TALE OF THE TAPE: Comparing the use of VRLA (lead-acid) batteries to Lithium-Ion batteries in Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems. (*Spoiler Alert: There really is no comparing them… Lithium-Ion wins this battle hands down!)
With decades of combined experience, N1C Technologies offers designing industrial UPS systems, UPS systems for server rooms, commercial UPS systems and whole-building UPS systems with lithium-ion batteries.
N1C Technologies has a large client list that depends on an uninterruptible power supply system, including data centers, hospitals, universities, manufacturing facilities, call centers, server rooms, server closets and more. Apart from being a go-to source for the entire range of industrial UPS system and commercial UPS system equipment, N1C staff are specialists in closing the gap between the articulated needs of IT experts and the economic constraints of efficiently operating a business.
“We can show you how to meet the technical parameters desired by your IT professionals in the most cost-effective manner, using the UPS products and systems that will give the most robust uninterruptible power supply solution at the fair price,” said Jeff Hansing, vice president of sales. “The average lifespan of a VRLA battery is 4-6 years in ideal conditions while lithium-ion battery lifespan is 10-15 years in nearly all conditions, thus, reducing the burden and cost of downtime and maintenance.”
Lithium-ion batteries do not use lead in their products. There are many other “green” benefits of lithium-ion, which includes battery cells requiring less charging time and power, fewer replacements and less energy to produce and transport.
A wider operational temperature range leads to reduced cooling requirements. Lithium-ion batteries also smaller and offer about a two-thirds reduction in weight, offering the installation flexibility and space savings needed by many IT departments.
“Our large-cabinet Lithium-Ion solutions, paired with the leading Eaton high-power, three-phase UPS systems offer plenty of performance enhancements that can also lead to lower total cost of ownership,” Hansing said. “If you’ve got critical systems that require a reliable, powerful battery backup, then it’s time to consider joining the world’s best UPS systems with Lithium-ion battery power.”
The energy-efficient EATON POWER XPERT 9395 Lithium UPS is designed to provide a high-quality power backup system with scalable battery runtimes for large mission-critical applications.
Paired with high-quality lithium-ion battery cabinets from Samsung the 9395 is perfect for data centers, healthcare applications, multi-tenant data centers, light industry and other critical systems..
About N1C Technologies
Lithium-Ion UPS systems have been shown to deliver a 10-30% lower total cost of ownership over a long lifespan of a system, giving customers financial advantages in just a few years. N1C Technologies is so sure in their single-phase lithium-ion UPS systems that they’ve backed them with a 10-year, limited lifetime replacement warranty on the battery and electronics. N1C was the first to offer a full lineup of single-phase lithium-ion UPS, including:
2949 Venture Drive, Dock 190
Janesville, WI 53546
Sales: (855) 208-0011
Service: (877) 226-3311
Monitor. Manage, Protect. Remote Control. Find out four practical ways to improve the electrical efficiency of your data center.
Others are beginning to notice the benefits of using Lithium-Ion batteries in UPS systems, just like we make here at N1 Critical. We were the first to pioneer it in North America and one analyst believes the technology will replace lead-acid UPS systems in the near future. Check out the a summary of the benefits of our N1C systems here!
Designers and developers of commercial and industrial buildings now have longer-lasting backup power solutions available from N1 Critical Technologies that are suitable for the whole building or select mission critical equipment.
N1 Critical Technologies sales engineers specialize in designing, installing and maintaining uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems using the latest, powerful, long-lasting lithium-ion batteries from several manufacturers.
The company’s technical advisors have access to the very best UPS makes and models available (from Eaton, GE and others) and come with more than 40 years of combined experience in developing industrial UPS systems, commercial UPS systems, UPS systems for server rooms, and whole-building UPS systems.
In addition to designing and installing large-scale, three-phase lithium-ion UPS systems, N1C was the first U.S. company to manufacture and offer a full line of single-phase lithium-based UPS systems for smaller applications, such as server racks, network closets and point-of-sale systems.
