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UPS Battery Longevity

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Pulling 1000W from a 12V battery is about 100A, so I am all for over-engineering such as modifying the APC Smart-UPS 1000 to use bigger batteries (this mod I have also done).

However the lithium idea then costs more than $400
 

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Was there no such warranty for that length of a lifecycle? Panasonic is a noteworthy battery maker ..............
By owning my own Blog for nine years up to date, I have the ability to record all my positive and negative experiences with products.

Pulling 1000W from a 12V battery is about 100A, so I am all for over-engineering such as modifying the APC Smart-UPS 1000 to use bigger batteries (this mod I have also done).

However the lithium idea then costs more than $400
In theory we can build skyscrapers even with paper, but no one can offer alternative solutions with out him having in depth knowledge of how actually an advanced UPS circuit works.
I am positively talking here, I just want to filter down your enthusiasm.
Lithium cells are useless at UPS, the cut off voltage this is not in agreement with the UPS controller chip cutoff.
In simple English, if a lithium pack this is a bucked of energy, you can use only half of it, if this is about to replace regular batteries.
https://www.ittsb.eu/forum/index.php?topic=1207.0
 
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I would suggest finding a UPS that supports your intended maximum load for atleast 15 minutes runtime. Todays cheap models that support their full load for only 3-5 minutes don't last.
I've used old APC Smart-UPS 1000 & 1500 for many years. The 1000VA can be modified to fit the same capacity batteries as the 1500VA model. It can support a 300w load for about 1hour and batteries last 4 to 7 years depending on how many blackouts occur per year. If I loose half the capacity or double the load, I still get 20 minutes runtime. I can run a 250w fridge off the 1500VA models during a longer blackout (the peak VA when the motor starts is over 1000VA for <1 second).

Watts RMS = average power used of a full cycle or more.
The VA rating = Average Volts x Average Amps.
PF=W / VA
A resistive load has PF of 1 so the average watts will equal the VA rating of the load.
If more current is used when the voltage in the cycle is low, and less when the voltage is high then Watts will be less than VA (ie. PF <1).
Wires heat up because of current flow not volts so the average current limits the capacity of the inverter wiring for loads with PF <1 & < rated watts.
The runtime of the batteries are still dependent on the average watts used, the available battery capacity and inverter efficiency.

The higher the load, the more the battery voltage drops, the less battery capacity can be used, the shorter runtime compared to a linear line.
If near the end of the runtime you lowered the load, more of the remaining battery capacity could then be used.

The bigger the inverter, the more power it uses with <10% loads.

If you can lower the maximum charging rate and the standby voltage you can increase the life of the batteries. If you turn them off well before the low voltage cut out, the batteries will last longer.
If you start with 15 minutes runtime you will still have 7 minute runtime when batteries loose 50% capacity. If you only start with 5 minute runtime it doesn't take much (capacity loss from use) for them to be useless.

Lithium based batteries don't match the voltages of Lead-acid (eg. SLA) so the UPS settings/design would need to be changed to suit their characteristics (max voltage, float voltage, low-voltage cutoff). Also check the limits for charging & discharging of the batteries.
* WARNING * Electrocution / shock hazard, don't poke around inside a UPS unless you are qualified & careful. A UPS has mains voltage inside and large capacitors that can hold a charge after the power has been removed.
Sorry, I read this late. I already ordered a power cell rated at 12V 9Ah soon after. I'll let y'all know how it goes after I receive & charged it.
While I support your argument, what you're also asking me is alotta budget for what a broke high school student like me who no longer has a stable income can shell out.
 

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Is it alright to use devices such as surge protectors, stabilizers & such, paired with UPS & will it have any sort of beneficial stacking effect?
 
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Is it alright to use devices such as surge protectors, stabilizers & such, paired with UPS & will it have any sort of beneficial stacking effect?
No, it is not alright. If you check the manuals for just about any UPS, they will say something like this from my APC 1500VA UPS manual,
Connect the UPS power cable directly to a wall outlet. Do not use surge protectors or extension cords.
Surge and spike protectors (SSPs) do not shape the waveform into a nice sine wave. They simply chop off (clamp) the tops. When you plug a UPS into a SSP, the UPS may see the incoming wave form as "dirty" or unstable and kick over to battery way more frequently than needed. This will cause the batteries to age more quickly. The AVR portion of the UPS may also be tasked excessively, causing heat to build up inside the UPS unnecessarily.

