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View Full Version : How long do your UPS batteries last, and what is your preferred/recommended brand?



Billy T
24-05-2012, 12:26 PM
I usually get about 3 years before the UPS signals failure, which probably means that they can be considered impaired at about two and a half years and on borrowed time after that. However I have just had a battery fail at 20 months of bog standard usage.

The transition from normal performance to failure seems to happen quite quickly (self-test OK one day, next day not) and is characterised by a sharp rise in internal impedance. A new/good SLA battery has an ESR (equivalent series resistance)* of .1 to .15 ohms and after failure that rises to 2 ohms or more. At that point the battery still charges very close to full terminal voltage but can't supply the required current drain, so the UPS automatically goes into fault mode at switch-on.

I use mainly 12 volt 7A/h, but have a smaller UPS that takes a 12 Volt 9A/hr and have been buying DiaMec batteries from Jaycar for several years. Usually they have lasted well in my UPS's, and also in our security alarm system, but with three batteries to replace in the new 1000VA UPS (DiaMec at present) I am having second thoughts now.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

* ESR is a test more commonly associated with electrolytic capacitors, but some time ago I discovered that it was also excellent for checking the quality of dry cells, with cheap brands having a high ESR and good quality brands being much lower. It is also an accurate indicator of the life-status of rechargeables such as NiCads and NimH. Unfortunately ESR meters are scarce as hen's teeth so you have to either buy a kitset (which I did) or build your own from one of the designs on the web.

1101
24-05-2012, 12:54 PM
Century Yuasa seemed like a good batt brand in the past.

we stopped replacing UPS batts. We just replace the whole UPS now.
Last several UPS's with dead/dying batts that our work has replaced batts, the new batts failed with 1 week to a few months
The UPS could be cooking those batts .
Your can sent some UPS brands (APC) for a service/check, but probhably not worth the cost

off topic...
I built one of those ESR meters as well. A useful little tool .
Some NiMh are by design low ESR (LSD), most of the very high capacity AA NIMH's are higher ESR(from new) even the good brands, so you now need to know what that NIMH's should have been from new

:thumbs:

Billy T
24-05-2012, 02:15 PM
Century Yuasa seemed like a good batt brand in the past.

we stopped replacing UPS batts. We just replace the whole UPS now.
Last several UPS's with dead/dying batts that our work has replaced batts, the new batts failed with 1 week to a few months
The UPS could be cooking those batts .
Your can sent some UPS brands (APC) for a service/check, but probhably not worth the cost
:thumbs:

I can do my own service checks, but there is not much else you can do but check the float charge voltage & current and do a load test. I use a 200W lamp for that, it is an adequate load for the job and gives an immediate visual check of the output.

It would be too expensive for me to replace my UPS every time new batteries were needed, but as loads rise I periodically relegate the older UPS to lesser duties and dispose of the 'bottom of the heap' unit, which at present is an APC BackUps 250(VA). I have an APC BackUps 420(VA) that is also redundant but still IGN (apart from the battery), a newish line-interactive Dynamix UPS650(VA) running my monitor and the new Dynamix 1000(VA) full time online sinewave jobbie handling the computer load on its own. The latter is an interesting unit, you can't turn it off while mains is still applied, you have to shed the load then turn off the mains before using the off switch, which further delays shutdown for about 20 seconds before it finally goes to sleep.

Over the years we've had a few outages and the UPS's have saved the day but you have to be there when the power goes off of course, so I plan on trying the UPSilon auto-shutdown software that came with the new UPS. Anybody have experience with that? It needs a serial port, which are an endangered species these days, but apparently you can get an UPSilon USB adapter to do the same job.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

dugimodo
24-05-2012, 03:40 PM
I had a powerware 300VA UPS with a USB connection that shutdown my pc automatically based on a manually set timer and that worked fairly well, although it was underpowered and had about a 3 minute run time so auto shutdown was the only thing you could do in a power outage. On the downside the battery died and somehow destroyed an 8 port switch that was connected to the UPS.

Before that happened I was contemplating connecting a higher capacity gel cell to it to see if I could improve the run time. I had some second hand 70AH gel cells that came from a cell site I considered connecting.