Whether needs are high power for a building-wide application, or low power for several pieces of critical equipment, the lithium-ion batteries used in N1C-branded and other designed systems have tremendous benefits.
They offer more energy capacity in a significantly smaller space, are lighter and come with a smaller carbon footprint than traditional lead acid UPS systems. Perhaps most importantly, lithium-ion batteries have both a longer shelf life and a longer backup runtime, which lowers overall cost of ownership for the UPS and powers and protects connected equipment for longer durations during power outages.
“As a team, we have an intimate knowledge of the specifications, capabilities, and service histories of the entire range of lithium-ion UPS products and systems available in the market,” said company co-founder and CEO Nate Ellsworth. “We leverage our practical experience and expertise when designing high-quality power backup systems to give customers the longest lasting, most affordable option available that will save them money, time and hassle over the long run.
“You will find our own single-phase UPS systems and large-scale lithium-ion UPS systems we designed in facilities of all types and sizes. People are starting to realize the many benefits of lithium-ion battery technology and we’re at the forefront of the shift in the marketplace toward the technology. N1C is truly disrupting the uninterruptible power supply industry.”
Clientele for N1 Critical has included data centers, financial institutions, medical clinics, hospitals, office complexes, call centers, telecom centers, universities, school systems, television and radio stations, marine shipboard applications and many others.
“As experts, we help you in bridging the gap between the articulated needs of your IT professionals and the economic constraints of efficiently running your business,” Ellsworth said. “We do this by advising you on how you can meet and even exceed the technical requirements that IT professionals desire and we do it most cost-effectively. Lithium-ion may cost a little more up front, but when you see the savings in money, maintenance and power saving over time, it becomes a no-brainer to make the switch to lithium-ion UPS systems.”
In the ideal conditions, the average life span of a lead acid UPS battery is 4-6 years. In comparison, the lifespan of lithium-ion battery is 10-15 years, and they can withstand even harsher operating environments without performance degradation.
That means less cooling requirements and fewer batter replacements over the life of the unit, reducing the burden of downtime and maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries can also handle more than 1,000 discharges and recharges, more than triple what a lead acid battery can handle. A lighter and smaller battery also makes installation easier and versatile. Some customers may even regain valuable space in their server room or data closet with significantly smaller lithium-ion battery cabinets.
No matter your power needs, N1 Critical Technologies can design a Lithium-Ion Uninterruptible Power Supply solution for you!
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Lithium-Ion batteries are seemingly everywhere these days. They are because their chemical makeup makes them practical and preferable for many purposes, from watches and phones to medical devices, to uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems made by N1 Critical Technologies.
But what makes Li-ion batteries preferable? It’s their characteristics.
Key Characteristics of Li-ion Batteries
Below are a couple of key points that make Lithium-Ion batteries the leading choice for UPS system batteries.
- Lifespan: This is really the most important thing about a battery. Batteries should be designed for maximum life before needing to be replaced. The longer it can last without having to be replaced, the better, as it lowers maintenance costs and thus, lowers the total cost of ownership. N1 Critical’s UPS batteries have a 15-year design life and are backed by a 10-year warranty.
- Space: Li-ion batteries have a higher power density and can store a larger amount of energy in a smaller space when compared to other battery chemistries. N1C’s Lithium-Ion batteries have over 5 times the energy density and take up about 1/3 the space of a valve-regulated lead acid based battery solution that delivers the same power. This means more power in the same or smaller footprint.
- Weight: Lithium is the lightest metal on the periodic table of the elements, thus, the metals inside of Li-Ion batteries is markedly lighter than other batteries of the same energy capacity or voltage. Ultimately, this can make transportation, installation and storage much easier.
- Safety: As with any other electronic device, safety is also a priority when using lithium-ion in UPS system. N1 Critical uses Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), which is shown to have good thermal stability, enhanced safety and tolerance if abused vs. other types of lithium-ion chemistries, according to BatteryUniversity.com. Lithium iron is also more tolerant to full charge conditions and is less stressed than other lithium-ion systems if kept at high voltage for a prolonged time.
