@woozle ideally the batteries of an UPS do less than a dozen circles in theire entire life, maybe it's that.
In case you are going to buy lead-acid batteries: the common car batteries are not good for UPSes because they are optimized for lots of amps for only a short time.
@Gregor Right, that's what I'm trying to avoid. I want something that can be discharged most of the way down more than a few dozen times -- equivalent to a laptop or cellphone battery.
I was aware that lead-acid batteries are bad for this, but that led me to wonder why they use them in UPSs if so.
I guess most people don't have as many power-outages as we do?
@woozle Deep-cycle lead acid typically means something like 1500+ cycles to 50% depth-of-discharge. Thicker lead plates, wider plate spacing, putting some Sb or Ca in the lead mix, etc. They have lower peak current compared to a car battery but can survive *much* more use.
Lifetime num cycles tends to go linearly with DoD to a point: draining 20% of capacity before recharging might yield 4000 cycles; 40%, 2000 cycles, but beyond 50% DoD the battery typ wears out much faster.
So people say "discharge cycles are bad" but that's a generalization. Buy a good battery and size it correctly so, in your application, you keep your cycles from 0% DoD to no more than 50% DoD and you can get many many years out of a battery, etc.
You can still use that last 50% capacity in an emergency, but plan to not use it during normal operation.
I'd like to add one bit from the UPS point of view, really good temperature management can extend lifetime a couple of years. Replacing batteries every 6-7 years instead of 4-5 is probably a big enough cost saving worth keeping the UPS room at 21° instead of letting it wobble up towards 25-27°.
Batteries do not like freezing, but a charged battery has a lower freezing point (more solute in the water!) than a dead battery, so LA mfgrs will say, e.g., "below 0 C, keep state of charge > 50%"
* if the reduced capacity means you have to go to higher DoD, lifetime gains can easily be nullified by the harder use!
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