I always wanted one that kept running until the battery discharged to a threshold and then shutdown the PC automatically. I never found an affordable model that did this. Now I've decided my power is reliable enough and don't bother with a UPS or surge protector at all.

Lawrence
24-05-2012, 05:52 PM
Yuasa,Hitachi are good but Sonnenschein (think they are still German made) has the legs

Tried to replace one over 6 years (9 amp) ago and was told it would be about $70 at the time

Billy T
24-05-2012, 06:10 PM
Now I've decided my power is reliable enough and don't bother with a UPS or surge protector at all.

Brave brave words! :eek:

So there's absolutely zero chance of a lightning strike; truck or car VS pole; transformer failure; load transfer issue at the local switchyard; digger vs underground cable; tree vs power lines; or maybe just a tired pole fuse in your neck of the woods?

You've either got those covered, or you are sacrificing virgins like there's no tomorrow.

Reminds me of the sar-major who told his troops "don't worry about the enemy, they couldn't hit a barn door at this ra...................

Give me your address and I'll move to your street asap! :devil:

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :D

coldot
24-05-2012, 06:44 PM
Backup, backup and more backup!

Gobe1
24-05-2012, 06:54 PM
We have Liebert, seem ok. Was told battery life was 2 years but they are still going ok at 3years now. That reminds me Billy, time for a test :)

Chilling_Silence
24-05-2012, 07:35 PM
Personally I wouldn't be without a UPS! Mines been a lifesaver on three occasions in < 18 months. Brilliant devices, and for $90-odd there really was no excuse...

linw
24-05-2012, 10:04 PM
I acquired an old APC 1000 that had crook btys and replaced them with $10 ones from a fire alarm service company. Been going fine for a couple of years. Probably time to replace them.

Got good backups (I hope!) and at least this UPS will protect from spikes/brownouts. Wouldn't mind the software to auto shutdown but don't suppose it runs on win7.

dugimodo
24-05-2012, 10:55 PM
Lol, I don't think I'm living all that dangerously, I've been here since august '99. the power has gone off 3 or 4 times. Damage resulting to PC = $0
UPS battery died and killed an 8 port switch, Damage resulting from using a cheap UPS = approx $300 (Not sure actually, price of UPS + Switch)
Yeah those things you mentioned could happen, but I could get struck by lightning walking down the street too. I'm not going to worry about unlikely possibilities.

Surge protectors are a big have in my opinion. I've read articles detailing what they protect you from and to my mind they are virtually useless.
They don't protect you from lightning, if it hits close enough you're screwed. They don't help in power cuts, they don't help when the power sags, they only help when a power spike small enough for them to handle occurs, which is incredibly unlikely.
Almost all power problems result in loss of power, very few cause surges strong enough to be a problem. The ATX standard itself allows for power fluctuations at the supply so your PSU can handle as much as a some cheapo surge protectors anyway.

A quality UPS on the other hand is a very nice device and if your power is unreliable or you worry about it then sure it's worth it for peace of mind but unless you have critical data not backed and leave your PC on 24/7 the odds of needing one are small.
In the unlikely event a power fault fries my PC I'll repair it or build a new one, life goes on.

sorry, wrote a lot more than I meant to when I started :)

Billy T
24-05-2012, 11:44 PM
We have Liebert, seem ok. Was told battery life was 2 years but they are still going ok at 3 years now. That reminds me Billy, time for a test :) I can't see why a good quality SLA battery on a correct spec float-charge should not last a lot longer without sulphating. The SLAs in my alarm system backup and external alarm box lasted approximately six years before the most recent change, and although they were impaired by then, they were still adequate to run the alarm & siren loads. I guess the bottom line is whether or not they can supply the load current, however alarm loads are not as high as those for a UPS so I think I'd better check them again soon, just in case!

Both my current UPS systems make battery condition checks at switch-on the same as my old APC did, so I expect I'll get the message when they want to be replaced, but it had better not be less than 3 years!

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Slankydudl
25-05-2012, 12:09 AM
Surge protectors are useless when dealing with computers and office equipment. If lightning hits then the amount of current going through the wires could given the right conditions probably arc accross a surge protector. And any thing small enough that it could handel would never happen and its going to turn everything off anyway. Ups's are actuly usefull.

