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Reference handbook

The large UPS

battery handbook
The large UPS
Understanding your UPS battery It’s well understood that the battery
in a UPS is the most vulnerable part
can extend its life, prevent of the system. In fact, battery failure is
costly downtime, and save time a leading cause of load loss. Knowing
how to maintain and manage your
and money. UPS batteries will extend their life and
save you time and potential trouble
in the future.
Improvements in battery technology
have been evolutionary rather than
revolutionary. Capabilities such as
advanced charging regimens, software
management for accurate remaining
life information and firmware adding
intelligence to batteries have reduced,
but not eliminated, the risks inherent
in depending on any battery. As a result,
it’s prudent, if not essential, to take
a close look at what may be increasing
your risk of unexpected load loss
from a failing UPS battery. After all,
even large installations with many
batteries are vulnerable to the failure
of a single battery.

2 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Table of Contents
Table of contents
UPS battery overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
VRLA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Lithium-ion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Other common causes of UPS failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
VLA/flooded-cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Battery arrangement and power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Battery facts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Four factors that affect battery life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Battery disposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Battery maintenance for extended life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Battery safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Battery FAQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Eaton battery products and services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Eaton battery services overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Battery preventive maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Eaton batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Why Eaton batteries? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Eaton Cellwatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Thermal runaway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Extending battery service life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Eaton PredictPulse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Customer Support Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Customer success story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Battery glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

3 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

battery 1. VRLA
VRLA batteries are sealed, usually within

overview polypropylene plastic. They were developed

because they have the advantage of containing
no sloshing acid that might leak or drip out
when inverted or handled roughly. The term valve-
There are primarily three regulated refers to the method of gas release. If the
kinds of batteries used in gas pressure becomes too great inside the battery,

the valve will vent when it reaches a certain pressure.

lead-acid (VRLA), also During the charging of a lead-acid battery, hydrogen is
known as sealed or normally liberated. In a vented battery, the hydrogen
maintenance-free lithium- escapes into the atmosphere. In a VRLA battery, the VRLA batteries are frequently
hydrogen recombines with oxygen inside battery, used in UPS or other high-rate
ion batteries, and vented applications
so water loss is minimized. Under normal float
lead acid (VLA) (also conditions, virtually all the hydrogen and oxygen is
called flooded-cell). VRLA recombined. Re-sealable valves vent non-recombined
batteries usually have gases only when pressure exceeds a safety
lower up-front costs but threshold.
have a shorter lifetime
A VRLA battery is distinguished from a flooded-cell
than VLA, usually around battery by the rate at which oxygen is evolved from
five years. Flooded-cell the positive plate and diffused to the negative plate,
batteries require more ultimately forming water. This rate is several orders of
advanced maintenance magnitude faster than a flooded-cell battery. Because
but have a longer lifetime, water can’t be added, its recombination is critical to
up to 20 years. Lithium- the life and health of a the battery. Any factor that
ion batteries are smaller increases the evaporation rate or water loss—such
as ambient temperature and heat from the charging
and lighter than the above current—reduces the battery life.
types, and have changed
the traditional status quo
for UPS use. Costs are Positive flag Extruded intercell
similar to VRLA, and Valve terminal welded connection,
new energy storage low resistance
current path
applications with UPS
systems, such as grid-
sharing and peak shaving,
are now viable. These Cover/lid
new capabilities provide
more than just backup
Strap joining
time, and can now negative
contribute to significant plates in
cost savings for the parallel
user in their day-to-day
pasted plate
lead alloy


Internal and external components of a valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery

4 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

2. Lithium-ion 3. VLA
Lithium based batteries have multiple significant benefits VLA or flooded-cell batteries have thick lead-based plates
over alternative DC storage techniques for UPS applications. that are flooded with an acid electrolyte. This is a highly
The technology has matured in heavy duty applications like reliable design—failures normally don’t occur until halfway
electric vehicles, and is considered ideal for critical power through their 20-year pro-rated life, at which time the failure
backup. Small size and light weight are the primary benefits, mode is most often a short circuit. This situation is not an
but additional features like built-in battery management (not extreme emergency because any one shorted cell only affects
just monitoring), make lithium-ion an attractive alternative to overall reserve time by a very small percentage. However, while

traditional batteries. they’re very reliable with a long life, there are downsides to
flooded-cell batteries. They require more safety measures and a
In addition, their high cycle-count (charge-discharge cycles), and space-consuming separate battery room to use.
faster recharge times compared with lead batteries allows their
use in non-traditional UPS applications, like grid sharing, peak Regardless of the differences in UPS battery types, both
shaving, and industrial or process control support. require monitoring and maintenance to ensure maximum life
and system availability.
The battery management
system is deployed in each
battery, as well as in a system
level master controller. It
manages charge current,
voltage, and cell voltage
balance, while making
adjustments as necessary
to eliminate any chance
of overtemperature. If
temperatures rise above safe
levels, the management system
will independently disconnect
the battery or string via multiple
different disconnection means,
and notify the user via the
battery cabinet monitor, and an
alarm on the UPS.

Overall, a lithium-ion battery

system provides lower TCO
through comparable Capex
costs, and Opex savings via a
longer replacement interval, and Lithium-ion battery systems Flooded-cell batteries require more advanced maintenance but have a
its ability to operate at higher provide a reliable and flexible longer battery service life
ambinet temperatures. solution that ensures 24/7
system uptime

Other common causes of UPS failure

Did you know? Batteries may be the number one contributor to UPS failure,
but these are three other vulnerable components that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Capacitors: A capacitor is a fairly Filters: Because dust may block Fans: They may slow down or stall
simple device that stores and releases air filters and cause a UPS to shut as they age, and a resulting over
electrical energy. They can be as small down due to overheating, they must temperature condition will shut down
as a thumbnail or as large as a soda be inspected every month. Replacing the UPS unexpectedly. Watch for fan
can. A typical UPS contains a dozen or filters is an inexpensive component of fail alarms every week, and plan for
more of different types and sizes. Like an effective UPS maintenance plan. replacement at the 8-10 year mark
batteries, capacitors degrade over time. at the latest.
There may not be visible effects upon
immediate failure, but one failure will
leave other capacitors to work harder
and shorten lifespan.

5 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Battery arrangement and power
In most UPSs, you don’t use just one cell at a time. They’re normally
grouped together serially to form higher voltages, or in parallel to
form higher currents. In a serial arrangement, the voltages add up.
In a parallel arrangement, the currents add up.

However, batteries are not quite composition during charging and • A

 node: The terminal where
as linear as the two graphics to discharging, and the electrolyte the current flows in
the right depict. For example, is dilute sulfuric acid. In other
all batteries have a maximum words, they contain components • C
 athode: The terminal
current they can produce; a that react with each other to where the current flows out

500 milliamp-hour battery can’t create DC electrical current.

