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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Uninterrupted Power Supply UPS


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71 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:32 AM

there is no switcher over because the electronics devices are always running off the batteries.  so when the power goes out, it does not stop powering the devices but rather it stops charging the batteries.

This is only true of "online" UPSes.

There are three kinds of "affordable" UPSes:

1. Standby (Offline) - switches over to battery when the line power gets sufficiently low
2. Line-interactive (AVR) - clips the voltages or adds some battery power to make up the difference.
3. Double-conversion (Online) - runs off of the batteries at all times.

Online UPSes typically cost more than $200.
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#42 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 11:26 AM

To answer the original question:  You won't see any difference in PQ if your UPS is working correctly.  I don't and I've certainly got enough HRs and TVs to check that with.

 

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#43 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:17 PM

In some cases a good ups that stabilizes your voltage will help your picture quality. If your voltage fluctuates enough your pq can easily suffer some.

#44 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:42 PM

there is no switcher over because the electronics devices are always running off the batteries.  so when the power goes out, it does not stop powering the devices but rather it stops charging the batteries.

I don't think that is correct, at least not for the APC units I have. You can look at the output waveform of the connected devices and the only time you see the stair-step waveform is when the AC is not provided to the UPS. The only time the equipment is being run from batteries is when the MAINS AC is missing. You can clearly hear the switching supply running when the battery is supplying the power. You can also hear the relay switch-over. The switching time is very fast, less than 13 ms. as I recall, and that is not enough for the attached equipment's power supply to detect a drop in line voltage.


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#45 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 04:43 PM

I don't think that is correct, 

My UPC if you remove the batteries it does not work


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#46 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:02 PM

My UPC if you remove the batteries it does not work

well, if you kill a bird she will not fly



#47 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:13 PM

A quality online UPS has a sine wave output all the time, whether running on battery or not. The question is what definition of "sine wave" they use. No consumer level UPS has a true sine wave, they're all stepped approximations - three steps for the cheap ones, more steps for the more expensive ones (the ones that claim a "pure" sine wave aren't unless you're spending thousands)

 

There really isn't a problem running electronic devices off square wave or stepped "sine wave" power. What you don't want to run are chargers for power tools or lights with a dimmer, but most people aren't trying to run those off a UPS so it isn't a problem. The reason people want sine wave output is that certain switching power supplies make an annoying hum with square wave or three step "sine wave" power. There is nothing wrong with it aside from the hum, however.

 

It shouldn't need to be said, but never run a UPS off the output of another UPS, unless the first UPS is an enterprise model with a TRUE sine wave output. Why anyone would try that I don't know, but apparently it causes the UPS to fail pretty quickly.


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#48 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:24 PM

well, if you kill a bird she will not fly

soooo  :confused:


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#49 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:43 PM

look at UPS' schematics ...

 

if you're not that guy who want do it, then I'll tell you - UPS internal controller required to be powered from the battery, it will also sense its low value and will beep before it drop down to nonfunctional level; if you'll remove the battery - you'll "kill the bird"



#50 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:55 PM

Virtually all consumer UPS devices pass through the AC mains, and only provide inverter power from the batteries upon power failure. The switchover is relatively fast (milliseconds), so your device that is running on the UPS typically won't see the power interruption.

 

To get a continuous power UPS, you have to spend big bucks (tens of thousands typically), and they normally have much larger batteries (which are 24 or 48 volt, not 12 volt). Consumer grade UPS devices are not designed or built to run continuously. If you run them at about 25% of rated load, you can probably run them longer (using a large external battery), but they won't survive extended continuous use at or near rated output.


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#51 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:06 PM

Virtually all consumer UPS devices pass through the AC mains, and only provide inverter power from the batteries upon power failure. The switchover is relatively fast (milliseconds), so your device that is running on the UPS typically won't see the power interruption.

 

To get a continuous power UPS, you have to spend big bucks (tens of thousands typically), and they normally have much larger batteries (which are 24 or 48 volt, not 12 volt). Consumer grade UPS devices are not designed or built to run continuously. If you run them at about 25% of rated load, you can probably run them longer (using a large external battery), but they won't survive extended continuous use at or near rated output.

 

You can buy a consumer online UPS for a few hundred dollars. APC's "SmartUPS" line is an online UPS, for instance, which is what I use. I've never investigated the ratings to see if they're rated for 24x7x365 use and at what load, but I've used the same one at home since probably 1999 and aside from needing to replace the battery every 3-4 years it has never failed.