1101
25-05-2012, 11:59 AM
Surge protectors were tested by Consumer Mag many years back.
The only 2 worth having were in the $150+ mark .
The cheap ones are useless.

Surge protectors are often good for 1 hit only, after that they need repair, replacing.
No way of knowing if they've had that 1 hit on most of them.

Chilling_Silence
25-05-2012, 12:32 PM
Yeah I'd rather a UPS or not bother, personally.

Billy T
25-05-2012, 05:36 PM
Surge protectors were tested by Consumer Mag many years back. The only 2 worth having were in the $150+ mark. The cheap ones are useless. Surge protectors are often good for 1 hit only, after that they need repair, replacing. No way of knowing if they've had that 1 hit on most of them.

A surge is an extended duration event, which is unlikely to occur very often in NZ's electrical system, though I could tell you some horror stories about my test results in New Delhi a few years back. Everything from major frequency drops, to the voltage 'stability' wandering aimlessly though the tulips, massive spikes and dropouts taking place, and in a 24 hour period my logger recorded 4000 separate events, which filled the memory and then started overwriting from the beginning again, but once again, I digress.........

By definition, a surge is an over-voltage condition of some duration and there is no plug-in device that can clamp that sort of energy level. In my opinion, so-called surge protectors are nothing more than spike clippers; MOVs that break down above the specified voltage and bypass the current to ground, but they can't handle anything of long duration without blowing up. The equipment I sell to clients has a massive ferrite-cored choke to slow any current inrush, then two large capacitors to suck down the voltage, followed by 12 (count them, 12) heavy duty MOVs to mop up the dregs, and then it has an LED that extinguishes when the last protective element has given up the unequal battle, so you know when to call the Undertaker.

What are commonly called surge protectors are in fact no more than spike protectors, able to deal only with transients, and not very well at that. Surges happen when major events occur on the network, when HV lines fall across LV lines or when issues occur at the generation facility.

Spike protectors have their place, but their value is limited to the comfort offered by the little red light glowing cheerfully under your desk. Similarly, line interactive UPS units are OK for brief outages and do contain power filtering and conditioning to a level significantly more efficient and effective than a surge protector, so they give good protection against most transients, but not even a full-time online UPS can give you guaranteed protection against a lightning strike on any part of your local supply, but car/bus/truck VS pole will do you no harm unless there was 11kV above the 230 volt lines.

So, the difference between a surge and a spike is duration and energy dissipation, where the spike is a mosquito bite and the surge is a pit bull latched onto your leg. :waughh:

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

mikebartnz
25-05-2012, 09:14 PM
I can't see why a good quality SLA battery on a correct spec float-charge should not last a lot longer without sulphating. The SLAs in my alarm system backup and external alarm box lasted approximately six years before the most recent change, and although they were impaired by then, they were still adequate to run the alarm & siren loads. I guess the bottom line is whether or not they can supply the load current, however alarm loads are not as high as those for a UPS so I think I'd better check them again soon, just in case!

Both my current UPS systems make battery condition checks at switch-on the same as my old APC did, so I expect I'll get the message when they want to be replaced, but it had better not be less than 3 years!

Cheers

Billy 8-{)
A little bit later I will test it but I have had my UPS for about six years and as far as I know the batteries are still holding up.

westom
28-05-2012, 04:09 AM
So there's absolutely zero chance of a lightning strike; truck or car VS pole; transformer failure; load transfer issue at the local switchyard; digger vs underground cable; tree vs power lines; or maybe just a tired pole fuse in your neck of the woods?

A typical UPS does not even claim to protect from any of those anomalies. Except in advertising where subjective lies are legal.

A UPS is made as cheap as possible. Car batteries in harsher environments last at least twice as long. Simply read UPS spec numbers. Near zero. Protection only from a surge so tiny as to not harm other appliances. A near zero number so that the naive will believe it does 100% protection.

Even its output power (in battery backup mode) is some of the 'dirtiest' power in the house. Cleanest power is when a UPS connects appliances directly to AC mains. But again, a UPS is made a cheap as possible. Even degrades it batteries in only three years by doing almost nothing.

That UPS has only once purpose. To provide temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Why 'dirtiest'? Because protection already in electronic appliances is so good as to make 'dirtiest' power from a UPS irrelevant. However do not power a power strip protector or motorized appliance from a UPS. That 'dirty' power can be harmful to some non-electronic appliances.

