As battery issues with the Boeing 787 continue to make headline news, one has to wonder why the topic of batteries have yet to make the news as it relates to downtime in data centers.
Reasons for UPS load lost (diagram above), batteries ARE the #1 cause of power interruptions, over 1/3, both as primary emergency power back-up, as well as the source of cross-over power for starting back-up generators.
This begs the question, why do so many IT managers focus on primary architectures and solutions, and treat back-up power sources as second citizens?
Traditional wired solutions, with high initial cost, high installation costs, and inherent lack of flexibility, has resulted in IT being less willing to support battery monitoring. IT budgets are always being challenged with show me why mentality.
With demands on IT systems rising, organizations require more cost-effective strategies for achieving higher levels of availability across their network. Wireless battery monitoring is an effective way to increase availability, while insuring low total cost of ownership, as opposed to break/fix mentality that violates the no downtime, high availability standards of mission-critical operations.
Knowing when and why your lead acid batteries enter the deterioration cycle, especially when there is frequent use or high temperatures, makes battery monitoring even more critical.
Below is an IEEE battery replacement curve which illustrates the expected life cycle.
IEEE recommends battery replacement within one year (if capacity is determined to be below 80% of the manufacturer’s rating).
Don’t do what many decide next, pass on re-installation, which is like kicking the can down the road! Remember, batteries have useful lives of 3 to 5 years max, making battery monitoring a critical part of predicting battery health, and premature failure before it results in system downtime.