How Much Does a Battery Cost for Real?

How Much Does a Battery Cost for Real?

Design engineers choose the right battery for their projects or applications by putting together a shortlist of options that take into consideration various requirements and purposes such as initial cost and maintenance requirements.
The process of selecting a battery, such as the UPS Yuasa SWL2500EFR, comprises a few steps and some well-defined factors including the duty cycle of the battery, the system interface, the ease of visitation, the environmental conditions, the price, the initial installation and the maintenance costs, as well as the replacement cost and schedule.

Finding the Right Battery

Finding the perfect battery is essential for the smooth functioning of the application. Overlooking the expectations and specific usage requirements or the temperature and climate conditions may ruin the whole project.
All decisions should be made taking into consideration the battery life as claimed by the manufacturer. In order to estimate the true cost of a battery, design engineers must evaluate the following:

  • Initial price of the battery, including freight and racks
  • Installation difficulty, if different from one battery type to another
  • Ease of maintenance
  •  Life cycle and replacement intervals (how many years between replacements?)
  • Real life reliability of battery models and manufacturers
  • A side-by-side comparison of quotes and warranties from multiple vendors.

By considering performance requirements and various costs, engineers can calculate short, medium and long term costs. The result is always a mix between objective details and subjective estimates. Paying close attention to details will usually result in accurate evaluations of these costs.
The truest evaluation of battery cost needs to take into account regular advice from maintenance technicians on standard battery maintenance procedures.  These include:

  • Frequency of visitation schedules
  • Changes in the maintenance schedules of other elements of the system
  • Current and future estimates of the workload
  •  Personnel numbers and skills
  • Benefits and wages of people working on these projects
  • Prioritisation of battery and site maintenance.

New tools required for battery maintenance must be researched.  Some of these tools are:

  • Time saving tips and tactics
  • Improved environmental conditions
  • Site monitoring needs
  • Battery monitoring activities that can lead to saving time, money, and effort.

Once all these considerations have been assessed and calculated, one battery from the resulting selection has to fulfil the final criteria in order to determine the winner. The ultimate criterion is the answer to this question: how does this battery comply with the requirement that the power never goes off?

Battery Monitoring

Although batteries still lack an effective built-in self-monitoring technology, external battery monitoring has significantly improved over the past few years. UPS manufacturers, end consumers, and service providers could definitely use a comprehensive review of available Battery Monitoring Systems (BMS). As prices have dramatically decreased, BMS technology is now accessible to anyone needing it. Monitoring battery cabinets is a straightforward and inexpensive task and users have easy access to actionable data to help them make the right decision from the very beginning.

In order for such a search to supply meaningful results we have to understand that backup battery power is meant to protect hardware, services, and data that are far more valuable and more important than the cost of batteries. In some situations, damage caused by power outages can be irreparable. Data loss, for instance, can cost businesses and governments years of studies, expensive technology, and the labour of thousands of people.

Last but not least, the true cost of batteries will always be found in the assets and equipment they protect. Most of the time, losses due to power outages can be much higher than the cost of installing and maintaining a battery. It’s always good to be on the safe side, no matter what, so ensure that your power will stay on whatever happens to the grid.

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