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UPS runtime is dependent upon one crucial factor: the capacity of your batteries or power supply.

The capacity of your UPS system will remain contingent upon the capacity of your batteries or other power supply, whereas the load will be dependent upon your facility’s unique needs.

UPS storage

There is a common misconception that higher-powered UPS provide greater runtimes than lower-powered UPS. When this is the case, it is generally because the higher power UPS usually have more, or higher capacity batteries than the lower powered UPS. However, this is not always the case.

A better way of understanding the runtime of your UPS is to consider the type of battery or power source you are using. Industry standards include three main types of power supply:

  • A Flywheel System
  • Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Lead Acid Batteries

flywheel systems for ups

Flywheel Systems

Simple in construction, yet powerful in application, flywheel systems provide incredible benefits as a UPS power supply when compared to batteries. Benefits fall in several categories, a few of which have been outlined below.

Operating Temperature Range

Batteries are extremely sensitive to temperature, losing charge at -20°C (-4°F), and have an extremely low efficiency once temperatures reach 45°C (113°F). Conversely, flywheels are insensitive to temperature and can operate at a much wider range without performance suffering.

Design Life

Depending on their usage, batteries typically have a life span of only 3-5 years. Flywheel systems are designed to last in excess of 20 years, making them well worth the initial expense.

Energy Storage Capacity Degradation

While batteries must be refreshed every few months in order to keep capacity levels stable, flywheels have no such issue. Considering how important capacity is to your UPS runtime, this is one benefit you may not be able to do without.

In total, flywheels are much simpler and easier to manage than batteries. However, they are typically more expensive and have a shorter runtime duration than batteries.


lithium ion batteries for UPS

Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium Ion Batteries are another great UPS power supply option. They are more energy-dense, lighter, and have a faster discharge rate than Lead Acid batteries, and offer increased safety, cycle life, and operational temperature ranges. While they lose out to flywheel systems in most categories, they take the win in terms of upfront costs, weight, and potentially runtime durations.


lead acid battery for ups

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries have been the standard in UPS power for many years. While they are a serviceable option for some needs, Flywheel systems and lithium ion batteries are much better options.

Want to talk to our team about which Runtime solution is right for you? Ready to make a purchase? Please contact our team of professionals to assist in your upcoming UPS System project.

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  • FGC Construction installed an entire megawatt of UPS and generator upgrade to our 3d Printing facility. This holds our power stable and provides unlimited runtime. Much appreciated!

    Lee M.COO - Boston, MA
  • FGC Construction delivered 2.5MW of high density data center in the middle of Silicon Valley. City planning to utility negotiations. Very impressed!

    Tim S.CFO - Silicon Valley, CA

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