Harland Simon UPS, specialist power solutions provider, reviews the impact of new Lead Crystal® battery technology on the energy efficiency of UPS solutions.

With the current power generation network still in transition (plans should be well underway for suppliers to meet the 2020 EU Renewable Energy Target), the responsibility for resilience within the infrastructure no longer lies solely with the energy provider; indeed, organisations across all industries need to take responsibility for back up power and for the ability to store multiple renewable sources of energy, and then access them in the event of a critical incident.

Given these considerations, Harland Simon UPS recognises the need to consider the environmental impact, safety, performance and cost of a key component of traditional power supplies: the battery.

Now there is a new type of battery technology available on the market; a greener alternative to Lead Acid batteries and a far more cost effective (and from a performance perspective) alternative to Lithium Ion batteries. Lead Crystal® batteries are now commonly used in a number of storage applications for AC UPS and DC systems, and carry numerous benefits, such as longer life spans, temperature controlling abilities, and being safer and friendlier for the environment.


Longer life

Lead Crystal® batteries are designed to have a lifespan of over 12 years at temperatures of over 20°C and a much longer service life than other batteries when used in a higher ambient. Compared to Lead Acid batteries that will half in service life for every additional 10°C the batteries are subjected to, the Lead Crystal® Battery only loses approximately 13% of its service life per year. The benefits therefore speak for themselves.

The long life of Lead Crystal® batteries can be attributed to the slow discharge rates they experience; if fully charged before stored, the batteries can be stored for 2 years without additional charging. The cost implications of this are remarkable. Imagine, for example, an unmanned, rural power unit without environmental control that relies on a stable and uninterruptable power supply. If fitted with a Lead Crystal® battery, the long life means that the power unit can operate for longer periods, which will save both time and money, especially as battery replacements will be less frequent, and lead to a significant ROI.


Temperature control

The technical advances of Lead Crystal® batteries mean that they can function in temperature ranges of -40°C to +65°C. Whilst this in itself may not be unique to Lead Crystal® battery technology, for storage applications where locations are often remote, this feature will prolong the life of the Lead Crystal® battery as damage due to extreme temperatures will be minimalised. In comparison to other batteries, Lead Acid batteries can function between -18°C and +65°C, but not without the affects to life already mentioned and the lowest temperature at which a Lithium battery can operate is -20°C.

Furthermore, the Lead Crystal® battery will deliver from 40% to 80% of its rated capacity at -40°C to -10°C, and will not lose discharge ability under sub-zero conditions like other batteries do. The temperature controlled element of a Lead Crystal® battery means that inconsistencies in temperature should no longer be a worry for companies looking for a reliable power supply; with a Lead Crystal® battery, functionality will continue at both extreme high and low temperatures.


Risk, harm and the environment

Lead Crystal® batteries consist of high quality, 99.7% pure lead plates. They also contain no toxic fluids, cadmium or antimony and are up to 99% recyclable and ISO 14001 certified. This means that, compared to other batteries such as Lead Acid batteries and Lead Gel batteries, both of which have a range of handling, storage, transport and quite toxic recyclable processing issues, Lead Crystal® batteries pose much less of a threat to the environment.

The risk of leakage in a Lead Crystal® battery is also substantially minimalised, which makes Lead Crystal® batteries much less harmful to users and installers, as the unique complex technology used to synergise a range of inorganic salts and organic substances, means that the risk involved when handling the battery is reduced.

It’s clear from the benefits described above that the new generation of battery technology on the market is paving the way for a much more cost effective, environmentally friendly and safer future for batteries. Harland Simon UPS believes that as Lead Crystal® batteries are here to stay, the question now is not one of if the batteries should be used, but how quickly the technology will be adopted.