What Is the Most Reliable Kind of Battery for a Generator?
The first questions we asked ourselves when designing our line of battery powered backup generators were:
What are our customers using backup power for?
How are they using backup power?
When deciding on the best form of power to integrate into backup power system specifically designed for healthcare, pharmaceutical and laboratory needs, the most important criteria a power source needs to meet are—full functionality between long periods of idle use , and a power source that has the capabilities to quickly and reliably discharge large amounts of power. like, the amount necessary to support operating rooms, laboratory environments and other medical-grade equipment.
Given these circumstances, MediProducts has chosen to leverage the high levels of maturity, reliability and stability found in the AGM lead acid battery platform.
We find their characteristics are ideal for deployment in the life-or-death situations that can be found in medical offices and ambulatory surgery centers while also providing the ultimate reliability and safety for those who choose to deploy them in backing up vaccines and other biomedical inventory.
In fact, lead acid batteries are already widely used in medical and medical-adjacent industries.
What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Sealed Lead Acid Batteries?
Common equipment like patient monitors, surgery tables, infusion pumps, heart monitors, and blood analyzers already use sealed lead-acid batteries.
Though other popular battery technologies exist—such as lithium-ion—we use sealed lead acid glass mat batteries because alternative options like lithium-ion (which is popular in consumer electronics) is prone to catastrophic failure and is also less rugged than SLA.
So SLA is the far safer option for a healthcare setting where patient safety is the number one conern.
- Sealed lead acid glass mat (SLA AGM) is a time-tested, mature platform. The result is a reliable, low-maintenance product with an understood ecosystem of support and research behind it. This creates a very easy ownership experience. Also, when facing any potential troubleshooting or maintenance as unlikely as it may be.
- Lead acid batteries are capable of high discharge rates and low self-discharge rates. This means that you can be assured that they will be fully charged when you need them to deploy—even if they have sat idle for extended periods of time while also being able to deploy their power quickly and reliably whenever called upon.
- AGM Batteries are leak-proof and can be positioned freely. This is because they use fiberglass mats as an active material to contain the electrolyte which powers the battery.
- AGM batteries ARE NOT classified as a “hazardous material” by the USPS and major private couriers. This allows both you to fully leverage the benefits of competitively priced, mainstream shipping and handling options when taking delivery.
- Lead Acid Batteries are more affordable and simpler to manufacture. This means more affordable pricing for us—and by extension you the end user.
While acknowledging that there are many advantages to lead acid batteries, they do come with some tradeoffs—though we find these to have minimal affect in a medical environment including:
- They have a limited “Usable” capacity, which means it is typically considered wise to use only 30% - 50% of the rated capacity. Though, according to the US Energy Information Administration, the average outage time experienced was around two hours—meaning events where the power usage would dip into the “danger zone” are infrequent enough that battery damage should be little cause for concern.
- They have limited cycle life, which means that even if the user is very careful to never over drain the battery, they still are only good for 500-1000 cycles. However, unless you live in an area that experiences constant, elongated outages 500-100 outage events in the life cycle of your batteries (4 years) is highly unlikely.
- They have a slower less efficient inefficient charge when compared to alternatives—though once utility power is restored, charging will automatically resume taking approximately as long as your system’s runtime is to fully charge.
Why are SLA AGM Batteries Ideal for Backup Power?
Due to their numerous benefits including:
- Ease of Shipping
- Leak-Proof Design
Combined with their ability to:
- retain their stored energy for long periods of time, and;
- deliver it at a consistently high power level
Make SLA AGM rechargeable batteries are the best option to ensure the appliances your facility deploy are safely and properly supported, while coming with minimal tradeoffs.