And if you plug a SSP into the UPS, the UPS may see the load as unstable and shut down output, causing your computer to suddenly crash - never good.

Plus, there just is no need since a good UPS with AVR already provides proper surge and spike protection, but also good regulation - something no SSP can do.

Contrary to the warnings, you can use a quality "heavy duty" extension cord. However, just make sure it is good quality, heavy duty enough to easily support the load. But it really would be better to position the UPS and the connected devices closer to the wall outlet so no extension cord is needed.

That said, those AC/DC power transformers commonly found on many devices like routers, modems, even many monitors often are big and bulky and can easily take up too much room on the back of the UPS. So I recommend using 18 inch spider extension cords on the output side of your UPS.
 

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No, it is not alright. If you check the manuals for just about any UPS, they will say something like this from my APC 1500VA UPS manual,
Sorry, I don't remember my UPS coming with a proper safety manual. I might've also not read that part of the manual had it came with it. Kids....
Contrary to the warnings, you can use a quality "heavy duty" extension cord. However, just make sure it is good quality, heavy duty enough to easily support the load. But it really would be better to position the UPS and the connected devices closer to the wall outlet so no extension cord is needed.
I dunno if what I have now is high quality/heavy duty extension cord but having it's own fuse should count in that category, mabe? I may have committed the crime of connecting the UPS to the extension cord, then connecting my PC, monitor & 2 laptops to another extension cord (which is the same brand as the first one) to the UPS. Its setup this way as there just isn't enough wall plug around to power my surrounding electronics.
BTW, I manage to get nearly 25 minutes on my new power cell powering all that I mentioned. Granted I don't even need more than 10-15 minutes but its an extra. In case you're wondering why I'm connecting my laptops to UPS, one of the battery is nearly flat, while the other one's battery is so bloated that it was about to break through the touchpad & casing had I not removed it.
What about stabilizers? Are they alright to use with UPS?
 
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What about stabilizers? Are they alright to use with UPS?
Every backup UPS, even the dirt cheap ones, they do include stabilizer, this is four or five voltage steps of 10V its one, the UPS does the switcing by the use of relay's.
Instead the On-line UPS, they use electronically controlled stabilizer, because the circuit this is made to use battery power all times.
 
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Every backup UPS, even the dirt cheap ones, they do include stabilizer, this is four or five voltage steps of 10V its one, the UPS does the switcing by the use of relay's.
Instead the On-line UPS, they use electronically controlled stabilizer, because the circuit this is made to use battery power all times.
Got it... What about stacking? Do the benefits stack or is it irrelevant or should I not use a stabilizer then?
 
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Sorry, I don't remember my UPS coming with a proper safety manual.
LOL I don't know of any UPS coming with "a proper safety manual". But I currently own 9 scattered about this house and each one came with what they called a User manual or User or Setup Guide. However, most were little more than a single sheet of paper with tiny print in 42 different languages :rolleyes: :kookoo: with similar warnings being expressed.

That said, if you don't have your manual, all the major brands (APC, Cyberpower, Tripp Lite, Belkin, Eaton and probably most others), do maintain downloadable .pdf versions of the manual, userguide, datasheet, etc. on their websites. If not, hopefully a FAQ page.
I may have committed the crime of connecting the UPS to the extension cord
Nah! A plain extension cord (not a surge and spike protector) is not a crime, as long as it can safely handled the current through the cable. Note its current capability should be printed or molded in the extension cord's outer insulation.

What about stabilizers? Are they alright to use with UPS?
Again, the warnings say to plug the UPS directly into the wall outlet. As far as putting the stabilizer on the UPS output side, you don't need it with a decent UPS with AVR as the AVR already provides "automatic voltage regulation" - a feature which is already much better than simple stabilization.

Every backup UPS, even the dirt cheap ones, they do include stabilizer, this is four or five voltage steps of 10V its one, the UPS does the switcing by the use of relay's.
Dirt cheap UPS? Well, kinda. Sorta. But not really - at least not always.

The "better" UPS will increase ("boost") or attenuate the input voltage without switching over to backup power IF and only IF the drop or excess is very small and short lived. So in that sense, it will provide some sort of stabilization. And the better UPS may use multiple steps.

However, budget or "dirt cheap ones" don't. They will simply cutover to battery backup - and hopefully fast enough - which is not always a given (see below). A dirt cheap UPS has but 1 step - and its one big one. There is no regulation. There is no surge and spike protection. If the voltage drops past that single pre-set threshold, the UPS kicks over to backup (battery) power. Is that still considered voltage "stabilization"? Maybe to the marketing weenies. But I dare say no professional electronics technician would call it that.

