Managing and monitoring UPS, and batteries in particular, has advanced in the past twelve months and become far more sophisticated and profitable, thanks largely to the likes of GENEREX, OEM producer of shutdown and monitoring software.

Battery monitoring, using software, has been limited in the past to monitoring the charge voltage of whole battery strings. Monitoring of individual battery cells has been costly and expensive and has (mostly) been done manually by engineers. The BACS (Battery Analysis and Care System) from Hamburg-based GENEREX enables continuous monitoring at a single battery level. One faulty or weak battery in a battery string will compromise or bring down the whole string.

BACS does more than merely monitoring batteries, it corrects and manages charging voltage to avoid over-charging. The voltage from charging devices (in power protection scenarios this would be a UPS) is distributed evenly through GENEREX’ patented BACS Equalizing Technology. Both of these features enable the design life of UPS batteries to be fully optimised, which reduces the lifetime costs of owning and operating UPS systems. Users are assured that batteries are maintained in optimum voltage operating range. By doing all of this, BACS also preserves availability of batteries, thus ensuring system reliability.

BACS sends warnings, via a computer or communications network (such as phone or internet), of asymmetrical discharging or other potential battery failures so that an operator can take preventative or corrective action to mitigate or prevent the problem. Issues caused by weak, over-charging or deep discharging batteries will be mitigated. Constant trickle charging and the BACS Equalization process will negate problems of sulphation (caused by batteries operating in standby that are not fully charged).

Data is available to users any time they request it: values for internal resistance, the voltage, temperature, delimiter of activity and the number of charging and discharging processes can be collected and monitored through BACS WEBMANAGER. Alarms can also be routed via the network or modem connection, email, SMS, SNMP or RCCMD.

UPS Remote Monitoring

BACS can be used in conjunction with GENEREX’ UPS monitoring and shutdown software in the CS121 range to allow full monitoring and control of uninterruptible power supply systems. There are other products in the range, such as SiteSwitch 4, that allows direct control over power sockets and SITEMONITOR 64, for monitoring up to 64 digital alarms and SITEMANAGER 2, for monitoring and managing facilities beyond the UPS system in a building.

The software is configured to continually monitor equipment, send alarm signals to operators alerting them to faults or operating abnormalities, allow interrogation of equipment to obtain operating, historical and environmental information and enable controlled shutdown of equipment should it be necessary.

Unlike UPS manufacturer supplied monitoring systems, GENEREX products are not proprietary and support any make and brand of UPS.

Monitoring UPS and batteries should be routine as it helps maintain equipment in top condition and in optimal working order, which in turn will enable users to get the most out of it over the longest period. It will also help to reduce MTTR (meatime to repair) and lengthen MTBF (meantime before failure).