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More Than Just Convenience: A Life Study Case for Front Access VRLA Batteries

Brian Zimmerman

For practical reasons, many traditional 12V VRLA batteries look much like car batteries. 2V cells are arranged in series in a 1x6 configuration with the positive and negative terminals on opposite sides of the cover (top terminal). In recent years, the stand-by power industry has seen an influx of “front-access” 12V batteries, monoblocs with a 2x3 cell configuration, with the terminals located in close proximity on the narrow side of the battery. Safety, ease of maintenance, and convenient cabinet footprint are some of the primary reasons for the growing popularity of these designs. Recent data collection shows that not only are front access batteries safer, they also provide a longer service life. Field data will be presented from a sample size of over 100,000 12V batteries in UPS applications showing a clear difference in the longevity of front access batteries vs. their traditional top terminal counterparts. Arguments will be made, supported by lab data and flow simulation modeling, detailing why front access batteries are showing longer life, including geometry, internal design, and on-site conditions.

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