Upgrade Your UPS With Car Batteries (an expansion on DIY UPS)

Mohonri

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Heheheh. I love dansdata. Great articles. I was actually planning on doing this exact same thing with an APC I have with a dead battery. Now I'm doing it for sure. The great thing about using car batteries is that they have pretty good capacity, great current capacity, and if they die, they're dirt cheap to replace.
 

MD_Willington

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My first ISP actually ran Optima deep cycle gel cells as their UPS system, worked quite well from what I heard.
 

jonnyGURU

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Why not throw some Phoenix Gold 1F caps on their to help stabilize the battery output. ;)
 

drizzt81

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jonnyGURU said:
Why not throw some Phoenix Gold 1F caps on their to help stabilize the battery output. ;)
After the demonstration one of my professors in my first ever EE class made with a x F capacitor (I think it was 3 Farad, but I do not remember anymore) I am not going to steer clear of large caps for a bit. I can just see myself getting zapped pretty bad.
 

jonnyGURU

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Holy shiznit! Someone with a lower ICQ number than me! :D
 

Mohonri

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jonnyGURU said:
Why not throw some Phoenix Gold 1F caps on their to help stabilize the battery output. ;)
Unless you're running some very unstable loads (the kind that change their power draw suddenly), you won't need caps. The types of stuff you hook to a UPS are usually very nice, steady loads. Even so, a car battery can probably very happily provide more current than the inverter can convert to AC.
 

jonnyGURU

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Minimal.

I used to be a mechanic at Monkey Wards and would often have to spend lots of time in the battery room where there were a few dozen batteries on the charging rack. Doing inventory, organizing, rotating stock. I Don tthinn ibe affexted bi dd hidronagen gassz.
 

BinarySynapse

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jonnyGURU said:
Minimal.

I used to be a mechanic at Monkey Wards and would often have to spend lots of time in the battery room where there were a few dozen batteries on the charging rack. Doing inventory, organizing, rotating stock. I Don tthinn ibe affexted bi dd hidronagen gassz.

I'm sure that room was well ventilated though. If not, I'd be calling OSHA or the fire inspector.if I worked there.

The reason I ask is because todays houses (except mine of course) are so well sealed for energy savings that the hydrogen escaping through tiny cracks isn't really something I see happening. So say you have a month's worth of hydrogen building up on your ceiling and you decide to turn on a light and it's not quite as tight as it used to be and creates a little spark. well. boom?
 

jonnyGURU

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ryan_975 said:
I'm sure that room was well ventilated though. If not, I'd be calling OSHA or the fire inspector.if I worked there.

Just one door with "No Smoking" on it, to be perfectly honest. No vent fan or anything.

And Osha won't change that.. Wards has been out of bizz since 2002. ;)
 

BinarySynapse

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jonnyGURU said:
Just one door with "No Smoking" on it, to be perfectly honest. No vent fan or anything.

And Osha won't change that.. Wards has been out of bizz since 2002. ;)

lol just caught that. Monkey Wards = Montgomery Wards. I'm so lame.
 

madmat

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I'd be more concerned with having the battery explode. The slightest spark can send off a charging battery and they explode like a motherfucker. Friend of the family was pretty badly screwed up by a car battery that exploded during a jump-start due to a spark from him hooking the cables up.
 

larrymoencurly

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Also what about corrosive acid vapor getting on nearby metal? I wouldn't want anything but a completely sealed battery, like an Optima.

BTW the cheapest sources I've found for regular UPS batteries are security/fire alarm supply houses.
 

Mohonri

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larrymoencurly said:
Also what about corrosive acid vapor getting on nearby metal? I wouldn't want anything but a completely sealed battery, like an Optima.
The acid is fully dissolved in water. Yes, some very small amount might escape, but it's such a small amount, it wouldn't do noticable damage.
todays houses (except mine of course) are so well sealed for energy savings that the hydrogen escaping through tiny cracks isn't really something I see happening.
I think that only applies to houses built in the last 7-8 years. My house is 12 years old and leaks like nobody's business. One of these days I've got to go up in the attic and seal up all those leaks in the A/C ducts...
 

gee

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One thing to watch out for if you do this... lots of UPSes are thermally designed such that their batteries die before they overheat.

And other UPSes (like BackUPS 350CS's for a while) weren't even properly designed this way. The 350CS on my HTPC has a partly melted case because of this. :D
 

Mohonri

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Well, I went ahead and did it myself, and it seems to be working....

So which of these do you think will have more stored energy?
IMG_1514.jpg


And here it is in its new home, keeping my folding production steady:
IMG_1515.jpg


If I don't post any more after tonight, you'll all know why.... :p
 

Mohonri

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Hey, it was cheap, I had it just lying around. Yeah, it's no Optima, but it's plenty sufficient.
 

jonnyGURU

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They must have improved since 10 years ago when I worked at Wards.

The return rate on Exide was HORRIBLE back then. All of us mechanics used Interstate for our own vehicles. Even the Energizers at Wal-Mart were better.
 

BinarySynapse

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jonnyGURU said:
They must have improved since 10 years ago when I worked at Wards.

The return rate on Exide was HORRIBLE back then. All of us mechanics used Interstate for our own vehicles. Even the Energizers at Wal-Mart were better.

I was talking about EverStart not Exide just to be sure. Anyway Everstart is what Walmart sells now. I bought a 900 CA/750CCA battery for 59.99 about six months ago for my car. It has a 5 year free replacement on it.
 

dandragonrage

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My UPS uses 48v... 4 Optimas would be a little expensive, but damn, what an uptime I could get with them.
 

jonnyGURU

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ryan_975 said:
I was talking about EverStart not Exide just to be sure. Anyway Everstart is what Walmart sells now. I bought a 900 CA/750CCA battery for 59.99 about six months ago for my car. It has a 5 year free replacement on it.

That particular Everstart in that photo is built by Exide.

Maybe your Everstart is different.

Car batteries are like PC PSU's. There's a lot fewer manufacturers then there are "brands."

Like Die-Hard: Only the "high end" are any good. The cheap ones are also Exide.

Same with Napa: Gold is good. Silver is Exide.
 

Mohonri

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dandragonrage said:
My UPS uses 48v... 4 Optimas would be a little expensive, but damn, what an uptime I could get with them.
You could just use 4 car batteries. Keep in mind that, like your PSU, your UPS only uses as much power as is demanded of it. And more batteries means less current, and longer life. If you just have one computer attached to that UPS, it's gonna run a looooooong time if you hook up 4 car batteries (even not optimas).
 

MD_Willington

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dandragonrage said:
My UPS uses 48v... 4 Optimas would be a little expensive, but damn, what an uptime I could get with them.
Think that is bad, my buddy runs a 96Volt DC powered Ford Escort... dual battery packs.. the math on that pegs the suckage meter to "full on ass suckage" for replacement battery packs...
 
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