• V
 alve (used in VRLA
produce 30,000 milliamps for These components are:
batteries): Used to vent the
one second, because there’s no
• E
 lectrolyte: The medium build-up of gas that goes
way for its chemical reactions
that provides the ion beyond pre-determined levels
to happen that quickly. It is
also important to realize that at transport mechanism
• S
 eparator: A device used
higher current levels, batteries between the positive and
for the physical separation
can produce a lot of heat, which negative electrodes of a
and electrical isolation of
wastes some of their power. cell, immobilized in VRLA
electrodes of opposing
batteries, and in liquid form
Like all batteries, UPS batteries in flooded-cell batteries
are electrochemical devices. A • J
 ar: The container holding the
UPS uses a lead-acid storage • G
 rid: A perforated or
battery components
battery in which the electrodes corrugated lead or lead alloy
are grids of lead containing plate used as a conductor and
lead oxides that change in support for the active material

Replacement lead acid batteries

for data room battery cabinets

Connecting in series [double voltage, same capacity (ah)]

+ - + -
12V 12V

Connecting in parallel [same voltage, double capacity (ah)]

+ +
12V 12V
- -

Series connection Parallel connection

Connecting of the positive terminal Connecting all the positive or
of a cell/battery to the negative negative poles of several batteries
terminal of the next cell/battery increases the capacity of a battery
increases the voltage of the battery network while maintaining a
network while keeping the capacity constant voltage.

6 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Battery facts
Four factors that affect battery life
Batteries have limited life, usually showing a slow degradation of 2. Battery chemistry
capacity until they reach 80 percent of their initial rating, followed
UPS batteries are electrochemical devices whose ability to store
by a comparatively rapid failure. Regardless of how or where
and deliver power slowly decreases over time. Even if you follow
a UPS is deployed, and what size it is, there are four primary
all the guidelines for proper storage, usage and maintenance,
factors that affect battery life: ambient temperature, battery
batteries still require replacement after a certain period of time.
chemistry, cycling and service.

1. Ambient temperature 3. Cycling

During a utility power failure, a UPS operates on battery power.
The rated capacity of a battery is based on an ambient
Once utility power is restored, or a switch to generator power is
temperature of 25°C (77°F). It’s important to realize that any
complete, the battery is recharged for future use. This is called
variation from this operating temperature can alter the battery’s
a discharge cycle. At installation, the battery is at 100 percent of
performance and shorten its expected life. To help determine
rated capacity. Each discharge and subsequent recharge reduces
battery life in relation to temperature, remember that for every
its relative capacity by a small percentage, albeit a much smaller
8.3°C (15°F) average annual temperature above 25°C (77°F), the
percentage for lithium-ion chemistry. The length of the discharge
life of the battery is reduced by 50 percent.
cycle determines the reduction in battery capacity.

Lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries, can only undergo a maximum

2.4 number of discharge/recharge cycles before the chemistry is
depleted, but lithium-ion cycle count is typically 10X that of lead

Battery Facts
1.2 acid. Once the chemistry is depleted, the cells fail and the battery
must be replaced.
4. Maintenance
0.8 Battery service and maintenance are critical to UPS reliability. A
Relative Life

gradual decrease in battery life can be monitored and evaluated

0.6 through voltage checks, load testing or monitoring. Periodic
preventive maintenance extends battery string life by preventing
0.4 loose connections, removing corrosion and identifying bad
batteries before they can affect the rest of the string.
Even though sealed batteries are sometimes referred to as
0.0 maintenance-free, they still require scheduled maintenance and
77 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 ºF service. Maintenance-free simply refers to the fact that they don’t
25 26.7 32.2 37.8 43.3 48.9 54.5 60 ºC
require water to be added regularly.
Average Annual Temperature
Without regular maintenance, your UPS battery may experience
Optimum operating temperature for a VRLA and lithium-ion heat-generating resistance at the terminals, or inside the jar
battery is 25°C (77°F). High ambient temperature allows improper loading, reduced protection and premature failure. With
unnecessary large quantities of charge current to flow which
proper maintenance, the end of battery life can be accurately
results in a shorter service life.
estimated and replacements scheduled without unexpected
downtime or loss of backup power.
What can go wrong with batteries?

Condition Cause
Battery life: design life vs. actual life
Repeated cycling (charging and discharging),
Plate separation damage during handling and shipping, and Determining battery life can be a tricky business. It’s often
overcharging promoted based on design life, defined as how long the
Normal aging, operating in an acidic environment battery can be expected to perform under ideal conditions.
Grid corrosion and high temperatures Estimating actual battery life relies on taking into
Heat (plates expand causing shorts), separator consideration the four factors discussed on this page
Internal short circuit failure, handling and shipping, and grid corrosion that can affect it.

External short circuit Human error (shorting terminals) and leaks

Sitting discharged for an extended period, not on

Sulfation of plates charge or being undercharged, such as battery shelf
life being exceeded past manufacturer’s guidelines
Often due to high temperatures or overcharging;
Excessive gassing electrolyte volume is decreased
Excessive gassing, high temperatures or
Drying out overcharging, resulting in too little electrolyte for
battery to function and provide full backup time

7 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Battery disposal Battery maintenance Spot replacement of batteries

Batteries that are replaced can still for extended life Batteries in series are similar to a string
of holiday lights. When one unit fails, the
contain a significant amount of hazardous entire string no longer works. When a
waste, including the electrolyte and lead. Quantifying the combined effect of
the four factors that affect battery life battery or group of batteries connected in
Therefore, you must comply with EPA a series ceases to work, not only is the
guidelines for the disposal of all UPS discussed in the previous page is difficult.
battery string no longer functional, but it
batteries. There are essentially two main You need a way to determine when a can be difficult to determine which battery
categories of disposal, one for spent battery is near the end of its useful life has failed.
batteries and another for spills. The primary so you can replace it while it still works,
before the critical load is left unprotected. The most effective way to combat this
ways to handle these two categories are: potential problem is to “spot” replace bad
The only sure way to determine battery
capacity is to perform a battery run- batteries that are less than three years
Spent batteries
down test. The module is taken off line, old. While the four factors affecting battery
Send to secondary lead smelter for connected to a load bank and operated life play a large role in determining when a
recycling. For lithium-ion, return to original at rated power until the specified runtime battery is vulnerable to failure, there’s no
vendor or an authorized 3rd party recycler elapses or the unit shuts down due to low precise way to ensure that battery failure
equipped to handle lithium batteries. battery voltage. If battery capacity is less can be predicted. The only way to identify
than 80 percent of its rated capacity, the bad batteries early enough for spot
Spilled batteries replacement is through continuous battery
battery should be replaced.
monitoring and scheduled maintenance.
Place neutralized leaked material into
Thermal scanning of battery connections Spot replace bad VRLA batteries that are
sealed containers and dispose of as
Battery Facts

