Lithium-Ion Batteries in Data Centers

Did you know that lithium-ion batteries have made it into the data center? These batteries aren’t the same as the ones you find in cell phones and other handheld devices. They’re completely different and entirely safe for your data center.

Lithium-ion batteries provide power to support critical loads to ensure uptime and availability. Vertiv began testing lithium-ion battery solutions in 2011, with successful lithium-ion battery system installations in colocation and enterprise data centers in North America.

Types of Lithium-Ion Batteries

There are several different types of lithium-ion batteries and chemistries. Lithium-ion batteries for data centers are a different chemistry than the lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) batteries seen in small electronics and don’t carry the same safety risks we’ve read about in the news.

The lithium-ion batteries for data centers are either lithium-Ion manganese oxide (LMO) or lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC). These batteries are safely used in numerous electric cars and are beginning to make their way into the data center world.

Lithium-Ion Batteries vs. Valve Regulated Lead Acid

Lithium-ion batteries are a viable an alternative to VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid) technologies.

The initial cost of lithium-ion is higher than the VRLA batteries that are typically found in data centers, but considering total cost of ownership, you’ll see payback between approximately 5-7 years.

Lithium-ion batteries have a significantly longer life span, require less maintenance and service, and have a much smaller footprint – allowing floor space to be dedicated to IT equipment. Some lithium ion batteries have also been found to have reduced cooling requirements, resulting in lower operating costs.

Additionally, lithium-ion batteries utilized with UPSs use integrated battery management systems to enhance operation and reduce the risk of system failure and unplanned downtime.

As your Vertiv Partner, we can help implement power and energy storage solutions to ensure your availability is maximized. For information on how lithium-ion batteries or other infrastructure technologies could impact your data center operations, contact us today to learn more!