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Re: APC UPS



>> You do know that "not so darn heavy" probably means it's either not a
>> lead-acid battery--and depending on the type, that brings its own
>> problems--or it's an undersized battery.
>>
>> As I said, I've had bad results with TrippLite (pity, too--they're a
>> local Chicago company, so I'd like to support them) and virtually
>> all consumer-grade APC units.  The commercial APC units have been OK,
>> if not great; battery life for any UPS is about three years, and they
>> seem to survive that long.  They're too expensive for any significant
>> run time, however; all you're getting for an affordable price is about
>> 10-15 minutes of run-time on a full power outage, making them
>> essentially
>> surge/brownout protection and clean shutdown units.
>>
> I see several companies having breakthroughs in the ultracapacitor
> field, I think that's the future of UPS. They charge fast, have vastly
> longer service life, and are lighter than lead-acid. Last month EEstor
> got a patent on a new unit they hope will be a power unit for an
> electric car, but the patent makes it clear it can be downsized to UPS
> sizes. And in cases where power comes and goes fast charge time is a
> bonus.
>
> Also, both plug power and MTI are making small fuel cells for the
> military, room for a new technology there when cost comes down.
>
> I agree that current UPS provides time for a short operation followed
> by a clean shutdown, but that's not a bad thing compared to falling
> over hard.
That is what I want to see -- far lighter weight batteries which are
very low-bulk, quick to recharge, packing more power than lead-acid
batteries, and having a very long service life. Lithium polymers would
be great for this sort of application. They should be linux-friendly,
with protection circuits that can be referenced by existing linux
applications.

As a result of the various posts in this thread, I extracted the
APC-branded RBC32 battery cartridge from one of my dead APC model BX800
units. I searched online for a replacement battery cartridge. The
"cartridge" is simply two 7.2 aH batteries connected together
electrically with F2 connectors and physically with something similar to
packaging tape. I was able to disassemble the batteries easily by
cutting the tape which binds the units together using a razor blade and
then pulling the F2 connectors off the battery terminals. APC itself
charges USD $79.99 for a new cartridge. After searching online, I
decided to go the instant-gratification route and buy two, 7.5 aH Werker
brand batteries from a Batteries Plus store (
http://www.batteriesplus.com ) about 20 miles away. The young man there
was very helpful, he put together a new cartridge using the Werker
batteries and some clear packaging tape. He tested the output of the
batteries to confirm it was correct.

I have now reinstalled the fresh battery cartridge in the APC device and
I have it plugged in to utility power and recharging. I'll wait till
tomorrow sometime to ensure the batteries are fully recharged, then I'll
test the UPS by plugging in some device I don't care about to see if it
works.

This still does not really meet my criterium of being very quick to
replace and instantly usable. It took well over an hour to drive to the
store and back, plus time to assemble the two batteries into a
"cartridge" that can go into the UPS unit. I only did this because I
wished to experiment and see what would actually happen.

I wish there were a way to independently, accurately and easily test the
UPS itself to determine the overall health of the unit or if a problem
exists, are the batteries at fault or some other component inside the
UPS. Without needing a doctorate in electrical engineering, I mean.
Having the ability to test the units, regardless of devices connected to
the UPS, is critical.

The APC units are still way too heavy and bulky. They are poorly
designed, being little more than batteries stuffed into a box that are
connected to circuit boards and 120v outlets. They can't be handled
easily. If you are restricted in your ability to lift objects, you can't
manage these things. If you want to put them outdoors, you are out of
luck. You can't stop that darn beep easily when utility power goes off.

Bob


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