In terms of cut-over speeds, note the ATX Form Factor standard requires all ATX PSUs have a "hold-up" time of at least 17ms. That's not optional. It is a mandatory requirement. That is, all ATX power supplies must maintain total capacity output in the event incoming power drops below a specific threshold (90VAC for 115VAC input). The problem is, many PSUs (including some otherwise highly rated supplies from some big names in PSUs) fail to meet that requirement. Some, for example, this Corsair CX650 could not even hold-up output power for 9ms :(.

Now a "good" UPS will easily sense that drop and cutover to backup power in 10ms or less. Many lessor quality UPS take longer. You can see the problem already. Your computer would come crashing down if using that Corsair with a budget UPS. :(

So the moral of the story is, don't buy a dirt cheap UPS. Get a "good" UPS with AVR.
or should I not use a stabilizer then?
No. Don't use it with a UPS. I don't see doing so causing a dangerous scenario - that is, I don't see doing this would risk a fire or anything like that. But the redundancy does not provide any advantages and worse, may cause the UPS to act in unexpected ways. That is, it may cause the UPS to think the connected devices need protection and cut-over to battery power unnecessarily. Or it may see the load as unstable and simply shutdown power to protect itself and/or the connected equipment. And then perhaps the stabilizer will attempt to compensate. In the meantime, your connected hardware is getting pulled back and forth. Like a bone being ripped apart by two guard dogs, each trying to protect it from harm, each wondering what the other dog is up to.
 
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Nah! A plain extension cord (not a surge and spike protector) is not a crime, as long as it can safely handled the current through the cable. Note its current capability should be printed or molded in the extension cord's outer insulation.
As it turns out, my extension cord might be high quality. Still have the box which has the price tag which indicated that it was not cheap, like I said, has it's own fuse & each plug has it's own switch which I love since I don't have to unplug a cord after powering down a device.
So the moral of the story is, don't buy a dirt cheap UPS. Get a "good" UPS with AVR.
Oh... Uummm... I assume it to late to get a refund for my power cell? I did get my mentioned Prolink UPS for dirt cheap, as is most of my electronics.... I should check if it has Automatic Voltage Regulation.
No. Don't use it with a UPS. I don't see doing so causing a dangerous scenario - that is, I don't see doing this would risk a fire or anything like that. But the redundancy does not provide any advantages and worse, may cause the UPS to act in unexpected ways. That is, it may cause the UPS to think the connected devices need protection and cut-over to battery power unnecessarily. Or it may see the load as unstable and simply shutdown power to protect itself and/or the connected equipment. And then perhaps the stabilizer will attempt to compensate. In the meantime, your connected hardware is getting pulled back and forth. Like a bone being ripped apart by two guard dogs, each trying to protect it from harm, each wondering what the other dog is up to.
Got it... Its a good thing that I haven't used it. The question was just wondering. My stabilizer is currently connected to my fan & my charger as my area's power grid is rather unstable & without a stabilizer, my fan makes the electric buzzing-ish noise. It has never been connected to my UPS though since I had a feeling that it would be pointless.
 
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I should check if it has Automatic Voltage Regulation.
You will need the exact model number. If one of these, then yes it does. Of course, not all AVR is created equal but still better than no AVR at all. I will say this - according to the specs on that page, it claims to have a 2 - 6ms cutover (transfer) time. That's quick. :)

As a side note, remember SLA batteries typically need to be replaced every 3 - 5 years. Those specs show that UPS uses one 12V 8.2Ah cell. When it comes time to replace it, I would go with a 12V 9Ah cell. That will give you a little more run time. Just make sure the cell's physical dimensions are the same (should be) and you get the correct terminal type - they will either be F1 or F2.
 
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You will need the exact model number. If one of these, then yes it does. Of course, not all AVR is created equal but still better than no AVR at all. I will say this - according to the specs on that page, it claims to have a 2 - 6ms cutover (transfer) time. That's quick. :)
Thanks for the link. The link provided is for the PRO700SFT, while my model is PRO700SPC but it seems on that page that it also has the same transfer time of 2-6 ms for my UPS model. I guess that means that I'm good here.
As a side note, remember SLA batteries typically need to be replaced every 3 - 5 years. Those specs show that UPS uses one 12V 8.2Ah cell. When it comes time to replace it, I would go with a 12V 9Ah cell. That will give you a little more run time. Just make sure the cell's physical dimensions are the same (should be) and you get the correct terminal type - they will either be F1 or F2.
Well, its a good thing that I got that 9Ah that you suggested. The one I got is a Prolink FIDA 1290 which should be a good upgrade over my previous FIDA 1270. I wanted to get the 10Ah but at that point, I couldn't find anything that has the same dimension as the lesser amp-hour.
 