- Recharge Cycles: With any rechargeable battery, there will come a day where it will no longer hold or accept a charge. Fortunately, that day comes much further along with a lithium-ion battery, which can handle 1000+ battery charges and discharges. They also have a longer “shelf life” and will be charge-able again if dormant for long periods whereas lead batteries need more frequent charging maintenance.
- Temperature Tolerant: Lithium-ion batteries operate in a wider range of temperatures than lead acid or other battery chemistries. N1C’s UPS units can withstand working temperatures 32ºF to 140 ̊F. Where VRLA battery life is reduced by half for every 10 ̊F over 71ºF, Li-Ion battery life and performance is largely unaffected. This can lead to reduced cooling costs for rooms that house critical components connected to the UPS.
Put it all together: Lithium-Ion is THE Ideal Chemistry for UPS Systems
When we talk about UPS systems, we are talking about something that is heavily dependent on batteries. It’s important to keep connected critical components protected during power outages, surges, sags and other battery problems. Now, you can have full protection for longer, with less temperature requirements, less weight, less maintenance, less cost with greater lifespan and recharge cycles with a lithium-ion-based UPS system from N1 Critical technologies.
Power outages can happen anywhere, at just about any time and for just about any reason. Is your critical gear protected by a reliable and long-lasting Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system like those offered by N1 Critical Technologies?
Your expensive and tough-to-replace electronics should be. Power interruptions are a fact of life and are becoming more common as more demand is placed on aging infrastructure. And power outages are really just one of nine power problems that can have damaging effects on your connected equipment.
N1 Critical’s lithium-ion UPS systems offer the longest backup runtime for their size in the industry, easily surpassing competition from older, antiquated lead-acid-based battery backup systems. And as online double-conversion units, they protect against outages and all other power problems, too.
Outages are the most noticeable, well known and reported problem. Our friends over at Eaton Corporation (N1 Critical is an Eaton Authorized Power Advantage Reselling Partner) keep track of as many major outages as they can. They even track some of the quirkiest reasons and locations for outages on an annual basis.
The Eaton Blackout Tracker’s history of blackouts in the USA dates from 2009-2017. Download the files from Eaton here:
- 2017 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2016 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2015 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2014 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2013 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2011 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2010 USA Blackout Annual Report
- 2009 USA Blackout Annual Report
Significant Outages – 2017
The 10-most significant blackouts in 2017, according to Eaton, were as follows:
- Hurricane Irma, affecting more than 15 million customers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
- Oct. 29 blackout in the Northeast throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, affecting 1.5 million customers, some for up to three days.
- March 8, storms in southeast Michigan pulled down 4,000+ power lines and cut power to more than 1 million.
- Hurricane Harvey left about 300,000 Texans without power in late August.
- Nearly 280,000 California customers lost power due to Sonomoa County wildfires on Oct. 11.
- Power to 9,000 homes and businesses on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, lost power for 8-days when a bridge construction crew cut a transmission cable.
- More than a foot of snow in Georgia cut power to 365,000 utility customers on Dec. 8.
- It took more than a week to restore power to 10,000 customers in Memphis after a severe storm May 27.
- An April windstorm in Portland, Ore., left 200,000 without power.
- Wicked storms left 76,000 in Omaha without power June 16. Some were without service for a week.
Unusual Outages – 2017
When we said power outages can happen anywhere and be caused by just about any reason, we meant it. Eaton’s blackout tracker also listed the 10 most unusual reasons and locations for outages in 2017. They were:
- The Statute of Liberty went dark March 7, likely due to construction work.
- A bee hive hallowed out a tree, causing it to fall on power lines.
- A semi hauling chickens had an accident and caused a small blackout and snarled traffic in Delaware Dec. 12.
- A bear was electrocuted after climbing a power pole and knocking out power in Mountain View, Alaska.
- A domestic dispute led to a purse being set on fire, which in-turn, lit a tree on fire, which spread the flames to a utility box.