during the battery run-down test identifies less than three years old and replace the
hazardous waste, as applicable. Large
loose connections. This test gives you whole string between the fourth and fifth
water-diluted spills, after neutralization
the chance to see the battery during year (10th year for lithium-ion).
and testing, should be managed in
accordance with approved local, state and an extended, high-current discharge.
Scanning should take place during Used batteries: good for the
federal requirements. Consult your state environment?
environmental agency and/or the EPA. discharge and recharge cycles.
Which commonly used product has the
Recycling An effective UPS battery maintenance
highest rate of recyclability? Paper? Only
program must include regular inspections,
73 percent of paper is recycled for reuse.
One of the most successful recycling adjustments and testing, with thorough
Aluminum at 54 percent and glass at
efforts in the world is for lead-acid records kept of all readings. Trained
25 percent also fall short of the leader.
batteries. According to Battery Council technicians should:
More than 96 percent of all battery lead is
International, more than 96 percent of
• Inspect batteries and racks or cabinets recycled. Lead-acid batteries top the list of
lead-acid batteries were recycled between
for signs of corrosion most highly recycled consumer product.
1997 and 2001. Many states require lead-
acid batteries be recycled, and several vertical return alignment leakage The processes for lead-acid battery
options exist to dispose of used batteries, recycling support agriculture needs and
• M
 easure and record the float voltage
including: enhance energy conservation. Beyond the
and current of the
successful reuse of nearly 100 percent of
• If you’re engaged with Eaton on a entire bank
the battery components, lead recycling
battery upgrade or replacement, we’ll • R
 ecord the terminal voltage of selected facilities harness radiant heat from their
take your old batteries and recycle them batteries furnaces to offset traditional heating costs.
for you Residual sulfur trapped during recycling is
• C
 heck the electrolyte level in each cell, processed into fertilizer. Even the plastic
• If you participate in Eaton’s UPSgrade if visible casings are crushed into pellets and are
program, we take the old UPS and
• C
 heck voltage balance and internal used to manufacture new battery covers
recycle it. Visit for
temperature of lithium-ion cells and cases.
Recycling lead is also more energy
• C
 heck your local phone book for a local • Log the ambient temperature
efficient than smelting or mining new
recycler, or search for a recycler at lead. The recycled lead can be refined into
• C
 ompare data collected to previous new alloy repeatedly, giving it unmatched
maintenance inspections to accurately
identify issues sustainability and cost stability—a trait
• S
 ome automotive stores accept batteries
unlike most raw materials.
for recycling
Lithium-ion recycling Lithium batteries from a UPS are highly
• M
 any municipalities have dump or likely to have a ‘second life’ in a solar
Lithium-ion batteries contain no toxic
recycling locations that will accept or electric vehicle application, before
materials, but should be recycled or
batteries for recycling. When disposing ultimately being recycled. Contact the
re-used, i.e. redeployed in solar, home
of batteries in this manner, be sure to battery vendor to see if this is
backup, or refurb automotive use.
get a dated receipt clearly detailing what
batteries were dropped off, including
quantities with the recycler’s full name,
address and phone noted in the unlikely
event you get audited.

8 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Appropriate personal protective equipment is essential when working on batteries or any UPS equipment

Battery Facts
Battery safety Handling and storage

The materials in batteries make them volatile and therefore Store batteries in cool, dry, well-ventilated areas with impervious
potentially hazardous. Performing regular periodic maintenance surfaces and adequate containment in the event of spills.
on your UPS batteries can go a long way in preventing unsafe Batteries should also be stored under a roof for protection against
situations before they occur. adverse weather conditions. Separate them from incompatible
materials. Store and handle only in areas with adequate water
Sulfuric acid is very combustible and contact with organic supply and spill control. Avoid damage to containers. Keep away
materials may cause fire and explosion. It also reacts violently from fire, sparks and heat.
with strong reducing agents, metals, sulfur trioxide gas, strong
oxidizers and water. Contact with metals may produce toxic State and local governments may have regulations concerning
sulfur dioxide fumes and may release flammable hydrogen gas. how and where your UPS batteries are installed, usually
depending on the amount of electrolyte the batteries contain.
For lead compounds, avoid contact with strong acids, bases, Flooded-cell batteries require special ventilation because of the
halides, halogenates, potassium nitrate, permanganate, amount of hydrogen they emit and their liquid electrolyte. They
peroxides, nascent hydrogen and reducing agents. Lithium-ion are usually stored away from the load and other equipment.
batteries actually contain no toxic substances, and pose no VRLA batteries are much less hazardous due to their immobilized
hazard in normal handling. If a battery case is broken, consult electrolyte, so they’re often not subject to the more stringent
the vendor’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for appropriate regulations covering flooded-cell batteries and are often located in
action. Different lithium-ion battery models use a variety of the data center or near the protected load. Lithium-ion batteries
different chemical components, and safety procedures will vary. may be stored and handled in the same way as VRLA batteries.
Note that shipping procedures must comply with UN Class 9
You should always refer to the material safety data sheet for requirements for lithium batteries.
specific precautionary measures. Primary steps for safe handling
and use are noted below.

Spills or leaks (for lead acid batteries)

Stop the flow of materials and contain/absorb small spills with

dry sand, earth or vermiculite. Don’t use combustible materials.
If possible, carefully neutralize spilled electrolyte with soda
ash, sodium bicarbonate or lime. Wear acid-resistant clothing,
boots and gloves, and a face shield. Do not allow discharge of
un-neutralized acid to get to the sewer.

Battery spill trays are designed to contain and absorb

leaking batteries

9 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Battery FAQ
1. What is the “end of useful life”? 7. Our facility was damaged by a flood and our batteries were
partially submerged in water. What should we do?
The IEEE defines “end of useful life” for a UPS battery as being
the point when it can no longer supply 80 percent of its rated The first concern in this situation is safety. Containing any
capacity in ampere-hours. When your battery reaches 80 percent contamination is critical to preventing hazards to workers and the
of its rated capacity, the aging process accelerates and the environment.
battery should be replaced.
8. My UPS has been in storage for over a year. Are the
2. How can I ensure that my UPS batteries are maintained batteries still good?
and serviced properly?
As batteries sit unused, with no charging regimen, their battery
With proper maintenance, battery life can be predicted and life will decrease. On average batteries loose 3% of capacity
replacements scheduled without interrupting your operations. for every 30 days they sit uncharged due to the self-discharge
These are IEEE and OEM recommendations for general characteristics of lead-acid batteries. It is imperative that they
maintenance: are charged periodically during storage according to the battery
manufacturer’s guidelines for temperature, charge duration and
• Comprehensive maintenance programs with regular inspections
resting period or permanent loss of capacity will occur.
• Re-torque all connections, as required
9. What is thermal runaway?
• Load testing
• Cleaning the battery area, as required Thermal runaway occurs when the heat generated in a lead-
acid cell exceeds its ability to dissipate it, which can lead to an
3. Do I have to replace my UPS batteries with the same brand explosion, especially in sealed cells. The heat generated in the
of batteries? cell may occur without any warning signs and may be caused
by overcharging, excessive charging, internal physical damage,
Eaton recommends that if you use brand X and need to replace internal short circuit or a hot environment. Note that for lithium-
one or two batteries in the string, you should use the same brand ion batteries the shelf life is typically two years at 25°C (75°F),
because it will have the same characteristics. If you need to and one year at 60°C (140°F).
replace the whole battery system, then you can change brands
with fewer risks.

