How to Avoid Battery Failure & Outages

Data Center Battery Outages

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Josh Mahan

An unplanned data center battery outage can be a significant problem for any company and a costly one at that. According to a recent report, the total cost of an unplanned outage, on average, is close to 8,000 dollars every minute it’s down. These findings suggest that many companies don’t have the necessary practices in place to reduce or respond to battery outages. 

The first step is to identify the root cause of the problem. Is it a power failure? Is it a faulty battery? Is it a combination of both? Once you know the cause of the failure, you can take steps to prevent it from happening again.

For example, you can install a backup generator if the root cause is a power failure. If the root cause is a faulty battery, you can replace it with a new one. If the root cause is a combination of both, you can take steps to prevent both power failures and battery failures from happening again. 

Data Center battery outages are usually caused by power failures, faulty batteries, or a combination of both. Here’s how to avoid each of them. 

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Hot aisle vs cold aisle containment

How to Put Backup Systems in Place

Power Failures 

Power failures are the most common cause of data center battery outages. To avoid them, you can install a backup generator. These generators will ensure that your data center has power even if there’s an outage in your area

This is especially true for more immense data centers. Generators are the life support for these systems. After a mainline power failure occurs, the generator will begin to take over. 

Even for smaller centers, critical backup systems should be in place. If you have a smaller server room with no generator on backup, switching to battery mode might help temporarily, as it signals a controlled shutdown of the whole system.

Backup power generators are vital to keeping power and ensuring the operations of the Data Center cooling systems. High temperatures have been known to elevate levels that can damage the system and create thermal shutdown.

Did you know? Just a 5-degree increase in temperature can reduce a hard drive’s life by as much as a few years.

Faulty Batteries 

Something as basic and “low-technology” as batteries can cause many costly issues for an organization. Faulty batteries are another common cause of data center battery outages. In fact, battery-related failures account for more than a third of all system failures over the life of the equipment. 

Many of these instances include batteries that ran down before their time. To avoid this from happening in the first place, you can replace your batteries with new ones every few years on a set schedule. Managers of the IT department can also implement steps to ensure that battery maintenance best practices are being followed all year

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In addition to battery maintenance required by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, manufacturer schedules for maintenance checks should be followed. This will give extra reassurance that your data center always has working batteries. 

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Another quick tip is to safeguard backup power systems against unplanned or premature battery failures by regularly checking batteries. Monitoring your systems is key because batteries have a limited service life. Many factors can negatively impact the aging process and shorten a battery’s life, including inconsistent or raised temperatures, constant discharge cycles, loose connections, affected terminals, and overcharging the batteries.

Combination of Both 

If power failures and faulty batteries are both causes of data center battery outages in your area, you can take steps to prevent both of them from happening again. For example, you can install a backup generator and replace your batteries with new ones every few years. This will ensure that your data center has power even if there’s an outage and that your batteries are always working correctly. 

What is crucial is that when you have this transfer of power occurs to the backup generators, it is still imperative to check the humidity and temperature levels in the data center. Close monitoring will save time and money.

When it comes to monitoring batteries in a data center, it is best to keep in mind that the shelf life might be a different date than the actual life of the battery. Batteries can lose capacity in a few years, even with a 10-year guarantee. It is also not efficient to mismatch battery brands and replaces only a few on a diminishing line. 

Monitoring the System Reduces Battery Outages

If you work in IT, you already know that it is complicated to try to make extra time for safety and maintenance within a workday. Some IT managers have implemented the use of battery monitors with remote expert analyst services to help. 

This technology helps collect all the comprehensive data to provide earlier warnings or concerning conditions. With remote monitoring, data center staff can impact two key measures of availability directly. Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR)

Improving MTTR is beneficial with the proper remote monitoring technology because continuous connectivity allows infrastructure professionals to deliver higher levels of support and be prepared before the issue ensues. 

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A data center engine room

Conclusion

Data Center battery outages can be a significant problem for any company. To avoid them, you need to identify the root cause of the problem and take steps to prevent it from happening again. In most cases, the root cause is either a power failure or a faulty battery. 

You can prevent power failures by installing a backup generator, and you can avoid faulty batteries by replacing them with new ones every few years. If power failures and faulty batteries are both causes of data center battery outages in your area. In that case, you can take steps to prevent both of them from happening again by installing a backup generator and replacing your batteries with new ones every few years.

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