 

If you want something that never goes down, even for battery replacement, then yeah you need to go beyond consumer products and look at something like APC's Symmetra, but such a need for online battery swap is way beyond a typical consumer requirement. And of course your bigger expense will be the diesel generator that backs it up since you wouldn't typically plan to run on batteries for longer than it takes to start up the generator.


Edited by slice1900, 14 April 2014 - 09:07 PM.

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#52 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:36 PM

Okay, online UPS and double conversion UPS are pretty much functionally equivalent terms, and checking I do see APC models ranging from about $250 to $750 depending on rated output. A 1000 va (600 watt) model is $257 on Amazon (and at rated capacity has a run time of 6 minutes). So I guess the online versions are working their way into the consumer market.  Been a few years since I looked seriously at that capability, and the last "big" UPS I dealt with was a multi-KW model designed to run an entire server room, and had about 24 hours of battery on it (no generator was available at that location at that time).

 

My personal opinion is that a UPS should have at least 20 minutes of battery run-time (which typically means you have to get a unit rated somewhat higher than your actual power draw), as it will take that long to either do a graceful shutdown of everything running on UPS, or switch it all over to generator.  In a consumer/home environment, that typically means going around to more than one location (item running on UPS) to do the shutdown or switch over, and 20 minutes is pushing it (unless you have a whole-home auto start generator).



#53 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:34 AM

Okay, online UPS and double conversion UPS are pretty much functionally equivalent terms, and checking I do see APC models ranging from about $250 to $750 depending on rated output. A 1000 va (600 watt) model is $257 on Amazon (and at rated capacity has a run time of 6 minutes). So I guess the online versions are working their way into the consumer market.  Been a few years since I looked seriously at that capability, and the last "big" UPS I dealt with was a multi-KW model designed to run an entire server room, and had about 24 hours of battery on it (no generator was available at that location at that time).

 

My personal opinion is that a UPS should have at least 20 minutes of battery run-time (which typically means you have to get a unit rated somewhat higher than your actual power draw), as it will take that long to either do a graceful shutdown of everything running on UPS, or switch it all over to generator.  In a consumer/home environment, that typically means going around to more than one location (item running on UPS) to do the shutdown or switch over, and 20 minutes is pushing it (unless you have a whole-home auto start generator).

 

The one I've had since '99 or so is 1000 VA, and while I don't remember its exact cost, it was probably at or less than that $257 mark then (I certainly wouldn't have been willing to spend a whole lot more than that amount) so they've been in the consumer market for a while, depending on how you define "consumer market". I think back then the SmartUPS line was intended for workgroup servers moreso than homes (maybe that's still true)

 

The rated 6 minute runtime isn't a problem unless you really pull 600 watts. Today my PC, modem, switch, wireless router and 27" monitor total just over 100 watts, so I've got a pretty decent runtime. Back when I bought it I think I sized it for 2x my normal draw, wanting to get 10-15 minutes out of it. PCs have become much more power efficient, and the 20" LCD I bought back then (for $1200...yikes!) drew about 60 watts by itself IIRC.

 

Since I don't have a generator, the UPS is just for convenience to avoid a momentary power blip from causing data loss. My PC will automatically shut itself down if the power goes out and the battery gets low, so I don't need to do it manually. I have a smaller UPS for my Tivo, but I don't bother to shut it down. It handles power loss just fine, the only thing I'd care about there is not losing a recording but the power goes out for my entire neighborhood my cable will go with it anyway so a longer runtime for the Tivo doesn't help much.


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#54 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:29 AM

You can buy a consumer online UPS for a few hundred dollars. APC's "SmartUPS" line is an online UPS, for instance, which is what I use.

APC's SmartUPS series is line interactive (like BackUPS Pro with larger batteries). The SmartUPS Online series and Symmetra series are the double-conversion models.

In the grand scheme, the line-interactive models are probably better for home use and cost half the money or less.

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#55 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:39 AM

I don't think that is correct, at least not for the APC units I have. You can look at the output waveform of the connected devices and the only time you see the stair-step waveform is when the AC is not provided to the UPS. The only time the equipment is being run from batteries is when the MAINS AC is missing. You can clearly hear the switching supply running when the battery is supplying the power. You can also hear the relay switch-over. The switching time is very fast, less than 13 ms. as I recall, and that is not enough for the attached equipment's power supply to detect a drop in line voltage.

