IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Vertiv Liebert PSI5 Lithium-Ion UPS: Better than Exploding Cake

With compelling improvements in weight, power, recovery, and service life, the new lithium-ion-based UPS from Vertiv will keep the lights on while providing ROI for channel pros and their customers. By Matt Whitlock

CHANNEL PROS ARE KEENLY AWARE how costly unplanned downtime can be for their customers, which means uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are necessary for those crucial minutes when the lights go out. A properly implemented UPS can give system administrators the time necessary to shut systems off safely, or keep things humming as power is switched from main to backup sources, like a generator.

When it comes to UPS systems, the latest models using lithium-ion batteries are on fire. Wait. Not literally on fire, I mean they are really hot right now. No. Not hot, hot. Like explosive. Wait. I mean … never mind.

Exploding lithium-ion battery puns aside, UPS makers are releasing new generations of products that use lithium-ion batteries in favor of the stalwart VRLA (valve regulated lead-acid) battery. Without getting into a deep discussion on the pros and cons of battery chemistries, the short of it is that lithium-ion batteries offer some compelling improvements in weight, power, recovery, and service life of a UPS. Cost has been a huge factor in limiting the commercial viability of lithium-ion-based UPS models, but prices have dropped considerably in the last few years. And while these UPSs may still cost more up front, the total cost over time will be the same or less.

So what does one of the newest UPS models running lithium-ion batteries look like, and how does it perform? To answer that question, we turn to Vertiv and its Liebert PSI5 Lithium-Ion UPS.

We reviewed the PSI5-1500RT120L and companion Liebert IntelliSlot Unity-SNMP network card for remote monitoring and management. It is a single-phase, line-interactive UPS with a 1500VA/1350W power rating using a lithium-ion (LiFePO4) battery in a 2U rack height. Vertiv offers a similar model with double the battery (3000VA/2700W) and an extra outlet at the same height.

The PSI5—Out-of-the-Box Overview

In the box with the PSI5 are the usual UPS accessories, such as USB cable, rack mounts, and a floor stand for vertical use. There’s also a slide rail kit, which is a nice addition.

One of the benefits of lithium-ion batteries is immediately apparent—weight reduction. At just under 29 pounds, the PSI5 is half the weight of lead-acid units at the same power rating.

Setup is simple and straightforward. Once you attach the floor stands or rail accessories, the final remaining step is to fasten the plastic front cover, which comes nestled in foam to prevent it from breaking during shipping.

About the Author

Matt Whitlock's picture

Matt Whitlock is online director and technical editor for

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