Quite frequently, I get calls with clients asking “Can I temporarily remove UPS batteries from their pre-installed cabinets? These things are heavy!”. This is a frequent question that comes up because it’s not uncommon for(1) 3-phase UPS battery cabinet on top of a pallet to weigh around 5,000 lb. Each jar could weight upwards of 100 lb. or more so removing even a two trays in the top sections can make a big difference. It may be to make physically moving in the cabinet easier to roll, or it might be in order to get below a weight limitation for an elevator.
To answer the question, yes you can temporarily remove UPS batteries for moving, rigging, or relocation. But BE Careful! Even though the connectors aren’t typically made between trays from the factory these are still live batteries with a charge on them. Only a qualified electrician should perform this task.
Keep in mind that what comes out must go back in as it once was. Take pictures and notes, not leaving any detail out.
Lastly, these suckers are heavy! Most of the time, just (1) tray houses (4) 12-volt battery jars. There are many manufacturers that build special lifts called platform lift trucks that will allow you to slide out the tray, then safety lower the removed tray to the ground. I’ve seen it done with pure muscle, but it is highly recommended to have a mechanical-assist method for safety purposes as well as efficiency. Then for re-installation, just do the opposite.
Keep in mind that when specifying your platform lift truck you’ll want take into account the final install-height of your battery cabinet. Look for a housekeeping pad, sometimes that’s just enough height to require a taller lift.
So long as everything is back as it was when received, there shouldn’t be any issue from a warranty perspective when it’s time to start up the system. The goal here is to keep from disconnecting the cables between jars. If for some reason you have to do that though, make sure to torque all connections back to factory specs. Contact me if you need info regarding torque specs and I can provide the appropriate cut-sheet.
If you decide to perform this procedure go to my Emergency Support page and contact Eaton / Powerware’s tech support line for help working through the details.
You definitely don’t want to get this process wrong, but doing it correctly will help save time, and keep your installation team safe!