BTW, underground or overhead makes little difference. A risk to appliances remains same.

1101
28-05-2012, 12:05 PM
Many PC PSU have basic 'anti spike' built in anyway
many years a go, a customers house was hit with a massive overvoltage
Everything in the house blew, except the PC !!! Cheapo Laser Printer was fixed by replacing the MOV

PeteS
28-05-2012, 01:27 PM
I'm finding this topic and thread fascinating. I guess like many a week or two back we had a couple of power outages only a second in duration, but sufficient to throw much of the households electronics. I'm concerned that like only a few years back our power supply will as the winter bites get all the more dodgy. Everything goes through the cheapo surge protectors talked about here, so I guess my printer (electronics) dying last week may or may not be coincidental. Anyway I've done a fair bit of reading including going back over my pcworld mag library and I still have some queries I'd be interested in hearing from anyone here. I'd really like some more opinions on brand & model numbers. Visited Jaycar which I agree is often a good outlet, but the bargain prices were not available. Seems APC is not sold through the good discount outlets nor some other brands that seem to find favour on this forum.
Seems bundled software is as important as the hardware. I'm also real confused despite reading the latest ads as to the worth of the new APC ES energy efficient stuff and am always worried this might be expensive 'greenwash'.
Looking forward to any continuing discussion.

mikebartnz
28-05-2012, 02:53 PM
A typical UPS does not even claim to protect from any of those anomalies. Except in advertising where subjective lies are legal.

A UPS is made as cheap as possible. Car batteries in harsher environments last at least twice as long. Simply read UPS spec numbers. Near zero. Protection only from a surge so tiny as to not harm other appliances. A near zero number so that the naive will believe it does 100% protection.

Even its output power (in battery backup mode) is some of the 'dirtiest' power in the house. Cleanest power is when a UPS connects appliances directly to AC mains. But again, a UPS is made a cheap as possible. Even degrades it batteries in only three years by doing almost nothing.

That UPS has only once purpose. To provide temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Why 'dirtiest'? Because protection already in electronic appliances is so good as to make 'dirtiest' power from a UPS irrelevant. However do not power a power strip protector or motorized appliance from a UPS. That 'dirty' power can be harmful to some non-electronic appliances.

BTW, underground or overhead makes little difference. A risk to appliances remains same.
What a load of dribble for a first post.
You can not compare a battery for an UPS with a car battery.
If you are going to prattle on about how dirty the power from an UPS is you really need to provide a link or two to back up what you are saying.
As for running electric motors off an UPS it has everything to do with the startup load and nothing to do with dirty power.
Eg. A 240 volt motor that uses 5 amps can put a startup load of 7200VA and an UPS is not designed for that. You also need to consider as to if it is a square sine wave model or a true sine wave model.

Billy T
28-05-2012, 06:04 PM
What a load of dribble for a first post. You can not compare a battery for an UPS with a car battery.

I agree! What a pile of irrelevant twaddle. Poster must have been drunk, high, or dyslexic to read that much rubbish into some straight-forward discussions on UPS systems. Yes, the output from a 'modified sinewave' (otherwise known as a stepped sinewave) UPS is rich in harmonics, but it emulates the RMS power output to an acceptable standard (and doesn't pretend otherwise) given that the circuitry of any computer PSU worthy of the name is quite capable of handling that input and producing its normal DC rails.

My reference to those events was simply to indicate a number of situations that could cause an outage, for which a half-reasonable UPS would manage to keep the computer running long enough to close it down in an orderly fashion. Only an idiot would try to keep on working on UPS power, and only industrial grade UPS systems with back-up generators can maintain power for any significant length of time. I was involved in a test on the backup system at one of our overseas governmental installations and the run time was in hours, not days, because the diesel tank wasn't big enough, and the battery bank was stuffed, having been left uncharged for quite some time!

Car batteries are of completely different construction to SLA technology; try leaving a car battery on float for three years or more! It would probably suphate a lot faster than an SLA which is designed to cope with that treatment.

Pete S: You only need auto-shutdown software if you leave your computer running 24/7, often unattended, and with unsaved documents open. I never leave my computer without doing a Ctrl-S and I turn it off every night except Friday when it is set to do scans and updates etc, and before leaving it I make sure every program is closed.