4. Are maintenance-free batteries maintenance free?

Though sealed batteries are sometimes referred to as

maintenance-free, they still require scheduled maintenance
and service. The term maintenance-free refers to the fact that
they don’t require fluid. Preventive maintenance is the key to
Battery FAQ

maximizing your UPS battery service life.

Thermal runaway
5. What about battery disposal? incident

It’s imperative that your service technicians adhere to EPA Thermal runaway effects
guidelines for the disposal of all UPS batteries. Remember, on adjacent battery
it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure these guidelines
are followed.

6. Is there any difference between the batteries used by

smaller UPSs, from 250 VA to 3 kVA, and the ones used by
larger UPSs?

While basic battery technology, and the risks to battery life,

remain the same regardless of UPS size, there are some inherent
differences between small and large applications. Smaller UPSs
typically have only one VRLA battery that supports the load and 10. Is it safe to transport sealed batteries?
needs maintenance. As systems get larger, increasing battery
VRLA batteries marked as “non-spillable” are safe and
capacity to support the load gets more complicated. Larger
approved for all transportation methods as long as the container
systems may require multiple strings of batteries, introducing
is free of blemishes and local DOT regulations are followed.
complexity to battery maintenance and support. Individual
However lithium-ion battery shipments are governed under UN
batteries must be monitored to prevent a single bad battery from
Class 9 requirements and designated procedures.
taking down an entire string and putting the load at risk. Also, as
systems get larger, flooded-cell batteries become more common. 11. What is the difference between hot-swappable and
The differences in battery maintenance between VRLA and flood- user-replaceable batteries?
cell batteries discussed earlier apply.
Hot-swappable batteries can be changed out while the UPS is
running. User-replaceable batteries are usually found in smaller
UPSs and require no special tools or training to replace. Batteries
can be both hot-swappable and user-replaceable. Please check
your user’s guide for details on your UPS batteries.

10 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

12. How is battery runtime affected if I reduce the load on All it takes is one bad battery to ruin an entire string and bring
the UPS? your systems down during a power outage or other interruption.
There is no precise way to predict battery failure. Continuous
The battery runtime will increase if the load is reduced. As a battery monitoring and scheduled maintenance are the most
general rule, if you reduce the load by half, you triple the runtime. effective way to identify bad batteries early enough for spot
13. If I add more batteries to a UPS can I add more load? replacement.

Adding more batteries to a UPS can increase the battery runtime 21. Why do batteries fail?
to support the load, but it doesn’t increase the UPS capacity.
Batteries can fail for a multitude of reasons, but common
Be sure your UPS is adequately sized for your load, then add
reasons are:
batteries to fit your runtime needs.
• High or uneven temperatures
14. What is the average lifespan of UPS batteries?
• Inaccurate float charge voltage
The standard service lifespan for VRLA batteries is three to five
• Loose inter-cell links or connections
years; lithium-ion, 10 years, and for flooded-cell batteries it’s
up to 20 years. However, expected life can vary greatly due to • Loss of electrolyte due to drying out or damaged case
environmental conditions, number and depth of discharge cycles, • Lack of maintenance, aging
and adequate maintenance. Having a regular schedule of battery
maintenance and monitoring will ensure you know when your 22. What is the importance of power density when talking
batteries are reaching their end-of-life. about batteries?

15. Why are batteries disconnected on small, single-phase Batteries differ markedly in the number of watts per cell. A higher
UPSs when they’re shipped? density battery provides more runtime for the footprint. You may
even find you can reach your runtime requirements with fewer
This is so that they’re in compliance with Department of
battery cabinets, which reduces upfront and lifetime costs of
Transportation regulations.
battery preventive maintenance.
16. If I have the serial number from the Eaton UPS or battery
23. How is battery performance generally measured?
cabinet, can I find out how old the batteries are?
Batteries are generally rated for 100+ discharges and recharges,
Every Eaton battery has a manufacturer date code that indicates
but many show a marked decline in charging capacity after as
when it was made. The battery or battery cabinet will also feature
few as 10 discharges. The exception is lithium-ion batteries which
a sticker for each time the batteries have been recharged while
are typically rated for up to 2000 discharges over their service
in storage. Stored batteries require charging periodically during
life. The lower the charge the battery can accept, the less runtime
storage to avoid loss of capacity. Recharging stored batteries
it can deliver. Look for batteries with a high-rate design that

Battery FAQ
doesn’t affect battery warranty as long as it does not exceed a
sustains stable performance for a long service term.
battery manufacturer’s guidelines for the number of recharges
before a battery is put into service. 24. When are 10-year design life SVRLA batteries typically
replaced in standard UPS applications?
17. Will Eaton replace batteries for other manufacturers’
UPSs? UPS battery life depends on a number of factors, including
Yes. Eaton batteries works on nearly all other manufacturers’ operating temperature, number and duration of discharges,
UPSs. In addition, we have extensive knowledge of Best Power, and if regular preventive maintenance is performed. While
Deltec, IPM and Exide Electronics models because these product it’s theoretically possible for SVRLA batteries to last 10 years
lines were purchased by Eaton. under optimum conditions, the industry typically recommends
full replacement between years four and five for reliability
18. What are the risks associated with a lack of battery purposes in UPS applications. Note that lithium-ion battery typical
maintenance? replacement interval is 10 years.

The primary risks of improperly maintained batteries are: load 25. How can I determine the age of a battery?
loss, fire, property damage and personal injury.
Batteries shipped on or after January 1, 2000 have a four-digit
19. Who are the major battery manufacturers? shipping code with the first two digits as the year and the
following two as the month in which the battery was shipped
There are many battery manufacturers, but the major ones are: from the factory. For example, a code of 1710 would be
C&D, Enersys, CSB, Samsung, Yuasa, Panasonic and GS – to interpreted as 2017, October.
name a few.

20. If I have one bad battery, should I only replace that faulty
battery, or replace the entire battery string?

Having one faulty battery doesn’t mean you have to replace the
entire battery string, which can be very costly. You can replace
the bad battery with a fully charged unit but you also need to
test the health of the entire string to the cell level to identify if
additional strain from the faulty battery damaged other units.

