Consumer Discretionary

Rising Trend Toward Li-Ion Batteries In UPS Solutions

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<p>Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries are not something new. Li-Ion batteries have been used commercially for over 20 years, first appearing in commercial applications in the 1990s. More recently, Li-Ion battery cells have become a more common solution in Electric Vehicles, E-bikes, UPS&rsquo; and Energy Storage devices.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Advantages of Li-Ion Batteries &nbsp;</span></h2><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li>Higher energy density</li><li>Longer life</li><li>Improved discharge cycles</li><li>Better energy efficiency</li><li>Lesser environmental impact versus the Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries that have previously dominated these applications.</li></ul></li></ul><h2><br /><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Li-Ion Batteries as an Alternative to VRLA Batteries</span>&nbsp;</h2><p>Looking into the differences between battery cell types, Lithium-ion batteries use a different chemical process than VRLA or &ldquo;flooded&rdquo; lead-acid batteries.&nbsp;</p><p>In a Li-Ion battery cell, the charged lithium-ion moves back and forth between the positive and negative plates through an electrolyte of lithium salt in an organic solution.</p><p>In a lead-acid battery, the negative electrode is made of porous lead to facilitate the formation and dissolution of lead, while the positive electrode consists of lead oxide.&nbsp;</p><p>The two electrodes are separated by a chemically permeable membrane, which helps prevent electrical shorting through the electrolyte. The electrodes are immersed in a solution of sulfuric acid and water, hence the name, Lead-Acid.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Key Reasons why Li-Ion batteries make sense in UPS designs</span></h2><p><strong>Size and Weight Matter </strong></p><p>Compared to VRLA batteries, Li-Ion batteries are much smaller and lighter. Li-ion batteries, on average, weigh 60-75% less and take up only 40-50% of the size (footprint) of equivalent VRLA batteries.</p><p>Another way to look at this is that for the same amount of battery capacity (Wh), Li-Ion batteries take up roughly half the space of their VRLA equivalent.</p><p>Taking ventilation requirements and/or the need for VRLA batteries to be located in a separate room into account, the footprint required for Li-Ion batteries and the cost associated with that space reduces even further.</p><p><strong>Longer Life and Lower TCO</strong></p><p>Li-Ion batteries have a longer life than VRLA batteries. On average, the lifespan for VRLA batteries is three to five (3 to 5) years, while Li-Ion batteries have an average lifespan of seven to ten (7 to 10) years.&nbsp;<br />This equates to, on average, two (2) service maintenance schedules to replace VRLA batteries over a UPS product&rsquo;s lifespan. Using Li-Ion batteries in that same UPS application eliminates the need for battery replacements.</p><p><strong>Higher Ambient Temperature Tolerance</strong></p><p>Several environmental conditions can further reduce the life of VRLA batteries, but operating in higher ambient temperatures is a significant contributor. VRLA batteries work best at room temp 25&deg;C (77&deg;F), and for every 8.3&deg;C (15&deg;F) increase in temperature above room temperature, the life of the battery can be reduced by as much as 50%.</p><p><strong>Storage and Longevity of Batteries</strong></p><p>Li-Ion batteries exhibit a low capacity to fade/self-discharge when stored properly. Proper storage would have the Li-Ion batteries in a semi-charged state, ideally 35-40% of the fully charged value. This semi-charged state prevents the batteries from potential negative impacts (safety, stresses on cell, low voltage state) of being stored at full capacity.</p><p>When ready, the batteries can be charged to 100% and will be ready for use. If Li-Ion batteries are stored properly in a room temperature environment (0-25&deg;C), they can be stored for many years with minimal battery capacity loss.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Environmental Impact</span></h2><p>The good news about lead-acid (VRLA) batteries is that they are over 99% recyclable. The lithium in Li-Ion batteries is not a huge concern in terms of pollution. However, depending on the chemistry of the Li-Ion cell, they may contain manganese, cobalt, or nickel, which, while not considered as toxic as lead, are still classified as toxic heavy metals, so Li-Ion batteries are not 100% without environmental concerns.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="linkedin.com/in/chandra-mohan-mittal-879b0329">Chandra Mohan Mittal</a></em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Chandra Mohan Mittal</span></p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What maintenance is required for lithium-ion batteries?</span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">The maintenance methods of UPS lithium ion batteries are:</span></p><ul><li>UPS lithium ion battery should be used in a proper ambient temperature, the major factor that affects the service life of electrical battery is the ambient temperature. Generally, the best ambient temperature required by battery manufacturers is between 20 to 25&deg;C.</li><li>Regularly charge and discharge the UPS lithium ion battery. The float voltage and discharge voltage in the UPS power supply have been adjusted to the rated value at the factory, and the discharge current is increased with the increase of the load.</li><li>Use the communication function of UPS power supply connect the UPS power supply through the serial/parallel port, and run this program, you can use the microcomputer to communicate with the UPS power supply.</li><li>Replace the damaged UPS power battery in time. When replacing new batteries, you should try to buy batteries of the same type from the same manufacturer. Mixed use of acid batteries, sealed batteries, and batteries of different specifications is prohibited.</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. Which Li-ion battery is best?&nbsp; </span></h2><p>Samsung</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. Do lithium batteries have a carbon footprint?</span></h2><p>Lithium-ion batteries contain metals such as cobalt, nickel, and manganese, which are toxic and can contaminate water supplies and ecosystems if they leach out of landfills. Additionally, fires in landfills or battery-recycling facilities have been attributed to inappropriate disposal of lithium-ion batteries.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What is the future for lithium-ion battery technology?</span></h2><p>The world is moving rapidly towards 'solid-state batteries', which have only solid components. With this new technology, EV batteries catching fire may soon be history. The Solid-State Lithium Battery is a new development and steps forward from current Lithium-Ion batteries.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Chandra Mohan Mittal