Tripp Lite UPS battery life

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KU3X, Dec 31, 2018.

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  1. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Tripp Lite 1500 va UPS. It takes two each 12 volt at 9 amp hour batteries wired in series.
    I just noticed that the batteries needed to be replaced. I checked how long they lasted and I got 3 years and 9 months out of this set.

    Is this average or not so good? The lead acid battery I use for field day, which is 12 volts at 14 amp hour has lasted about 6 years before I had to replace it.

    I am not impressed with what I consider a short life span for the UPS batteries. They are super easy to change, but that's not the point.

    The reason I use a UPS is so I don't brick a radio when doing a firmware update. The same goes for computer updates and protection.

    Barry, KU3X
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    6 years isn't bad if the chemistry is SLA and they're in a fairly warm environment.

    Warmer = shorter life
    Colder = longer life

    Car batteries are the same chemistry and rarely last six years. They're usually guaranteed for three years and anything after that is good luck.
  3. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I agree with you, Barry, that 3 years and change is a bit short. The batteries inside the Tripp-Lite could be a bit cheesy, and/or as Steve WB2WIK suggests, be running in a hot environment.

    I’ve set up plenty of UPS systems for larger applications and use external batteries, usually of high quality absorptive gas mat types (think solar installation types and brands).

    The other thing that happens with smaller UPSs is that the batteries are not really taken care of properly in regards to regular battery maintenance in the discharge, recharge/float regimen for life optimization. The end result of this is that three to four years is about it for smaller UPS batteries as far as my experience with them has been (you are not alone)!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
    KU3X likes this.
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tripp-Lite UPS Technical Support (Chicago) will tell you that lead-acid (SLA) batteries in this application will last 3 to 5 years. Operating Temperature (environment and UPS box) and full dis-charge/charge cycles will influence the operational battery life.

    As Chris noted earlier, I have found that 3 to 4 years is typical with generic off-shelf SLA batteries (not “selected”), used in UPS applications. In personal usage, I have had a couple that went as long as five (5) years and one that failed (open cell) a few weeks past three years.
    At hospital, when I was responsible for administrative/clinical IT, three (3) years was hospital policy for battery change-out.
    I just changed out batteries for two APC / Schneider Electric 1200VA UPS units I have in home office. One was taking longer to re-charge (54 month usage) and the other was at 4 years.
    THAT is why you see numerous UPS units >=750 VA without batteries for sale at garage sales, eBay, or Craigslist. Today, you see less UPS units sold at BigBox or computer stores for home offices. Home generators (portable and fixed) are more popular.

    I have found building landlords that won’t replace emergency light batteries for same reason (think about that for a minute or two). It usually takes a municipal fire / safety inspection for these owners to act.

    UPS is a risk adversion decision or policy (assurance and insurance) ... damn important for a patient’s IV unit ... maybe not important for your radio or computer usage.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
    KD2ACO likes this.
  5. AI5DH

    AI5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good for VRLA, you got almost two years more than normal for cheap batteries.

    What I can tell you for sure is 18 AH on a 1500 VA UPS is a joke. 125 Amps on a 18 AH battery is 15 to 20 times mores current than the battery is capable of. Commercial UPS systems made for data centers and telephone switching offices would never exceed C/4 or 15 minutes discharge time, and the only time they would ever push them that hard is if they have Standby Generators to take over. Beside Telcos and data centers use much higher quality batteries. 125 amps on a 18 AH battery is 12C or 5 minutes. No battery can do that without severe over heating and considerable damage, not to mention voltage sag would render it useless.

    To give you an idea how bad the design is a 12 volt 18 AH VRLA Battery at best can only handle a 50 watt load for about 10 minutes.
    KC9YGN and KD2ACO like this.
  6. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I use a nice pile of 2 volt AGM batteries at home for a 3kw system on my studio. Power interruption with recloser action there could be a huge wallet whacker... way more than the ups system cost. I sized the batts at 20 minutes full load but that system runs at about 1.5 kva so things are not stressed.

    Edit: It seems that Barry KU3X’s unit is 24 volts, but that still is pretty rough on small SLA batteries if there is much of a load on the ups when the power goes out. A few full load whammies would wreck those batteries. At least they’re not too expensive.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    For reliably they should be replaced every two(2) years.

    They may last longer, But will have less capacity under load.

    Old batteries, UPS = Unpredictable Power Supply
    KU3X likes this.
  8. KA0GKT

    KA0GKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The UPS batteries in the rack-mount UPS units at the broadcast facility where I work are replaced annually. The big batteries in the whole-house UPS which serves our studio facility are replaced on a biennial schedule.
    KU3X and KD2ACO like this.
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess I was extremely lucky! My OEM auto battery lasted almost 12 years! (And mostly in warm SoCal weather, and parked outside.) But 6 years is more or less normal for a SLA battery if not overly discharged.
  10. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Over about a 20 year career in IT and using UPS at work and at home. Three years it about average. Probably lower end average, but average. We replace those stock batteries with even cheaper batteries that tend to last around 2-2-1/2 years. The difference in battery price is hugh though. ($70 /3 year battery vs $16 2-1/2 year battery)

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