11 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Eaton battery
products and

Eaton’s line of premium batteries for Eaton three-phase UPS models is backed by a service network of
trained and qualified battery service technicians

Eaton battery services overview Battery preventive maintenance

Eaton provides a comprehensive set of services for batteries. Preventive maintenance ensures uptime and extends battery life
by eliminating problems before they happen. Whether a battery
• B
 attery preventive maintenance/onsite inspection: fails from defect or deterioration, the best time to find out is
technicians test, inspect, clean and analyze battery during preventive maintenance service, not when the battery is
performance and provide a detailed report that includes any called on to support the critical load. Eaton will custom design a
recommendations for corrective action preventive maintenance package that’s best for you, including the
• E
 aton battery: includes options to replace individual batteries following features:
or the entire string • C
 omprehensive maintenance schedule for your VRLA
or flooded-cell batteries per IEEE guidelines
• Eaton CellWatch: battery monitoring
• Measure cell voltage levels
• 1
 0 percent partial replacement coverage: coverage for parts
and labor for a bad battery up to 10 percent of the total count • Visual inspection for leaks or bad cells
of batteries installed • Spot check for connection torques
• C
 ustomer Support Center: complete 24x7 command center • Load testing
for all Eaton services
• Inspection of battery environment
• Detailed hard copy of battery test and inspection results
Products & Services

• Written inspection report and recommendation

For more information on Eaton batteries, please visit
This also includes spot replacement of batteries. When we identify one or two bad batteries, we replace them immediately
onsite if the Eaton technician has replacements available at the
time of the preventive maintenance regimen, or schedule prompt
replacement if batteries need to be ordered.

Eaton VRLA battery models available

Model Warranty Labor adder
Eaton 12V 34W battery 2-year parts/1-year labor 2-year parts/2-year labor
Eaton 12V 120W battery 2-year parts/1-year labor 2-year parts/2-year labor
Eaton 12V 200W battery 3-year parts/1-year labor 3-year parts/3-year labor
Eaton 12V 280W battery 3-year parts/1-year labor 3-year parts/3-year labor
Eaton 12V 330W battery 3-year parts/1-year labor 3-year parts/3-year labor
Eaton 12V 390W battery 3-year parts/1-year labor 3-year parts/3-year labor
Eaton 12V 540W battery 3-year parts/1-year labor 3-year parts/3-year labor

12 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Eaton batteries Why Eaton batteries? Eaton Cellwatch
As a part of our commitment to delivering Proven performance. Eaton batteries Eaton Cellwatch is an advanced battery
the highest reliability in power availability, have been thoroughly tested by our monitoring system for three-phase
Eaton offers a line of premium batteries engineering team and shown to adhere UPSs. All information collected by
for our three-phase UPS models. to our stringent performance and quality Eaton Cellwatch is gathered at a central
Eaton batteries combine field-proven specifications. monitoring unit, where it’s analyzed on
performance and quality at competitive Windows®-compatible software. The
High power density. An optimized design
pricing and are backed by our network system uses fiber-optic technology, which
delivers more watts per cell, more power
of trained battery customer service is non-conducting and introduces no
for the volume than other batteries on
engineers. electrical noise, so all readings are precise
the market. As a result, Eaton batteries
provide more runtime for the footprint, and accurate.
Prior to using a battery in an Eaton
product, a thorough review of the more runtime per dollar.
Eaton Cellwatch provides continuous
performance, manufacturing and design High-rate design. Charge after charge, monitoring of your batteries to allow you
data is conducted. The presence of the batteries approved for the Eaton to proactively identify and address battery
specific attributes of the design and brand sustained high runtime levels, while issues. This includes:
manufacturing process, important for UPS performance of non-qualified batteries
battery use, is confirmed. dropped off markedly after only 10 • M
 onitoring of voltage, internal
discharges. resistance and temperature
Following the review and assuming the
outcome is successful, a statistically Extended warranty coverage. Eaton • Immediate warning and specific battery
significant sample of the batteries is offers a full three years (excluding 34W identification of deterioration and
obtained from the manufacturer. This and 120W battery models which are two imminent failure
sample is required to have been built years) of parts coverage with full (not pro-
• R
 eduction of the possibility of damage
from the manufacturer’s existing process rated) replacement of any failed battery.
to entire battery string
for that battery. A series of tests and In the unlikely event a replacement
physical examinations are conducted on battery fails within the first year, Eaton • R
 eplacement based on actual battery
this sample; including a set of discharges will send a technician on-site to install the condition, preventing costly premature
using various loads to characterize the replacement battery at no charge. With replacement
performance of the battery, charge tests regional stocking locations, we can get
and tests for float current stability at replacement batteries to you quickly. • M
 inimum of 120 days of activity history,
normal to high-float voltages. Failures enabling you to trend individual battery
Expert technical support. Eaton batteries and string performance
or inconsistencies in performance are
are backed by our service network of
investigated further and reviewed by • C
 ontinuous monitoring of string and
trained and qualified battery service
the manufacturer. In some cases, a tear- battery discharge currents ranging from
engineers who are available to install
down analysis is performed to identify 25A to 1000A
and maintain your batteries. Beyond the
the cause of the problem. If the battery is
warranty period, you can choose battery
found acceptable and all open issues are • Programmable alarm functions
monitoring services and maintenance
resolved, a limited series of discharges,
plans that take the guesswork and • Remote monitoring capabilities (optional)
with recharge, are performed.
administrative tasks out of battery
management. • M
 ay be used to detect thermal runaway
This intense and thorough quality testing in advance
ensures that Eaton batteries are ready for Easy installation. No special harnesses
peak performance at their stated capacity are needed when these batteries are
as soon as they’re deployed. installed with new UPSs. Harnesses are Thermal runaway

Products & Services

readily available for legacy UPSs. Thermal runaway is the most dangerous
and potentially catastrophic situation
involving lead-acid batteries. It occurs
when the heat generated in a lead-acid
cell exceeds its ability to dissipate it,
which can lead to an explosion, especially
in sealed cells. The heat generated in
the cell may occur without any warning
signs and may be caused by overcharging,
excessive charging, internal physical
damage, internal short circuit or a hot

By monitoring every jar or cell in the

battery system for signs of failure, Eaton
Cellwatch is uniquely suited to find the
Eaton Cellwatch battery monitoring system monitors key
causes and symptoms of thermal runaway
performance indicators for each individual battery to provide
adequate time to detect and replace a bad battery, mitigating before damage occurs.
the risk of downtime