The worst thing that could happen, and did to me, is two outages in quick succession, the UPS failed due to a short-life battery and my RAID array had to rebuild, hence my purchase of a new UPS. I now have a switch under my desk so that I can turn off the mains input to the UPS at regular intervals for a real-world run test.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Nearly forgot:
BTW, underground or overhead makes little difference. A risk to appliances remains same. Very few vehicles choose to burrow underground to disrupt power, they prefer standing targets like power poles and transformers, so the hit rate is significantly higher, though men with diggers are an occasional hazard.

Chilling_Silence
28-05-2012, 06:14 PM
Which UPS brand / model did you opt for in the end Billy?

westom
29-05-2012, 04:03 AM
I agree! What a pile of irrelevant twaddle. Why so much venom? And then you agree with me. That UPS has only once purpose. To provide temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Why 'dirtiest'? Because protection already in electronic appliances is so good as to make 'dirtiest' power from a UPS irrelevant. But then you have posted same without explaining why.

An average UPS has a three year battery life expectancy. Facilities such as a telephone exchange get almost 20 years from their UPS batteries. But those systems, like those found in cars, are superior; more expensive. All use lead acid batteries. But a typical home UPS uses a cheapest solution.

After three years, that cheaper solution may no longer provide power for one or multiple short outages. And not report how quickly it has degraded.

Some replace their batteries every three years. But since UPS electronics are so cheap, then many instead spend a little more for a new UPS. UPS is made that cheaply.

A UPS can provide startup current for a motor. But UPS manufacturers quietly note the problem. UPS power is so ‘dirty’ (excessive harmonics and other anomalies) as to be harmful to small electric motors. But that same UPS power is ideal where superior protection exists inside electronics. A UPS is temporary and ‘dirtiest’ power for electronics.

Emotional denials and accusations are based only in hearsay. And with no hard facts or numbers. Even UPS manufacturers quietly state the problem. A UPS can easily provide that startup current. But power from a UPS is so ‘dirty’ as to be potentially harmful to motors and power strip protectors. Emotional accusations do not change reality.

Underground or overhead lines make little difference. Similar electrical anomalies exist on both. Obvious once hearsay is unlearned.

A typical UPS has a three year battery life expectancy because it is made as cheap as possible. Better and more expensive solutions found in cars and telephone COs. Why does a telco get almost 20 years from their lead acid batteries? Their UPS is superior, more expensive, and better designed.

Neil McC
29-05-2012, 09:35 AM
We have an orchard opposite us and every time they start up the massive pump motor to fill the sprayers, (direct-on-line,so it's quite old), my UPS beeps. Last week the pc just stopped dead twice, so I checked the UPS (2-3 years old) by turning off the main feed and sure enough, it wasn't working.Then it was! But sorry, no trust left in it.

Went and got a Dynamix UPS1000. It uses the program Upsilon 2000 which I much prefer to the Winpower one on the ABB I had.

dugimodo
29-05-2012, 10:20 AM
Westom I agree that the responses were uneccessarily personal, but calling the power dirty over and over really doesn't prove any kind of point. The power isn't "dirty" at all, it's just a different waveform. And no UPS's can not supply much startup current, try and you'll blow something. Generally they are rated to maybe double the VA rating for momentary startup currents. An electric motor is fundamentally a coil of wire and is not easily harmed by feeding it the wrong waveform, sorry to dissapoint.

Not all UPS are cheaply made, and some of the more expensive ones also generate a true sinewave or "clean" power.

A couple of points to other peoples comments also, sulfation occurs when a battery is left sitting without connection to a charger for long periods and shouldn't really happen to a battery left on float. My suspicion is the batteries don't last long due to being very small and having very high occasional current drains and no regular charge/discharge cycle. A 300W load on a 12V battery = 25 amps and on a small UPS probably has a single 7AH battery feeding it. That'll drain a battery in a matter of minutes.