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Does one really need AVR for a PC?

Most supplies are happy with 100 - 240V so one does not need to compensate for brownouts and at less than full load would probably be happy with less than 100V
 
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Got it... What about stacking? Do the benefits stack or is it irrelevant or should I not use a stabilizer then?
Single unit stabilizer this is mostly for protection of TV set and or small HiFi audio system.
The Chinese use terribly quality of DC relay and they burn all the time, while the unit is tagged at 500va this is a plain joke.
I am in denial to repair them, its one real relay this cost over 10 EUR, and no one accepts the total repair cost.
I just use the housing for another DIY project and trash the internals.

Its one relay for my APC SUA1000 XL , this has a price of over 16 Euro.
But I paid 600 EUR to get it back in time, it can use four external battery packs for 24 hours run-time, and I got it so this to handle two desktop computer systems and all their peripherals ( printers, speakers, ADSL Box, Mbit Hub, etc) .
Now I have installed two car batteries, 36AH its one in series, now I am enjoying run time of 51 minutes and I feel as a King ;)
 

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Does one really need AVR for a PC?

Most supplies are happy with 100 - 240V so one does not need to compensate for brownouts and at less than full load would probably be happy with less than 100V
I guess it must be good for the power supply unit maybe?
 

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Active Or line conditioning AVR's UPS's mean that the battery-inverter is always available to supplement power in the event of a mains failure or under-volt there are few modes this can happen in
1. a brown out where the voltage dips more then 15-20% out of spec the load is instantaneously switched over to the battery-inverter keeping the mains in parallel with the battery-inverter (same applies to a sustained over-voltage condition)

2. a LEG down event e.g the loss of one side of the 240-250v feed coming off the transformer on the pole, the ups switches to battery-inverter only and the protection relay is tripped and the mains input is isolated

3. a surge event where the ups can't compensate for the event with traditional switched resistors or fuses, the battery-inverter is used as a current sink with the excess energy being forcefully shunted into the battery
remember all of these Operations need to happen within a few milliseconds to avoid equipment damage



Does one really need AVR for a PC?

Most supplies are happy with 100 - 240V so one does not need to compensate for brownouts and at less than full load would probably be happy with less than 100V
so very very wrong and shows a complete lack of understanding of basic electrical principles you can't just switch voltages on the fly like that and no if you get below 100v most psu's internal protections kick in and it shuts off
 
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Tell that to Jonney Guru
He posts here and I'm pretty sure he'd agree.

A wide input acceptance range is not free range to roam all over it like a spectrum. Pick a voltage and stay put.
 
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Does one really need AVR for a PC?
Yes. At least they are highly recommended to ensure maximum stability at the very least.
and at less than full load would probably be happy with less than 100V
Well, this make zero technical sense at all so there's no point in commenting on it.
Most supplies are happy with 100 - 240V so one does not need to compensate for brownouts
And this makes almost no sense. Why would you assume brownouts can't drop below the ATX stated thresholds of 90VAC (for 115VAC nominal grids) or 180VAC (for 230VAC nominal grids)? That is silly. It is also silly to assume grid voltages can't exceed the maximum limits of 135VAC and 265VAC respectively.

Plus, if the supply is expecting 115VAC and is only getting 100VAC, it still has to compensate in order to maintain the required DC voltages. Long term events like that WILL cause excessive strain and generate more heat - never good.

What about dips (opposite of spikes) and sags (opposite of surges)? These events happen just as frequently as surges and spikes. When excessive they also put strain on the supplies and can cause the computer to crash. Any computer crash can result in corrupt data.

Note that no surge and spike protector can compensate for those low voltage anomalies. This is why surge and spike protectors are little more than fancy and expensive extension cords.

Plus, a UPS can protect more than just the PC. It can also protect the monitor(s) and the network gear as well.

Also, it is important to understand AVR works almost instantly - as in microseconds even. Without AVR, a basic backup power UPS has to sense loss of AC input and then cut-over to battery power. That can easily take 10 milliseconds or even longer. If that lapsed time exceeds just 17ms, even the most compliant power supply will drop output causing the computer to crash. And note 17ms is much faster than the human eye can detect (in lights flickering, for example). This means your computer could crash without you, as a human, even being aware there was a power sag.