13 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Extending battery service life Eaton PredictPulse Insight
Eaton’s ABM technology uses a unique three-stage charging ®
Remote monitoring and management is like a second set
technique that significantly extends battery service life of eyes that is keeping tabs on your equipment 24 hours a day,
and optimizes recharge time compared to traditional trickle 7 days a week and will notify you of any issues. PredictPulse™
charging. An integrated battery management system tests and Insight is a monitoring and management service that collects
monitors battery health and remaining lifetime and provides and analyzes data from connected power infrastructure devices,
advance notification to guide preventive maintenance. Optional providing us with the insight needed to make recommendations
temperature-compensated charging monitors temperature and take action on your behalf. Once activated, managed
changes and adjusts the charge rate accordingly to properly devices send parametric data to Eaton’s monitoring center every
charge the battery and greatly extend battery life. A variable 15 minutes. We compare current and historical performance
battery bus accommodates 384V to 480V configurations, so data against specified parameters to determine if anything is
the battery capacity can be matched to your exact runtime out of the ordinary. At the same time, the data appears on
requirements—either a specific runtime, an extension to existing your PredictPulse dashboard and alarms in the mobile app. If
battery runtime or legacy battery installations. With remote something is amiss, we’ll notify you of the alarm and how we
monitoring of the UPS and battery system, Eaton is able to recommend addressing it.
respond to alarms and real-time battery data to avert potential
battery problems. Note: ABM is not applicable for flooded-cell or This means less time spent managing IT equipment, reduced
lithium-ion systems. risk, access to real-time status information and expedited
repairs. You’ll also receive a report each month summarizing
100% the past 30 days of status, performance, alarms and upcoming
UPS with ABM service needs.
UPS with Float Charge
(in minutes and seconds)
Battery Backup Time

UPS with Lithium-Ion


80% I I I I I I I I I I I I I
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120
Battery Age
(in months)

Although batteries are sold with a variety of published

life spans, the fact is, some demonstrate a useful life
of as little as three to five years. Eaton’s exclusive
ABM technology significantly increases the life of
VRLA UPS batteries.
The Eaton Customer Monitoring Center stands ready to assist 24x7

Customer Monitoring Center

Products & Services

Eaton’s global 24x7 service operations command center is a hardened, secure facility
for all UPS product service scheduling, technical support and remote monitoring support.
Customer support staff are The benefits of the Customer • E
 ases customer hassle of managing
trained to qualify and prioritize all Monitoring Center include: battery health
incoming calls using defined • Increased reliability via remote • S
 aves time for busy facility or IT
processes, complemented by a diagnostic and remote repair tools managers
knowledge database, with tech delivered by Eaton product experts • E
 nhanced internal self-monitoring
support and domain experts at
• E
 xpedited service response to resources and capabilities
their disposal 24x7.
critical UPS and battery alarms • M
 onthly reports designed for both
(reduces risk and cost of downtime) technical and non-technical use
• 2
 4x7 notification of critical alarms • D
 evelopment of trending database
or trends on both UPS and battery

14 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Maintaining uptime,
even in the world’s
worst weather

The Mt. Washington The Mt. Washington

Observatory (MWO) is a
Years ago, MWO deployed a 15
kVA Eaton 9355 uninterruptible
The field technicians trekked to
the top of Mt. Washington with
Observatory can’t have private, non-profit scientific power system (UPS) with more four new strings of batteries for
any interruptions in and educational institution
dedicated to advancing the
than 170 minutes of runtime
to help ensure that even when
the observatory. They safely
removed 32 trays of batteries
power, which is why understanding of the natural the most extreme weather hits, and two cabinets—about
systems that create the Earth’s the organization can continue 3,840 pounds of materials.
we have the Eaton weather and climate. The gathering and storing vital data. This helped MWO significantly
UPS. We’re collecting summit of Mt. Washington is When an outage happens, consolidate its UPS solution,
home to some of the most saving valuable space at the
data continuously, and dangerous and unpredictable
the 9355 immediately kicks
on to keep MWO’s systems
those types of weather in the world, so MWO operating until its generator can Eaton’s reliable service was
maintains a mountaintop
instruments do not like station to conduct research,
power up. Although this usually invaluable to the staff at
takes just a matter of seconds, MWO. “We’re in an extreme
interruptions in power. oversee educational programs without a highly reliable UPS environment here…we have to
and collect real-time data that
It’s also holding feeds into the National Weather
to bridge the gap, those fix things on site and there’s no
seconds could result in holes hardware store just down the
together our entire Service’s forecast models. in the organization’s 80-year street,” said an IT specialist
IT infrastructure. At an elevation of 6,288 feet, continuous weather history. at MWO. “Even in the best
the observatory is prone to While the 9355 performed of conditions, we’re a difficult
Cyrena-Marie Briedé, director of direct lightning strikes; during place to get to. Eaton still
summit operations flawlessly through the years,
winter, conditions become even by 2014, its batteries needed to manages to provide service on

Products & Services

more treacherous with ice, be replaced. The MWO IT team a regular basis and when we
snow and blistering hurricane- reached out to Eaton to arrange need it.”
force wind gusts—all of which a battery replacement and get With a more compact UPS
can knock out electricity. the UPS on a service plan. solution, real-time system
Discovering that MWO updates and the addition of
had reduced its equipment an environmental monitoring
since the UPS was first probe, MWO is in an excellent
installed, Eaton’s service team position to preserve its 80-year
determined that 90 minutes weather history and capture as
of runtime—rather than the much data as possible during
originally slotted 170 minutes— extreme weather. Watch this
would be more than sufficient video for the full story:
for the organization.

In winter, the Mt. Washington Observatory is an ice and snow palace, battered
by hurricane-force wind gusts