The telephone exchange is a good example because the batteries do last a very long time in that application, which is not a UPS by the way. Exchanges run on 50 volt DC power, the batteries are on float across the rectifiers and provide the DC directly in the case of an outage. Many are coupled with an engine alternator as well. A key difference is these batteries are designed to run the load for a period of several hours and rated accordingly. Reduction of capacity over age is taken into account. Batteries last much better when they are discharged at a slower rate. These batteries have a regular maintenace program and their condition is monitored, totally different from a home UPS. If you're interested an average roadside cabinet has 4 x 40-44AH gel cell batteries in series , Haze is one brand used in this application.

I wondered to myself if buying a 20-40AH deep cycle SLA and connecting it in place of the low capacity batteries in a home UPS would enable it to last many years as well as greatly improving run-times, but they cost too much for me to try it as an experiment.

PeteS
29-05-2012, 10:54 AM
Previous comments indicate that it is more common than not to throw away the old UPS. I did a quick google and it seems the price for a 20-40AH deep cycle SLA might be around US$130 but no idea cost in NZ. Your comment reminded me of a conversation I had with a pal a week or so back who claimed he had a motorcycle battery backing up some home technology backing up gas fired heating and water etc. didn't go into details, but along this line; I wonder if there are older but high quality UPS brands being trashed despite quality electronics (and software?) for want of a more robust battery setup or do the electronics fail like mobos? Some reading seems to imply that after a lead acid battery has gone through its 'formatting' cycle of say 50 discharges then there can be a very long reliable 'peak' capacity which might (?) give better value for money. The inner nerd in me loves the thought of this especially with so much talk about integrating intelligent house systems with solar etc. I can see a good article looming here for any keen journo's - make your own quality UPS system with better longevity than those commercially available from throwaway stuff <g>. Being sensible thoughI guess the purchase of a brand new unit is the easiest. I notice Dynamix mentioned, that brand seems to be a popular stocked item near where I am, any other votes for that one?

SolMiester
29-05-2012, 11:39 AM
Just purchased a Dynamix UP-1700 for a client....We have ABB 3000KVA here which uses UPS sentry....its ok, nothing flash!

westom
29-05-2012, 12:16 PM
Not all UPS are cheaply made, and some of the more expensive ones also generate a true sinewave or "clean" power. Correct. And again, put numbers to it. I repeatedly discussed a "typical" UPS. That is not the $1000 UPS necessary to output a 'clean' waveform.

For example, a "typical" UPS was called a sine wave output. That 230 volt output was really 400 volt square waves with a spike significantly larger. And yes, a square wave is nothing more than a sum of "pure sine waves". So the manufacturer did not lie. He just played most consumers as fools. Even high school math explains it. Square waves are a sum of pure sine waves. Advertising calls that square wave output a sine wave UPS. And most consumers assume a myth.

Square waves can be harmful to small electric motors. That spike can be harmful to power strip protectors. Any UPS can be sized to even provide startup current for a small motor. And still, that UPS may harm that motor.

As I said, a UPS is made as cheap as possible. Even noise generated by a nearby orchard can cause a UPS to switch to batteries. A switchover even when voltage is more than sufficient. That UPS also did what is common with a "typical" UPS. Because it is made as cheap as possible, then its battery may typically fail in three years. And noise causes it to switchover to batteries.

Even automobiles use more sophisticated controllers so that auto batteries last longer. Apparently that reality make some emotional.

mikebartnz
29-05-2012, 12:33 PM
Emotional denials and accusations are based only in hearsay.
That is rather rich coming from you who has not provided any link to this so called dirty power you keep prattling on about.

Why does a telco get almost 20 years from their lead acid batteries? Their UPS is superior, more expensive, and better designed.
Once again you show you don't really know what you are talking about when you compare the batteries a telco uses and an UPS battery.
You could buy several complete UPS systems for the price of one of those batteries and they will have banks of them not just one as most UPS have and they are deep cycle batteries. The telco's also ditch them well before they get anywhere near 20 years old which is a BS figure anyway. You will get ten to twelve years out of them depending how well looked after they are. The telco's often ditch them after about six years as they can't afford problems and I know several people who are on alternative power who will get about another five years out of them.

westom
29-05-2012, 01:53 PM
Once again you show you don't really know what you are talking about when you compare the batteries a telco uses and an UPS battery. Once again you make empty accusations due to insufficient electrical knowledge. Posting nasty is how the least informed seek respect. You made claims without a single citation. And now want citations for challenges to empty accusations, no numbers, no facts, and outright denials? As if the word "dribble" proves disparaging comments can replace knowledge.

