The Stack: Dispelling Doubts About Lithium-Ion Batteries In Data Centres

We argue that misgivings over using lithium-ion batteries in data centres are unfounded.

When it comes to embracing the potential of UPS battery storage, mission-critical sites are yet to be convinced. Despite the many benefits of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, for many data centre operators, the overarching priority will always remain resilience and uptime.

Logo for The data centre websiteThe ability to participate in demand side response (DSR) – and the associated economic and environmental benefits – pale into comparison with the perceived risk.

However, are such attitudes outdated? As our Leo Craig points out to The Stack, 77% of mission-critical organisations are actually interested in DSR as long as it doesn’t cause harm to their business.

Why Should Data Centres Use Li-Ion UPS Batteries?

The advantages of lithium-ion batteries in data centres compared to the standard sealed lead-acid (SLA) are obvious. Even though SLA have been a tried-and-trusted friend of many data centre operators, they have limitations. The need for a temperature-controlled environment (20-25oC) requires expensive air-conditioning.

In comparison, Li-ion can operate safely in temperatures up to 40oC. But their big benefits include having up to 50 times the cycle life. They also take up less than half the space.

When you add in the fact that the cost of lithium-ion UPS batteries, which was once a major deterrent, continue to fall, it is obvious that they’ll become a more viable option for data centres.

Indeed, the ability to perform at higher temperatures could even eliminate the need for data centre operators to house a separate battery room. That’s free space for valuable server racks.

Part of Leo’s article is dedicated to a special Q&A with Peter Stevenson of UPS battery manufacturer Yuasa. He goes on to outline more of the advantages of lithium-ion. Peter also tackles some of the myths such as their perceived fire risk.

To read the full article about using lithium-ion batteries in data centres visit The Stack