15 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Battery glossary

Absorbed electrolyte – Actual capacity – The total Average voltage – The Battery nominal voltage –
Electrolyte that’s been number of ampere-hours that average of the individual The nominal voltage of one cell
immobilized in an absorbent could be withdrawn from a cell voltages of all the cells multiplied by the number of
separator. cell based on a specific set of in a battery. This term may cells in the battery.
operating conditions (including be applied to a variety of
Absorbed electrolyte cell – A initial state-of-charge, discharge conditions, including average Battery rack – A structure
cell, usually a valve-regulated rate, initial cell temperature float voltage and average used to support a group of
sealed lead-acid type, which and end voltage) and the age discharge voltage. cells. The most common
utilizes absorbed electrolyte. of the cell. rack material is steel with a
Battery – Two or more cells corrosion-resistant coating.
Absorged glass mat (AGM) Ambient temperature – The connected together electrically.
battery – Designed with average temperature of the Cells may be connected in Boost charge – An overcharge
electrolytes held in thin glass surrounding air that comes into series or parallel, or both, to of any length.
fibers woven into a mat to contact with the battery. provide the required operating
increase surface area enough voltage and current levels.
Cathode – The electrode
to hold sufficient electrolyte on Anode – The electrode in an in an electrochemical cell
the cells for their lifetime. AGM electrochemical cell where Battery charger – An where reduction takes place.
batteries are also known as oxidation takes place. During apparatus that restores the During discharge, the positive
“starved electrolyte” or “dry” discharge, the negative charge of a secondary battery. electrode of the cell is the
because the fiberglass mat has electrode of the cell is the Also known as a rectifier. cathode. During charge, this
no excess fluid. anode. During charge, this reverses and the negative
reverses and the positive Battery duty cycle – The load electrode of the cell is the
Accessories – The components electrode of the cell is the a battery is expected to supply cathode.
required to complete the anode. for a specified time period.
battery installation, including Carbonization – A condition
connectors, flame-arrestor As found (condition) – A term Battery management system where the electrolyte becomes
vents, cell numbers and used to inform the person – Required for lithium-ion contaminated with potassium
hardware. performing a capacity test that systems, this monitors and carbonate to a point where it
the battery should be tested controls cell balance and can influences cell performance.
Activation charge – The without performing certain take action to disconnect
process of making a dry- checks, so the test results will a failing battery string Capacity – The ampere-hour
charged cell functional by reflect the effect (good or bad) automatically. capacity assigned to a cell by
introducing electrolyte and of the maintenance practice
the manufacturer for a given
charging. followed for the installation.
Battery monitor – A piece of discharge time, at a specified
equipment used to monitor electrolyte temperature and
Active material – The material Average temperature – The various parameters of a specific gravity to a given end-
in the electrodes (plates) of average of the individual cell battery, such as individual cell of-discharge voltage.
the cell that reacts chemically temperatures of all the cells in voltage, battery voltage and
to produce electric energy a battery. temperature. Cell – The basic electrochemical
when the cell discharges, unit, characterized by an anode
which is restored to its original and cathode, used to receive,
composition during the charge store and deliver electrical
process. energy.

16 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Cell temperature – The Efficiency – The Flooded-cell – A cell design Grid – A framework for a
temperature at which a cell electrochemical efficiency, that’s characterized by an plate in a cell that supports or
is operating. In the U.S., the expressed as a percent, of excess of free electrolyte, retains the active material and
reference for cell temperature the ratio of the ampere-hour and in which the products of conducts the electric current.
is 25°C (77°F). output of the battery, to the electrolytes, such as gasses,
ampere-hour input required and evaporation, can freely exit High level line – A line on the
Charge – The conversion of to restore the initial state of the cell through a vent. (Also side of a jar that shows the
electrical energy into chemical charge. see wet-cell.) maximum level of electrolyte
energy within a secondary cell. that should be present in a
Electrode – The site at which Freshening charge – A charge cell.
Closed-circuit voltage – The the electrochemical reaction given to a battery following
voltage of a cell when it’s takes place. non-use or storage. High performance cell – A
discharging. cell designed to supply a duty
Electrolyte – A conducting Full-float operation – cycle requiring a high current
Constant current charge – medium in which the flow of Operation of a DC system with for a short period of time.
A charge in which the electric current takes place. the battery, battery charger and
current output of the charge load connected in parallel, with Hit – Indicates that a standby
is maintained at a constant Element – The positive and the battery charger supplying battery has been discharged.
value. Sometimes this may be negative plate groups with the normal DC load plus any
accomplished using two-rate separators assembled for one self-discharge or charging
Hit counter – A device used
charging. cell. current, or both, required by
to record the number of
the battery.
discharges experienced by a
Constant voltage charge – A End cell – A cell that can be battery.
charge in which the potential added to or removed from a Fully-charged – The condition
voltage at the output terminals battery circuit to adjust battery that exists following a long-
Hydration (lead-acid cell) –
of the battery charger is voltage. term constant current charge.
A condition caused by
maintained at a constant value. discharging a cell, and failing to
End voltage – The cell voltage Gassing – Evolution of gas by recharge it in a timely manner.
Cycle – A discharge and at which the discharge is one or more of the plates in a
subsequent charge of a cell. terminated. cell, resulting from electrolysis
Immobilized electrolyte –
of water into hydrogen and
Electrolyte that’s retained by a
oxygen within a cell during
Density – The weight of a Energy density – The ratio of gel or absorbent mat.
charging, overcharging or local
given volume of electrolyte at the available energy from a cell
action. Lithium-ion batteries, if
a specified temperature. to its volume or weight. Initial charge – The charge
overcharged, may emit small
amounts of gasses (CO2, CO, given to a new battery before
Depth of discharge – The Flame-arrestor vent – A cell- Phosphorus Oxide). See the placing it in service.
ampere-hours removed venting device that prevents vendor’s MSDS for safety
from a fully charged battery, the propagation of an external measures. Initial voltage – The closed-
expressed as a percentage flame into the cell. circuit voltage at the beginning
of its rated capacity at the of a discharge.
Gelled electrolyte –
applicable discharge rate. Flame-retardant material – A Electrolyte that’s been
material capable of limiting the immobilized by the addition of Integrity test – A test used
Discharge – The conversion of propagation of a fire beyond a gelling agent. to detect conduction path
chemical energy into electrical the area of influence of the problems.
energy within a cell. energy source that initiated it.
Gelled electrolyte cell – A
cell, usually lead-acid or VRLA, Inter-cell connection
Discharge rate – The rate in Float current – The current that uses gelled electrolyte. resistance – The total electrical
amperes at which current is drawn by a cell that’s being resistance of the connection
delivered by the battery. float charged. between the terminals of
General purpose cell – A
cell designed to supply a duty two cells that are electrically
Dry-charged cell – A cell Float voltage – The voltage cycle requiring a high current connected to each other.
that’s been assembled with applied during full-float for a short period of time
its plates dry, and in a charged operation. followed by a low current for
state, ready to be activated by a long period of time. This
the addition of electrolyte... term is used in the U.S. for

allowing easier shipping and cells designed for switchgear

storage. tripping, generating stations
and control applications.

