CRN Exclusive: Eaton Set To Launch Breakthrough Lithium-ion-Based UPSes


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Eaton is set to shake up the commercial Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) market with what it is calling a breakthrough lithium-ion battery-based product that is slated to begin shipping in the third quarter.

The new lithium-ion Eaton 1500VA UPS packs twice the battery life of a standard UPS.

[Related:Eaton Steps Up Rack PDU, IPM Software Sales Offensive; Partner Recurring Revenue On The Rise]

"Nobody has lithium-ion batteries in this class of product," said Eaton Vice President Herve Tardy in an interview with CRN. "Our top competitors have announced three-phase lithium-ion UPSes. But nobody has a solution like this."

Doubling the life of the standard UPS battery will result in a huge cost savings for customers who up until now have been forced to replace batteries for standard UPSes every few years.

"There is a huge battery replacement cost savings for customers with remote office/branch offices over the lifetime of the product," said Tardy. "The cost difference on the UPS up front is nothing compared with the maintenance over the life of a product."

Tardy estimated that the three new lithium-ion based 1500VA rackmount offerings will be priced initially at about twice the price of the $600 standard UPSes in that class.

Customers beta testing Eaton's new lithium-ion based UPSes are raving about the new products, said Tardy. "They love it," Tardy said. "We have a few OEM customers that have cases where the UPSes are integrated into storage systems and don't want to replace the batteries every other year. Hyperscale customers love it as well."

A big benefit of the lithium-ion based batteries in hyperscale cloud-based environments: lithium-ion based batteries are not as sensitive to high temperature heating conditions as lead acid batteries.

Eaton began developing the lithium-ion based 1500VA UPS line three years ago, focusing heavily on getting the certifications and expertise to handle the hazardous lithium-ion batteries. "We have been through all the certifications we needed to handle these batteries," he said.

The UPSes with lithium-ion batteries must ship on trucks rather than air freight because of the sensitive nature of the batteries.

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