Last, don't forget that destructive anomalies don't always originate from the grid. A faulty 1500W hair dryer, microwave oven, toaster, AC cycling on and off, or any other high wattage device can inject destructive anomalies too.

*****
Personal and true anecdotal experience:

Back in May 2017, I came home to hear all my UPSs beeping (I have a UPS on each computer, my home theater/TV system, even my garage door opener). Yet the house lights were still on! ???

A quick check on the LCD status display panel of my UPS showed the incoming voltage was 143VAC!!!! It should have been ~120VAC. A quick check with my multimeter confirmed, 142.8VAC and the 220VAC outlet in the garage was showing 285.6VAC! Not good - especially for things like air conditioning and refrigerator compressors.

I called the power company, told them I was a technician and what I had found and [happily] and they came right out - like in 15 minutes! The electrician checked the power entering my meter and confirmed what I had reported. This also established the problem was not on my end, but with theirs - thus affecting at least every home supplied by our common transformer.

They expedited a bucket truck out to check the transformer on the pole behind my house. They determined the transformer "tap" was faulty. They had to kill power to the whole neighborhood and move the tap temporarily until they could replace the 30 year old transformer.

They moved to a functional tap and the setting was still a little too "hot" at 258VAC (129VAC single phase). But at least that was a safe level and all the UPS (and I) were happy.

About 2 weeks later they replaced the old transformer with a brand new one and today we are sitting at 119VAC. :)

Had I not had an UPS on my computer I probably would have fired up the computer and with the voltage being that hot, might have put too much strain on the PSU regulator circuits. This could have resulted in several unexplained failures of the electronics in my house (and all the neighbors' houses) too. The LCD panel made troubleshooting a snap. It also allowed me to easily explain to the power company trouble desk what was going on so they sent someone out so quickly.
 
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For battery life, as well as product life, we had observed a significant difference bet noticed a significant difference between the APC pre-Schneider Electric take over and the post takeover era. Not drastic but observable. What that revealed tho is that since the takover customer support has completely tanked. Pre 2007 we'd get 5-7 years ... Post takeover 3-4 years. Since 2014, have only purchased / installed Cyperpower 1500 VA units, no battery replacements / problems yet. At current pricing, I don't even know if it would be worth replacing the batteries. Looked a few monts back and Pure Since Wave / PFC 1500 VA Units were ~ $155 ... expect higher now, just like most everything else (PSUs, Storage, etc). Manufacturers replacements packs were $80 and most 3rd party units $30 to $40 but most of the loer ones have 1 year warrantes. Some brands will give ya 2 years, 3 is used in a UPS .... buy with Amex for an extra year, for a total of 4. Still if I'm gonna pay $35-$40 plus shipping and spend my time changing and returning th eold battery for proper disposal ... I was kinda iffy about investing in a UPS that was already 7 years old. when I saw them selling for $155 a while back.
 
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For battery life, as well as product life, we had observed a significant difference bet noticed a significant difference between the APC pre-Schneider Electric take over and the post takeover era. Not drastic but observable. What that revealed tho is that since the takover customer support has completely tanked. Pre 2007 we'd get 5-7 years ... Post takeover 3-4 years. Since 2014, have only purchased / installed Cyperpower 1500 VA units ..........
APC Schneider Electric of today, they are worst performers at customer support for below 1500VA units when them are out of warranty, all the sudden they classified them as non-reparable technology.
From the other hand, for bigger models 3000VA and higher they do make product support policy due contract but this is something that regular consumers will never care about.

At 2016 I was had to move planet earth and sky with my bare hands so to find help so to repair my unit after an accident caused by thunder.
 
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Thunder would not damage a UPS - unless you were carrying it and the thunder scared you so badly you dropped the UPS! ;)

As for APC UPS, I have not seen a decline in quality/reliability since the Schneider take over despite reports of it. I personally think any increase was just perception due to their popularity. More units in the field will result in more problems.

That said, I have indeed seen a decline in their customer service - and not just with APC but with other companies under the Schneider umbrella too. The bottom line is customer service typically cuts dollar for dollar directly into profits. Customer service brings in no money. So training for their Level 1 tech support amounts to little more than following a checklist from which they are prohibited from deviating from. :(
 
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Seriously? Lightening could destroy a UPS

Ah! was a joke.

Sorry, it's been a long day.
 
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