 

You're right, Hasan.  I can't begin to imagine how anyone could think that the batteries of a UPS could constantly supply the power to the devices without losing their charges quickly.  That stair-step waveform is called "chopped DC", I think.  I've had my APC and Tripplite UPS devices for years and the batteries are still good.  The first beep I hear from them, I shut them down after shutting down all the devices on them.  I don't know how long the batteries will last, but they've already lasted far longer than I expected. Chopped DC is not something you want to run any AC device on for any long period.  

 

I finally got my whole house generator installation finished.  It's set to trip a couple seconds after a power failure, so I won't have to shut anything down anymore.  When we tested it, I couldn't get back into the house quickly enough to hear the UPS beeps.  

 

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#56 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:49 AM

Virtually all consumer UPS devices pass through the AC mains, and only provide inverter power from the batteries upon power failure. The switchover is relatively fast (milliseconds), so your device that is running on the UPS typically won't see the power interruption.

 

To get a continuous power UPS, you have to spend big bucks (tens of thousands typically), and they normally have much larger batteries (which are 24 or 48 volt, not 12 volt). Consumer grade UPS devices are not designed or built to run continuously. If you run them at about 25% of rated load, you can probably run them longer (using a large external battery), but they won't survive extended continuous use at or near rated output.

 

I've worked on and maintained those big UPS devices and they all had 120VDC supplied to them by large banks of 6VDC batteries. I don't know why the 6 volt batteries were used (perhaps cheaper?), but I really hated going into the spaces where the batteries were kept.  We used diesel engines for powering the generators.  I have no idea how much they cost, but you're right about the big bucks for a decent sine wave.  

 

Rich 



#57 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:26 PM

APC's SmartUPS series is line interactive (like BackUPS Pro with larger batteries). The SmartUPS Online series and Symmetra series are the double-conversion models.

In the grand scheme, the line-interactive models are probably better for home use and cost half the money or less.

 

Yeah, looks like they've split SmartUPS into three lines, and the online models are all high end high capacity/expandable models that probably start north of $1000.

 

A quick look at Google shows several vendors with online models, but you're looking at around $400 to start.


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#58 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:52 PM

I'm wondering if TS is buried our very detailed dive into UPS sphere ? :) Seems to me he is not posting anymore...



#59 OFFLINE   Delroy E Walleye

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:02 PM

Curious if it would be ok to use a modern inverter-generator in front of a lower-end apc UPS.  The UPS has been operating successfully for a number of years on two HRs (recommended after an HDD upgrade).

 

I've been thinking about purchasing one of these generators to keep up the power beyond the UPS (typically lasts about 30-40mins during extended failures running the HRs and SWim PI.

 

I figured I'd probably still have enough wattage to watch TV and run a few lights in case of an extended outage, but not sure if the inverter-generator's power would be "clean" enough to plug the UPS into and run the plasma screen.  (No TVs are on the UPS.)  Ads for some models claim they're supposed to be OK for sensitive electronics.

 

(As a side-note I once plugged a laptop power suppy/charger into a cheap cigar lighter plug-in iverter in the car and the power supply did make a lot of buzzing noise.  I didn't notice the noise so much when I tried it on the UPS.)



#60 OFFLINE   longrider

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:27 PM

Curious if it would be ok to use a modern inverter-generator in front of a lower-end apc UPS.  The UPS has been operating successfully for a number of years on two HRs (recommended after an HDD upgrade).

 

I've been thinking about purchasing one of these generators to keep up the power beyond the UPS (typically lasts about 30-40mins during extended failures running the HRs and SWim PI.

 

I figured I'd probably still have enough wattage to watch TV and run a few lights in case of an extended outage, but not sure if the inverter-generator's power would be "clean" enough to plug the UPS into and run the plasma screen.  (No TVs are on the UPS.)  Ads for some models claim they're supposed to be OK for sensitive electronics.

 

(As a side-note I once plugged a laptop power suppy/charger into a cheap cigar lighter plug-in iverter in the car and the power supply did make a lot of buzzing noise.  I didn't notice the noise so much when I tried it on the UPS.)

I can tell you from personal experience that the Honda inverter series work just fine. I would be careful with some of the cheap stuff such as what Harbor Freight sells


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