Uninterruptible Power Supplies in Harsh Environments

Uninterruptible Power Supplies in Harsh Environments

The ideal environment for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and corresponding battery pack is a safe, dust-free, dry room with an ambient temperature of 20-25 °C and sufficient airflow, as specified by the manufacturer.

When installing a UPS in a construction or renovation project, environmental requirements are usually carefully considered and the UPS is ideally positioned to improve reliability and maximize service life.

When adding a UPS to existing electrical infrastructure, the conditions are often not ideal: The UPS may be installed next to other electrical equipment, in a production room, in a basement, or even in an open container. In this case, the UPS may have to deal with the elements of a harsh environment. In such cases, how can the effects of the harsh environment be mitigated? Visit also: top APC UPS for computer

Isolate the battery site

The ambient operating temperature for most UPS models are between 0°C and 40°C (assuming no condensation). If under these conditions, wearing parts such as capacitors are checked preventively and replaced if necessary, the UPS can be operated without any noticeable impact on its total lifetime. The situation is different for batteries, however. Although the specifications indicate a similar operating window, their life and performance can vary considerably depending on temperature.

In most battery manufacturers’ specifications, performance and life are listed at 20°C. Higher temperatures increase performance but reduce life. At lower temperatures, life expectancy increases, but power decreases. This is a very significant reduction, and Yuasa’s specification for a 5-year life indicates that the battery will only reach 33% of its life at an ambient temperature of 30°C… a little over a year and a half!

Dust filter

During normal operation, the UPS is constantly in use, so air is always flowing in and out. If dust or other airborne particles are present in the environment, they can clog the interior of the UPS, resulting not only in poor cooling, but also in the formation of deposits on the internal components, which can lead to failure. By choosing a UPS with a dust filter as standard or one that can be upgraded or replaced regularly, you can prevent harmful dust from accumulating inside and affecting the reliability of your system. Under extremely adverse conditions, “conformal coating” may be recommended.

Conformal Coating

As mentioned earlier, ambient air (and its associated particles) is constantly being blown in throughout the life of the UPS. When moisture, chemical contamination, and high humidity are to be expected, some manufacturers offer the option of applying a “conformal coating” (sometimes called tropicalization) to the internal circuit boards. Conformal coating is a chemical protection layer applied by the manufacturer prior to shipment. Because it is electrically insulating, the insulation resistance of the surface is maintained for a long time, it protects the electronic components from airborne impurities, such as salt spray, and prevents corrosion. This process has been used in the past for “industrial” UPS, but now manufacturers like Huawei and AEC have adopted this technology as the standard for three-phase UPS.

One way to solve this problem is to provide a special area for temperature-controlled batteries. This also saves energy because the batteries generate less heat (unlike a UPS). If the temperature cannot be maintained, choose a long-life battery, such as one that is 10 or 12 years old, and check its operation regularly. The purchase cost is higher, but you don’t need to replace the batteries every year, and a 10-year battery doesn’t cost twice as much as a 5-year battery. Visit here: Top Dry Battery Price in Pakistan

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