When Should I Replace or Buy a New UPS System?
At Tech Plan, we often hear the question, “when should I replace my UPS system?” Before answering this question, it is important to have a basic understanding of the role that a UPS system plays.
In short, UPS systems are the heart of your critical infrastructure. They condition, monitor, and filter incoming utility power, and when the power goes out, the UPS system supports the load itself with internal batteries.
UPS systems are sensitive pieces of technology that contain hundreds of parts, including capacitors, batteries, and controls, all working together. These systems ensure that your critical loads are protected and backed up 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Here are the questions you should ask when deciding if and when to replace your current UPS system:
How Old is the UPS System?
The major risks associated with operating older UPS units are component fatigue, parts availability, higher service costs, and higher downtime risk. But, with proper servicing, a UPS can operate safely and reliably.
- If it’s under 12 years old, you probably have a little life left.
- If it’s over 12 years old, it may be time to replace the system.
What is Your Current Load Level?
You can estimate your UPS capacity requirement by totaling the wattage requirements of all the equipment you plan to connect to the UPS system. If you’re not sure, refer to the manufacturer’s guide to find the wattage.
- If loaded between 25-80% – No big worries, you are in the sweet spot.
- Over 80% loaded – You may run out of capacity or overload the UPS.
- If loaded less than 25% – you are wasting energy and money.
What is the Efficiency Rating of Your UPS?
Improving energy efficiency is one of the key components for cost-efficiency in your critical infrastructure.
Over 92% isn’t bad, but it could be better. Depending on the model and mode of operation; new Liebert UPS systems are 95-99% efficient.
Less than 92% is bad – you are wasting money. For example: If you increase the efficiency of a 100kW UPS system from 92 to 97% you can save up to $5000 a year in operating costs (at $.10 kWh).
What is the Age of the UPS Batteries?
Batteries are vital in the 24/7 operation of the UPS. However, the capacity reduces over time based on usage, environment, and cycles.
Developing a proactive data maintenance strategy, such as frequently testing the batteries, will ensure they’re ready to provide backup power in the event of an outage. The costs to replace a string of batteries can be very expensive (sometimes 40% of the value of a new UPS system).
While replacing an entire UPS system can be costly, it will provide fresh batteries, new features, higher efficiency, and a warranty.
Make Informed Decisions with Tech Plan
Within your IT infrastructure, a UPS system is a critical investment. As your Local Vertiv Office, Tech Plan can help evaluate your IT growth, power needs, downtime exposure, and cost of ownership.
We’ll help you identify potential problems and recommend cost-effective solutions. Get in touch with us today to learn more.