Do you know anything about HR (High Rate) SLA batteries? Are you able to point us to some quality SLA batteries for UPSs?
I watched the UPS video shortly after it was posted. I would like some feedback on UPS Batteries. More importantly the SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) variety.
UPS Batteries were only talked about in a small section and I do agree that there are low-quality SLA’s. I know that in a deep-pocket funding environment it would be best to buy the battery packs from the vendor but… In a real-world, limited-budget environment I feel it is best to buy the SLA batteries and rebuild the battery packs. Yes, I am aware that the usually voids any warranty(s) that may be on the UPSs.
With that stated… There is a noticeable difference in the SLA batteries that come out of the vendor UPS packs vs ones purchased off a local shelf. Most notably, the weight of SLA battery.
Over the years I have been trying to find answers to getting the correct SLA batteries for UPSs but I minimal talk about it. I get a little nugget of information here and there. When trying to get any information out of UPS Vendor it is like pulling teeth as they want you to purchase their battery packs. When asked they dance around talk about the batteries inside the packs.
The only small nugget of information regarding UPS SLA batteries that seems accurate is that they need to be HR (High Rate) type SLA batteries. When I have asked the local battery stores they look at me like I am crazy and have no clue about any HR SLA batteries.
My understanding of HR SLA batteries… They have more lead plates and are able to discharge quicker which is what is needed for a UPS. Normal SLA batteries key very hot trying to keep up when the UPS is trying to run off batteries. This is one of the reasons for SLA’s bulging over time…
Recently I replaced all 12 of the SLA batts in both of my rack mounted Eaton 9130s with great 12V 9AH batteries from PowerSonic. As I am an IT service provider similar to LTS, I have done many of these renewals. Ultimately choosing a replacement came down to experience with cheap junk (lack of performance and longevity). The base indicator of quality has ended up being the individual weight of each of the batteries as they are SLA and more weight generally means more lead, acid and whatever else is used to construct batteries.
Have used PowerSonic for about 5.5 yrs now for all sorts of UPS and other battery powered items and they work just as good or better then OEM. For my business personal and clients, would say Ive done about 60 batteries or so now with no issues.
Hope this helps.
In general there the only difference in OEM replacements and what you can get on your own is the sticker the OEM puts on their OEM replacements. That being said there is a difference in replacement battery quality and though a replacement may fit the hole, it does not last long as it is inferior in quality.
For most small businesses and home use (home labs included), quality general purpose batteries are fine and digging into engineering notes, 99% of these devices are designed to use these general purpose batteries. These are what the factory installed and is what should be used for replacements.
When I worked in Enterprise IT, we saw some literal industrial grade (factory production floor) battery applications that needed these specialty type batteries. Point is, don’t waste your money on these, instead spend it on quality general purpose batteries.
I can tell you I have had some real “lemons” from BatteriesPlus the last time I did a battery swap on a 10 year old rack mount APC. That is why I stick with OEM batteries you may pay more but they meet the specifications that the manufacturer stated on the UPS device.
Ill look up where i got my batteries for my APC2200NET’s. And they are very good at 64% load they last quite a while long enough to see if power is comming back in 10 mins or the software starts shutdowns from least important to the DCs and VM hosts last…
I believe though it was a distributor for APC. So they are probably oem. They certainly do the job.
I have used Amstron batteries from ATbatt for several rotations in my APC UPS’s They have lasted longer than the factory APC batteries and much cheaper. But keep in mind that batteries in a UPS are only good for about 3 years, change them this frequently and you shouldn’t have them bulging so you can’t slide the tray out. Once they bulge and split, you’ll have fun pulling the trays. One year I had to drill out the pop rivets in two different chassis, then pop new rivets back in place before installing the rebuilt trays. You can waste hours by not changing them frequently enough.
Newer APC have gone to a steel tray that is rivetted closed, this makes it much more difficult to replace individual batteries. For this one I just couldn’t be bothered with figuring out what I needed and bought expensive APC trays with batteries and slide them in place. At least it was quicker than rebuilding the trays. Yes I was in a hurry on this repair because of the equipment attached to it, couldn’t afford a bunch of research to find the batteries and figure out what needed to be drilled to open the tray.
Here in the UK i use USP Trader - https://secure.ups-trader.co.uk/
Your experiences sound just like mine. We have tried our 2 local battery shops: Battery Warehouse & BatteriesPlus Bulbs… We would replace the SLA’s from Battery Warehouse about every 2 years. BatteriesPlus Bulbs are brand name Duracell. Both companies have said the local school districts by the battery from them for thier UPS’. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I just know we didn’t care for the Battery Warehouse ones at all and still waiting to see the longevity of these Duracell.
I am totally aware of the struggle in pulling out the old batteries after they were used after their prime…
I have only had a few of the Amstrom brand go bad, and that was after 4 years of service. I’ve cycled about 60 of them through for the past 10 or so years, I have a lot of rack mounted UPS. I really should have a large central UPS and maybe that can happen when they refit my end of the building so I can protect more than just the servers.
And that said, the newer APC batteries in the steel tray seemed to be better, after 5 years they had not bulged the trays. APC still says to replace every 3 to 4 years so I’m going to try and keep to that when budgets allow and explain what can happen if we don’t replace on schedule… Ever see flames coming out of your APC devices? Yes real flames. Also had a few smoke when the batteries go bad. Best to change them before the self test says they are bad, and change the entire set, not just the one low battery which sets you up for other problems.
And I have no experience with Lithium based UPS, considering the kind of fire that results and how much of a lead acid battery get recycled into new batteries, I don’t think it is worth the risk for me right now.
I am awaiting Lithium iron phosphate battery tech to take off in the UPS world. 12k cycles 10 years of durability to 50% capacity and much safer that normal Li’s. I have a Ecoflow Delta Pro here in my home lab in line with my UPS that has that battery chemistry.