APC discusses the posted UPS weaknesses in "UPS or no UPS" on 10 Dec 2008:

APC's Back-UPS line is designed for use with Computer-type loads only. They are not designed to be used with motor loads such as fish filters, air conditioning units, space heaters, vacuum cleaners or any other machinery. One potential issue is the inrush current draw for a motor. It can easily overload a Back-Ups UPS model.

Secondly, these models of UPSs output a Stepped-Approximated sine wave when on battery. This waveshape, while ideal for computer-type equipment, is not particularly compatible with most motor loads. The result may be that motors run very slowly, erratically, or not at all when the UPS is on battery.

APC did not mention destructive heating that can occur in a motor powered by that UPS.

View what an electric utility says about a typical UPS output. Dranetz displays a UPS output when switching to battery power:
http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-business/products/power-quality/tech-tip-03.asp

Common knowledge is among the fewer who actually learned this stuff. But not found when urban myths are posted as if knowledge. And without any citations.

Some who do not learn facts and numbers will post an attitude. As if an attitude proves science.

That UPS has one purpose. To provide temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout.

dugimodo
29-05-2012, 03:12 PM
Even noise generated by a nearby orchard can cause a UPS to switch to batteries

:) Tell those apples to quiet down, my UPS is sleeping.

Yes UPS are cheaply made, yes they don't put out true sinewaves, and no it's not important. They do what they are designed for well enough which is let you shut down your PC gracefully when the power is interrupted, that's it. Why you would care if an electric motor runs off them is beyond me.

mikebartnz
29-05-2012, 09:33 PM
Once again you make empty accusations due to insufficient electrical knowledge. Posting nasty is how the least informed seek respect. You made claims without a single citation. And now want citations for challenges to empty accusations, no numbers, no facts, and outright denials? As if the word "dribble" proves disparaging comments can replace knowledge.
Well that is a load of dribble and a little narcissistic.
I know enough not to compare an UPS battery with a deep cell battery as used in telcos or car batteries.
You are the one that kept talking about dirty power when you should have been talking about the different sine waves. I have also known for years not to use an UPS designed for a PC to run any type of motor.
You really do have a fixation with the idea that it is dirty power. It is not dirty for what it is designed to do full stop. That link you provided also left many unanswered questions.

PeteS
29-05-2012, 10:41 PM
Which UPS brand / model did you opt for in the end Billy?
Thanks BillyT for the software advice - I'd like to echo Chills question, curious which brand & model number you chose?
Thanks

Billy T
30-05-2012, 10:15 PM
Thanks BillyT for the software advice - I'd like to echo Chills question, curious which brand & model number you chose? Thanks

It is a Dynamix 1000HB 1000VA with three 12V 7AH batteries in series to give 36 volts to the inverter. That reduces the current drain to one third of that for a single 12 volt battery and ensures adequate power out without shortening the on-load run time to impractical levels. It is a genuine Dynamix, but in fact it is branded Digitech and was bought from Jaycar on run-out for $399. If it had Dynamix on the front it would have cost me around $700! :D

It had its first real-time test today too! We had a transient outage which made the flourescent lights in my office drop out and I heard the monitor UPS (a Dynamix UPS650) switch over and back, but the Digi-Mix (or Dyna-Tech) just sailed through without a murmur. The outage was long enough to have triggered a reboot on the old UPS, so I think my work here is done!

One last word on dirty power:

One of my primary occupational activities is investigating and sorting out power quality problems, and I am also commissioned from time to time to ensure that new buildings that require special attention to power quality are properly designed in the electrical sense prior to construction. There is not a hospital in Auckland that hasn't had Billy's hand in it, and I also check power systems and reticulation design for audio-visual sites as well (theatres etc). So, since I have deluded myself into believing I know a little on this subject, be patient with me while I make one point clear:

The output of a quasi-sinewave UPS is NOT 'dirty' power. Sure it is rich in harmonics, but it is entirely predictable in both voltage and frequency. It causes no problems for computers at all, though I wouldn't recommend it for audio system support because it might radiate some HF into the input stages, and it can also radiate enough harmonic noise to interfere with AM radio or even FM if your local signal is weak.

