I'm a logistician working for the US Army and we have a serious concern regarding the storage of hundreds of units of a variety of APC batteries, and we need an authoritative answer directly from the source. Because of scheduling issues, many of our batteries will not be deployed to where they need to go in time. We're aware that these batteries lose their charge while sitting idle, and can permanently degrade after about 6 months with no charging. We're trying to avoid the catastrophe of having these batteries go bad before they're deployed.
So, could you please tell us what you know about the following:
1) Do you have any more information (aside from what's stated on the website) regarding long-term battery storage? (6-12 mos and possibly beyond.)
2) We're aware that after about 6 months in normal temperatures, batteries should be "topped-off". So, we're looking for means to charge them as easily as possible.
To do so, is it required that they be placed/installed into the chassis that is designed for them? Or, does APC offer (or know about) some sort of external charging solution that we can utilize to top off these batteries periodically while they are in storage?
If it helps, some of the batteries we have are:
RT192V RM Battery Pack 2 Rows
#143 / SMX120BP
I assume you meant you reviewed this knowledge base? -> http://www.schneider-electric.com/support/index?page=content&country=US&lang=en&id=FA156516 I just wanted to provide it in case it was not what you found.
I found some information on charging regimen here in a white paper -> http://www.apc.com/whitepaper/?wp=39
As far as how to charge, it is recommended to use the particular UPS just because we know what the charging parameters are (charger wattage, voltage, etc) and that they will be OK with that particular battery. You could certainly use your own charger but then that'd require likely finding out what the charger voltage is on each UPS and then making sure you can find a charger that could accept different values for that (which we don't have any specific recommendations unfortunately), but you would be on your own in terms of support for setting all of that up and using the external charger.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
I work at a large Canadian University and deal with this issue myself. Angela N is correct there is a requirement to utilize the model of UPS these battery modules are manufactured for as a "charging base"; I don't know of any portable battery charging system that puts out the exact voltages required for the battery strings inside these models Eg 216 volts for the RT's and PX's, 48 volts or 136.5 volts for the SMX's etc. What I could suggest is that it would make the job of charging the SMX and RT modules in the field a bit easier if you purchased battery extender cables for the external battery cabinets for each model of UPS/RBC that you are dealing with, or have some custom cables made up for the individual modules using the correct flavor of Anderson connectors. That could allow you to avoid having to remove the external battery cabinets or even the modules themselves from their shipping cartons and/or at the very least maybe you won't have to install them inside the UPS. Cables for the external cabinets that are as long as 15 feet are available - see below. Also if you could come up with a way of bolting the smallest/lightest model of the particular UPS's required that use a particular model of replacement battery module and mount it to a caster base - or an upright dolley ? - with a long extension cord affixed so it could be rolled into place near the battery stock. APC actually makes an equipment cart for the RT UPS's that would be useful for that: http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SURT013
Extender Cables for the SMX ups are here: http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SMX040
Extender Cables for the RT ups are here: http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SURT008
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