildup throughout the day which is a natural part of the charging and drainage cycle. There are internal sensors that monitor the pressure inside of the battery, and like most VRLAs, it is best to use them in a controlled environment that is primarily dry within your office or your centrally heated home.
Li-ion batteries, on the other hand, are lightweight and compact, and have many management features that are built in which include voltage balancing, advanced charging capabilities, and many other beneficial features. They tend to have a longer lifespan than your standard lead acid batteries which is why they actually do have an edge when it comes to making an economical choice. However, when you first purchase lithium ion batteries as UPS units, the price is going to be higher than VRLA batteries, which is why many people do not get them.
Wet Cell Batteries
There is one other choice which is a flooded or wet cell battery which is common within the UPS battery lineup. These are not as readily available, but they do have their place for specific types of environments and when using them with qualifying applications. It is the chemical makeup inside that makes them somewhat hazardous, and those that use them will keep them in storage safe rooms so that regular maintenance can be performed such as maintaining the water levels of the distilled water that is used. Data calibrations will also be done.
VLA batteries, based upon that, are somewhat impractical, particularly when using them in your home or office, which is why it is more advantageous to use wet cells, such as at large-scale server centres, and they can also provide additional stability and reliability, plus they are more practical and convenient to use in general.
Also worth noting is the housing for the battery on UPS power supplies which is dependent upon the overall cost, as well as the model, of each unit that is produced. You will want to focus on particular elements such as:
- Temperature protection, power surge and deep discharge attributes
- Graphical calibration type interfaces
- Various IP ratings
- Data reading functionality and management card slots
- Onboard performance software that can monitor the system
- A wider range of external hardware to increase connectivity with various I/O options
- Numerous outlets and power socket capabilities
- OLED/LCD display screens that will have designated readout panels
- UPS battery replacement options plus UPS management options which are referred to as hot-swappable.