- A naked man in Topock, Arizona, allegedly broke water pipes near an electrical box, causing a blackout.
- A hungry hawk landed on top of a utility pole to eat a squirrel, but instead electrocuted itself and the squirrel, causing a blackout and setting fire to the woods nearby.
- A driver having a coughing fit crashed into a utility pole and knocked out power to 1,300 Michigan customers.
- A garbage dumpster being carried by a crane broke loose and landed on power lines, killing power to 5,000 Atlanta customers.
- The mast of a sailboat hit overhead lines in Grand Haven, Michigan, causing a 75-minute blackout for nearly 2,600 customers.
So you never know when or where a power outage will strike. And keep in mind… A power outage is just one of nine common power problems that impact power quality and availability. In many cases, they occur within a building or facility and are not reported publicly. As a result, power-related problems occur far more frequently than what is shown in Eaton’s Blackout Tracker report.
With lithium-ion technology in our batteries, N1 Critical Technologies has made the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system more advanced than ever. We’ve revolutionized the industry. But it wasn’t easy.
Batteries have a long, rich history, and the introduction of N1 Critical’s Lithium-Ion UPS system is only to going to make the future of battery technology more exciting.
You could say the battery evolution has become a revolution with industries beyond UPS manufacturers using lithium-ion. We just happened to be the first!
Lets take a short look at this history of batteries and where we are today with the latest and greatest found inside our powerful, long-lasting UPS systems!
Essentially, batteries are electro-chemical storage that can release and transform energy that can be transformed into electrical power. They are really mini chemical reactors, allowing the transfer and flow of electrons between an anode and cathode, making it possible to power up connected devices.
The “Baghdad Battery” may be the first “battery” made by man. We use the term loosely as its use is still debated. The device was originally discovered by the Director of the Baghdad Museum in 1938. This early battery-like device — possibly dating back to ancient Mesopotamia (250BC) — consisted of a small, five-inch-long clay jar containing a copper cylinder that encased an iron rod. Producing barely any voltage or current, its early use was unknown. Some theories include electroplating metals, making mystical tingling idols, or magical rituals.
It was U.S. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin who coined the word “battery” back in 1749 when he conducted different experiments on electricity by using a string of capacitors linked with each other.
However, the first undisputed real battery that is considered the ancestor of all batteries today was invented in 1799 by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta.
He put copper and zinc discs on top of each other with clothes that are soaked in saltwater separating each one. Then, he attached wires on each end of the stack and found out that it produced a stable and continuous current. The whole set was called a “cell” and it was capable of producing nearly 1 “volt” (a term coined after Alessandro Volta).
Currently, batteries are produced in many different sizes, from giant room-sized batteries with Megawatts of stored power (enough to supply power to some small inhabited islands), to the miniature button battery we can find in our watches and hearing aids. Today’s more advanced batteries use lithium-ion technology (more on that below) are used to power up our N1 Critical UPS systems, smartphones, laptops, electric and hybrid cars and more.
Primary or Rechargeable?
A primary battery is one that does not allow reversing of electron-producing reactions. This means that when they are already out of electrons, they die and can no longer power equipment.
Replacing batteries is a pain. So, inventors looked for and found ways to recharge batteries.
The first rechargeable batteries were a lead acid variety, which then, as now, are often very heavy for the amount of energy it can hold. This is fine for application where weight isn’t a problem, but there are other drawbacks, such as a limited number of discharges and recharges, as well as poor performance in harsh operating environment.
Other battery types have been developed since, including common nickel-iron batteries, zinc-carbon batteries, alkaline batteries, nickel-hydrogen and nickel metal-hydride and the latest, lithium-ion batteries.
The Future lies with Lithium-Ion Batteries
As technology develops and we become more technology-dependent as a society, the demand for safer, more compact, and larger capacity rechargeable batteries has grown. Lithium was experimented with in batteries in the the early 1910s and it came to market in the 1970s in button batteries. Lithium-ion batteries were first commercialized in the early 1990s by Sony and are commonly used today in many household applications.