17 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Inter-cell connector – An Level line – A line or set of Multi-cell unit – A multi-cell Oxygen recombination
electrical conductor used to lines on the sides of the jar container in which cells are efficiency – A ratio of the
connect adjacent cells on the used to indicate the cell’s installed. quantity of oxygen recombined
same rack. minimum or maximum of to the total amount of oxygen
electrolyte level. Negative plate – The generated.
Inter-cell connector safety electrode to which current
cover – An insulated cover Lithium-ion cell – Lithium- flows from the external circuit Parallel – The interconnection
placed over the inter-cell ion cells, made of lithium and when the cell is discharging. of cells in which all the like
connector and post, used to other metals and chemicals, terminals are connected.
prevent accidental contact by are lighter and more energy Negative terminal – The
personnel or accidental short dense than comparable lead terminal toward which positive Parallel strings – The
circuiting of the cell. acid cells. They are typically charge flows in the external interconnection of two or
packaged in a ‘module’ that circuit, such as from the more strings in which the like
Inter-rack connector – An contains enough cells to positive terminal, when the cell terminals of each string are
electrical conductor used to attain the desired voltage discharges. connected.
connect cells on two separate and current capability. Each
racks, most often insulated cell is comprised of metal
NiCad battery – A sealed Pasted plate – A grid filled
copper wire. electrodes, separators, internal
storage battery having a nickel with active material applied as
fusing and vents, along with
anode, a cadmium cathode, a paste.
a management circuit that
Internal impedance – The and an alkaline electrolyte.
controls its balance of current
resistance of a cell to an Performance test – A
and voltage, ensuring over-
alternating current of a specific Nominal gravity – The specific constant-current capacity test
temperature conditions do not
frequency. gravity of the electrolyte made on a battery after being
selected for the determination placed in service to detect
Internal resistance – The of the rated capacity of the cell any change in the capacity
Local action – The internal
resistance of a cell to an when it’s fully charged. determined by the acceptance
losses of a battery standing on
electric current within a cell. test.
open-circuit or on float charge,
without considering any losses Open-circuit voltage – The
Internal voltage drop – The incidental to any discharge. voltage of a cell with no Pilot cell – A selected cell
product of the current passing current flow in either direction whose condition is assumed
through the cell. after the cell has had time to to indicate the condition of the
Long duration cell – A cell
stabilize. entire battery.
designed to supply a duty
Jar – The container that cycle requiring a low current
holds a cell or group of cells. for a long period of time. Overcharge – The forcing of Plante plate – A pure lead
Common jar materials include current through a battery after plate for a lead-acid cell in
thermoplastics, but hard it’s been fully recharged. which the active material is
Low level line – A line
rubber is sometimes used as formed directly from a lead
on the side of a jar that
well and nickel-cadmium cells Oxygen index – The minimum substrate.
represents the minimum level
may be in steel containers. concentration of oxygen,
of electrolyte that should be
Jars for flooded lead-acid cells expressed as volume percent, Plate – An assembly of active
present in a cell.
are normally transparent to in a mixture of oxygen materials on a supporting
allow inspection of the plate and nitrogen that will just framework grid, frame or
and sediment. Modified-plante plate – A
support flaming combustion support strip. (Also called an
lead-alloy grid containing holes
of a material initially at room electrode.)
into which pure lead corrugate
Jar-to-cover seal – The seal temperature.
strips are placed.
at the interface of the jar and Pocket plate – A plate in which
cover. Oxygen recombination – the active material is held in
Multi-cell container – A multi-
A process whereby oxygen perforated metal pockets on a
compartment container in
Lead-acid cell – A secondary generated at the positive support strip. Usually used for
which each compartment may
cell in which the electrolyte electrode recombines with nickel-cadmium cells.
contain an individual cell.
is a solution of sulfuric acid in hydrogen at the negative
water. Lead-acid cells include electrode to convert to water. Point (of specific gravity) –
pure lead cells and lead alloy One-thousandth of specific
cells such as lead-antimony, gravity (SG).
lead-calcium and lead-

18 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

Polarization – The change in Sealed, lead-acid (SLA) Standby battery – A battery Tier rack – A rack in which
voltage at the terminals of a battery – non-spillable, designed to function only cells are placed directly above
cell when a specified current is maintenenace-free valve when the normal source of each other at different levels.
flowing into it. regulated batteries designed power fails.
with vents that cannot usually Trickle charge – A charge
Positive plate – The electrode be removed. State-of-charge – The actual given to a battery with no
from which the current flows capacity of a cell, expressed as external load connected to it
to the external circuit when Secondary cell – An a percent of its rated capacity, to maintain it in a fully charged
the battery is discharging. electrochemical cell that’s that would be available if a condition.
capable of being discharged discharge were to occur.
Positive terminal – The and then recharged. Valve – A normally sealed
terminal from which the Stationary battery – A mechanism that allows for the
positive electric charge flows Secondary battery – Two secondary battery designed controlled escape of gasses
through the external circuit to or more secondary cells for service in a permanent from within a cell.
the negative terminal when the connected electrically. location.
cell discharges. Valve-regulated sealed
Sediment – The active material Step rack – A rack in lead-acid cell – A cell that’s
Power density – The ratio of that separates from the battery which cells are placed at sealed and fitted with a valve
the available power from a cell plates and falls to the bottom different levels in a stepped opens to vent it whenever
to its volume or weight. of the jar. arrangement. the internal pressure exceeds
the external pressure by a set
Rated capacity – The ampere- Self-discharge rate – The Strap – The component in a amount.
hour capacity assigned to a cell amount of capacity reduction cell where all the plates of like
by its manufacturer for a given occurring per unit of time in polarity are joined. Vent – A device that allows
discharge time, at a specified a battery as a result of self- the escape of gasses from
electrolyte temperature to a discharge. String – A common way to within a cell.
given end-of-discharge voltage. refer to a number of cells
Separator – An ionic connected in series to form a Voltage efficiency – A ratio
Recombination vent – A vent permeable, non-conductive battery system. of the average voltage during
in which most of the gasses spacer used to prevent discharge to the average
escaping from the cell are metallic contact between Sulphation (lead-acid cell) – voltage during recharge, under
catalytically recombined and plates of opposite polarity A state where the battery specified conditions.
returned to the cell as water. within a cell. has developed an abnormal
amount of sulphate and its Voltage spread – A term used
Reference electrode – A Series – The interconnection of capacity is impaired which is to describe the difference
special electrode that has cells in such a manner that the different from normal sulphate between the highest and
a reproducible potential positive terminal of the first that occurs during discharge. lowest individual cell voltage
against which other electrode is connected to the negative readings in a battery.
potentials can be referred. terminal of the second and so Taper charge – A charge in
on. which both current and voltage Wet-cell – A cell design
Retainer – Any material that decrease over the recharge that’s characterized by an
is used to prevent the loss Service life – The period of period. excess of free electrolyte,
of active material from the time during which a fully and in which the products of
positive plate. charged battery is capable of Terminal – The part of a cell electrolytes, such as gasses,
delivering at least a specified to which the external circuit is and evaporation can freely exit
Reversal – A changing of the percentage of its rated connected. the cell through a vent. (Also
normal polarity of a cell. capacity. For most lead-acid see flooded-cell.)
battery designs this is 80%.
Thermal runaway – A
Rundown test – A partial condition in which a cell
discharge test to a voltage Shipping vent – The vent on charge or discharge will
other than the system placed in the cell for the destroy itself through internal
designed and voltage. purpose of shipping it. heat generation caused by high
overcharge or over-discharge
Specific gravity – The ratio of current or other abusive
the weight of a given volume conditions.
of electrolyte to the weight of

an equal volume of water at a

specified temperature.

19 EATON The large UPS battery handbook

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