Give Your School's Infrastructure an "A+" with Lithium-Ion

October 01, 2021

The use of technology in education has evolved rapidly since computers and tablets were first introduced. Schools today are growing more dependent on IT systems for both teaching and learning—in the classroom and remotely. And that’s only part of the story. IoT devices are also being introduced to enhance security, improve climate control and reduce energy consumption.

Those changes are putting new demands on school IT infrastructure—and the staff that supports it. You may have numerous IT sites to manage, with the equipment in those sites operating in environments that were never intended to house IT.

Critical to the success of any school or university IT network is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems that ensure power continuity and quality for IT systems. You need those systems to deliver reliable, long-lasting, “set it and forget it” protection. But traditional energy storage systems haven’t always made that possible. Enter, lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries versus traditional VRLA batteries:

We know your resources might be limited and you may be operating on a tight budget.

While the initial cost of lithium-ion batteries is still higher than lead-acid batteries, this cost difference is shrinking. Lithium-ion batteries can now provide a lower total cost of ownership than lead-acid batteries in as little as 5 years. Over the typical service life of a UPS, it is estimated that a lithium-ion battery system can provide a TCO savings of 40% or more.

We know your space is limited as well within a traditional network closet or even a shared space with non-IT equipment.

Lithium-ion batteries weigh about 60% less than lead-acid batteries. This makes the batteries easier to transport and install.

Lithium-ion batteries also can be up to 70% more compact than lead-acid batteries. This provides space savings in any on-site or remote facility, allowing you to reconfigure your deployment to increase available rack space for IT servers and networking equipment. The smaller size of lithium-ion UPS batteries also enables you to get far more runtime in the same amount of space – or the same runtime in a smaller space.

This makes lithium-ion batteries ideal for your small network closets or for the many distributed locations you might have around your district.

Lithium-ion batteries require less frequent replacement than VRLA batteries, freeing you up to tackle the other things on your IT to-do list.

In fact, lithium-ion batteries last two to three times longer than lead-acid batteries, resulting in fewer battery replacements, less maintenance, and lower labor costs.

Lithium-ion batteries typically have a design life of eight to 10 years, which means they should have the same lifespan as a single-phase UPS. When a VRLA battery is at 80% capacity, or EOL, the lithium-ion battery is still at 93% capacity. This eliminates the pain of replacement since lithium-ion batteries don't have to be replaced every three to five years, which means huge cost savings. Also, lithium-ion batteries can be fully charged and stored for greater lengths of time than VRLA batteries, with minimal impact on the battery's lifespan.

Once it is called upon to provide backup power, the UPS battery needs to be recharged, as quickly as possible, to full capacity. While VRLA batteries can take over 12 hours to charge from 0% to 90% of full runtime capacity, lithium-ion batteries charge in only 2 to 4 hours. That reduces the overall risk that you’ll suffer another outage before your UPS batteries have been fully charged.