There are several chemistries that fall into the “Lithium-Ion” family of batteries, according to BatteryUniversity.com.
Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) is popular with such devices as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and cameras for its high specific energy in a small package. However, it is more prone to thermal runaway.
Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) is not very common today, but has been used in such applications as power tools, medical instruments and some hybrid and electric vehicles.
The more popular choice for power tool and electric vehicle batteries has been Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC). Nickel-based systems have higher energy density, lower cost, and longer cycle life than the cobalt-based cells but they have a slightly lower voltage.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) (the chemical makeup of N1 Critical’s UPS batteries) is catching on as a preferred battery of choice in UPS applications due to its high energy density with relative safety and stability (vs. other types of lithium-ion battery chemistries, such as lithium-cobalt batteries). According to BatteryUniversity.com, Lithium Iron Phosphate offers good electrochemical performance with low resistance. The key benefits of such batteries — again, making them a perfect choice for UPS systems — are high current rating and long cycle life, plus good thermal stability and enhanced safety and tolerance if the batteries are abused.
Two other lithium-ion battery chemistries — Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) and Lithium Titanate (Li4Ti5O12) — are used in speciality applications, primarily due to cost.
With lithium-ion technology in its batteries, N1 Critical Technologies has made the UPS system more advanced than ever. Lithium-ion offers tremendous advantages that far exceed just about anything else in the market today!
Replacing the batteries in things is rarely fun.
Cars? You’re bound to get a little grease and grime on your hands.
Kids toys? Better get your micro screwdriver set.
Watches? Forget about it, unless you’re a jeweler.
The latest smartphone? Either find a “spudger” tool or head to a local cell phone store for help.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems? Replacing UPS batteries is the worst!
Who has time for looking up replacement battery part numbers, ordering them online or through a distributor (sometimes at a cost of $250 or more!), waiting for them to be shipped, scheduling time to visit your server rooms or UPS locations, remove, replace and then recycle those old lead-acid batteries? And who wants to do that every few years?
Fortunately, N1 Critical has a simple solution. Just buy our Lithium-Ion-based UPS products and never replace an internal UPS battery again!
Our maintenance-free batteries use powerful and stable Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePO4) technology. They are manufactured with a 15-year design life and come with a 10-year replacement warranty. If your battery ever fails before the warranty expires, we’ll replace the entire UPS unit!
N1 Critical’s single-phase and three-phase UPS systems are truly set-it-and-forget-it. It does the work of critical power protection in the background, worry free, with onboard battery monitoring systems standard on every unit.
Our Lithium-Ion UPS systems operate in a wider range of temperatures — up to 140º — without performance degradation, whereas lead-acid battery systems battery life is reduced by half for ever 10ºF over 71ºF. That’s astounding!
Here are some other reasons to make the switch to N1C and replace your UPS brand instead of your UPS batteries:
- Finding the right replacement battery: If you plan to replace the entire string of lead-acid UPS batteries, then you can more easily switch battery brands inside your lead-acid UPS. But what happens when you only need to replace one or two batteries and you can’t find the same brand of battery that’s inside your UPS device? If you replace one or two UPS batteries in a string and mix brands, you’re inviting troubles as the batteries may not have the same characteristics. This can reduce expected backup run times, critical during a power outage.
- Constant attention: Lead-acid batteries usually come labeled with a sticker for each time batteries have been charged while in storage. Stored lead-acid UPS batteries need recharging every 6-10 months (for up to 18-30 months), or they will likely suffer serious performance degradation or need replacing. Our Lithium-Ion batteries can stay stored and dormant for several years.
- Recycling: After you’ve replaced a lead-acid battery, you’ll need to recycle it. Sure, you’ll eventually recycle your lithium-ion UPS battery, but not every 2-5 years like you might with a lead-acid UPS battery. That’s additional time, travel, expense and hassle that you just don’t have to worry about with a system from N1 Critical.
2949 Venture Drive, Dock 190
Janesville, WI 53546
Sales: (855) 208-0011
Service: (877) 226-3311