Conversely, 'dirty power' is found in industrial areas and on commercial sites where there is a lot of inductive switching happening and heavy loads are going off-line and on-line at irregular intervals. This characteristic power usage pattern causes sags, swells and spikes on the supply and can also cause severe common-mode noise between neutral and earth, which in turn can cause a wide range of intermittent effects including data corruption and random shutdown of poorly designed equipment. That is dirty power.

Lets hope that this puts to bed the myth of dirty power from consumer and low-end business UPS systems, but remember always, you get what you pay for, and some cheap UPS systems are hardly worthy of the name.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

mikebartnz
30-05-2012, 10:40 PM
It is a Dynamix 1000HB 1000VA with three 12V 7AH batteries in series to give 36 volts to the inverter. That reduces the current drain to one third of that for a single 12 volt battery and ensures adequate power out without shortening the on-load run time to impractical levels. It is a genuine Dynamix, but in fact it is branded Digitech and was bought from Jaycar on run-out for $399. If it had Dynamix on the front it would have cost me around $700! :D
That is an UPS.:D

but remember always, you get what you pay for, and some cheap UPS systems are hardly worthy of the name.
So true and it applies to so many things.
Just tested my Fenton last night and it is time for a new battery but it is over four years old so that doesn't surprise me. Worked a couple of months ago.

Terry Porritt
30-05-2012, 11:19 PM
:2cents: Just out of interest, many if not most high speed machine tool spindles, like grinding spindles, run happily on variable frequency inverters having stepped square wave approximations to a sine wave, ie "dirty" power, also pulse width modulated systems are used.

psycik
19-06-2012, 10:42 AM
Just wanting jump in here....I've just replaced batteries on a Centerlion 800VA UPS that's on my server....it uses the winpower software - that while not perfect, I've got it set up fairly well for my needs.

I'm looking and moving this UPS to my PVR to cover that machine and a router.

So I'd be looking at a new one, and way the Dynamix 1000 that I saw a couple of you had, can this talk to winpower, or does it use something else? Ideally I would have liked both to use the same software for convenience sake.

Billy T
20-06-2012, 12:09 AM
So I'd be looking at a new one, and way the Dynamix 1000 that I saw a couple of you had, can this talk to winpower, or does it use something else? Ideally I would have liked both to use the same software for convenience sake.

I don't know anything about winpower, but the Dynamix uses UPSilon 2000, and I think APC has used that too, because I recall having an UPSilon CD floating around here in the past, and my old APC UPS has a serial port which could be used for automatic shutdown purposes.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Neil McC
20-06-2012, 08:46 AM
I had Winpower on my last UPS and don't like it at all.Couldn't get into it without an administrator password and it never seemed to save any changes I tried to do.
But that may just be me!
But Upsilon is just so easy to set up.

mikebartnz
15-09-2012, 11:39 AM
Just replaced the battery in my UPS. Just short of five years.

wainuitech
15-09-2012, 01:53 PM
Just replaced one for a customer yesterday, not to bad, installed it in April 2004 and its only now showing signs of playing up.

mikebartnz
15-09-2012, 03:05 PM
That's a good run.

John H
15-09-2012, 04:48 PM
I just checked the battery replacement date for the APC UPS for the main computer in our house and it was June 2010, so I guess this one is now over 5 years old. I think my wife's APC battery is older than that.

mikebartnz
16-09-2012, 12:12 PM
I just checked the battery replacement date for the APC UPS for the main computer in our house and it was June 2010, so I guess this one is now over 5 years old. I think my wife's APC battery is older than that.
I am having trouble understanding your maths there.:D

John H
16-09-2012, 03:51 PM
I am having trouble understanding your maths there.:D

Um, given that APC usually sets the battery replacement date for 3 years after purchase, my guess is that this UPC was purchased/first installed in June 2007, which is 5 years and a bit ago. If you mean something other than what I took to be self-evident, you are being too obscure for me...

Nick G
16-09-2012, 04:29 PM
Um, given that APC usually sets the battery replacement date for 3 years after purchase, my guess is that this UPC was purchased/first installed in June 2007, which is 5 years and a bit ago. If you mean something other than what I took to be self-evident, you are being too obscure for me...
Presumably Mike, like me, did not know that the battery replacement date is three years after purchase ;)