It’s an established practice for all design engineers to go through a process of choosing the best possible battery for an application or project, usually from somewhere such as UPS Battery Shop. This happens through the submission of choices through an approach that is balanced in comparing goals and technical requirements to ongoing maintenance requirements and costs.
This established process incorporates numerous factors including replacement schedule and cost, ongoing maintenance cost, installation cost, initial price, environmental conditions, ease of visitation, geographic locations, communication issues, system interface, duty cycle outlooks, and of course application.
Some of these various considerations can get jumbled in their order, but nothing is more paramount that the application of a suited battery. Requirements and expectations for usage, as well as high/low temperatures, might just foil any other considerations from the get-go, unless of course they were accurately assigned from the start.
Next, there need to be decisions made regarding the claims of life from the battery vendor in terms of batteries that are designed for a certain application. In order to best estimate an actual cost, following the initial price of any battery, the design engineers need to assess these factors:
- Making sure the initial price includes not only the batteries but also the racks and freight
- The complexity of the installation, if it it’s different for a variety of battery types under consideration
- The difficulty and commitment of maintenance
- The replacement timelines for a variety of battery types in terms of how many years
- The reality of reliability among battery models and manufacturers
- The comparison and negotiation of vendor warranties
Once the varying costs and performance requirements are compiled for possible batteries, then there need to be calculations regarding the short-, medium-, and long-term costs involved. It’s at this particular point where objective elements of the equation start meeting subjective estimates.
Several things need to continually happen for the formulation of the truest battery cost evaluation to happen:
The consultation of maintenance technicians on any current or known future procedures for the maintenance of battery strings. These might include:
- Decreased or increased visitation schedules
- Alterations to any other system maintenance schedules
- Future estimates and current workload
- Personnel numbers and their levels of expertise
- Benefits and wages
- Battery and site maintenance prioritisation
The research of new maintenance tools, which might include:
- Techniques that save time
- Upgrades in environmental conditions
- Requirement for site monitoring
- Advances in battery monitoring which save effort, money, and time
When each of these various considerations are calculated and reviewed, prior to any final decision being made comfortably, the results need to pass some final criteria. These criteria really just boil down to which question, and that is, where would this choice rank in terms of requirement if the power doesn’t go off? Batteries still lack built-in mechanisms for independently communicating their state of health, it’s true that battery monitoring has dramatically evolved in recent years.
It’s done this enough that if end users, service companies, and UPS manufacturers haven’t yet conducted a through and recent review of the available BMS, or Battery Monitoring Systems, then it’s long past the time they should do so. Past the UPS marketplace, lowered costs and BMS technology have now broken through the proverbial glass ceiling that remote site monitoring once had in the utility and telecom markets. Battery cabinets can be monitored affordably and easily so that actionable data can get presented to the necessary end users for their immediate decision making.
In order for a search to be conducted meaningfully, then it’s crucial to commit to the truth that backup battery power is now in a place to protect services, data, and hardware in exponentially more valuable and important than just how much the batteries cost.
In the end, the real cost of batteries goes a lot farther than what got paid for them. The real cost might be found in what all they protect, as well as what happens when they don’t wind up working as they are needed when they are needed.
Nothing beats the peace of mind that knowing the power is going to stay on, even when the grid itself goes down.