Battery Backup: Ecotech vs UPS Systems

Ecotech Marine

AZMSGT

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Don’t use a computer back UPS. They don’t last long at all.

The ecotech driver is designed to use a 12v DC source and make it last.

DIY battery back up for Ecotech. When you buy the Ecotech battery back ups you are paying allot for a pretty case. It’s a very basic system and no electronics.
Also if you do buy the Ecotech battery back up it is rebuildable with some searching around.

Here’s the battery replacement thread. You can see just how basic they are.
 
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laverda

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I don't use ecotech pumps, however their battery backup seem very expensive for what they are and their rating. A UPS is much more versatile available in a wide range of power outputs. A Tesla power wall is basically a UPS. I have an ACP 150Va UPS with an additional hot swappable 750Va battery pack. I was able to find a super good deal on a new one and the main unit cost me less than an ecotech backup would have. Yes there are inefficiencies converting from 12 or 24 volts to AC and then back to DC. But there advantages, like you pump will be running at full speed. I have added 12v plugs to some of my older UPS units to avoid this for 12v equipment. As mentioned some UPS have 12 and 24 v outputs.
 

laverda

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The BRS test was very flawed. I am sure there are losses from the inverters. However the ecotech backup only ran the pumps at 20%. If that is not enough flow to keep the surface water agitated (very unlikely if you run your pump at 80-100% normaly) then they become almost useless! At 20% power they would have run a lot longer on the UPSs. If wired to DC on the UPS the time would be greatly extended.
Another option would be to buy the larger batteries as used in the UPS for a fraction of the cost of the ecotech unit and easily get much longer run time at 20%. The price of the ecotech is insane for what you get. A $35 battery, $15 in connectors and wire at retail and a unneeded $15 housing. They buy these items in bulk for a fraction of these prices. I bet there total cost is less than $40. A little Chinese labor and they have the nerve to sell for $175.00!
Just go buy a battery and connectors yourself, if you want to enclose it, beffer waterproof cases are readily available at electronic stores.
 

robbyg

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That power save mode is the difference. Does the icecap do the same thing with their gyre pumps?
I don't know about the Ice Cap but the power saving mode is only a part of the equation. The real savings comes from not having to convert 12Vdc to 110VAC and then having the Vortech's power supply convert the 110VAC back down to 12Vdc again. The internal components of a UPS are consuming more power than a Vortex running at low speed and the Vortechs switching power supply is also eating up power.
 
Zoanthids

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I don't know about the Ice Cap but the power saving mode is only a part of the equation. The real savings comes from not having to convert 12Vdc to 110VAC and then having the Vortech's power supply convert the 110VAC back down to 12Vdc again. The internal components of a UPS are consuming more power than a Vortex running at low speed and the Vortechs switching power supply is also eating up power.
That's definitely a factor. How much of a factor we can not determine from the test ran by brs.
 

Augus7us

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I don't know about the Ice Cap but the power saving mode is only a part of the equation. The real savings comes from not having to convert 12Vdc to 110VAC and then having the Vortech's power supply convert the 110VAC back down to 12Vdc again. The internal components of a UPS are consuming more power than a Vortex running at low speed and the Vortechs switching power supply is also eating up power.
Can you show us the data to back this up?
 

Tastee

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Like others have said the Ecotech is much more efficient than a UPS as it is not converting back and forth between AC and DC so pound for pound will last a lot longer. It depends what you are trying to power however. If it is just your Ecotech pumps, then I would stick with their backup. If you also want to power other equipment it’s more complicated.

In my case I use a Cyberpower UPS on each of my two tanks. My Apex EB is connected to this and the critical stuff runs off that. This gives me good surge protection and power smoothing for my expensive (esp in Australia) Apex kit and power monitoring via the Apex. With a bit of programming I can keep the tanks quite happy for a few hours, more than long enough for me to hook up my generator to provide longer term power during an extended outage. I’ll also get alerts from Apex Fusion about the outage if I am not home at the time.

If you want to go down the DIY route you can definitely put together a more efficient and long lasting DC based solution however, lots of threads on this forum talking about that if you search.
 

robbyg

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Can you show us the data to back this up?
No but my personal observations are the same as what BRS found in there tests. UPS systems are not very efficient voltage converters but it’s not an issue if your using it as intended. Things go sideways when you put small loads on them and expect the battery life to drain in a linear manor. It’s like using a D50 truck to move a empty fridge and expecting that will use a fraction of the gas that it would use carrying tons of dirt.
 

Augus7us

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Can you show us the data to back this up?


Thanks for your opinion.


Here is my thoughts for others reading this.

If all you care about when the power goes down is running your et pump for 80 hours on the lowest setting or you really like the et logo, get this tiny battery.

If you are more concerned with running heaters, ato, pumps, etc during a 1-8 hour power outage. Get a generator. Whole house is best but a jobsite generator will be able to run your entire tank and parts of your house if you size it right.

If you can't afford that look at getting a UPS that can run your heater and some pumps or other critical equipment for at least a couple hours.

The last thing I would buy is a brand specific battery that runs a single piece of equipment. Also keep in mind with this and UPS systems, that a battery is a battery. Unless you get a sealed AGM type car battery, they will die. You can replace UPS batteries in units like APC. Read the reviews on the et battery on BRS. Lots of 1 star reviews because the battery died after 12 months. Caveat emptor.

Signing off...
 
Zoanthids

robbyg

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Thanks for your opinion.
Its not just my opinion, they did the actual tests with numbers at BRS.
Here is my thoughts for others reading this.

If all you care about when the power goes down is running your et pump for 80 hours on the lowest setting or you really like the et logo, get this tiny battery.
And this is the most practical thing to do if your going away for a couple of days and don't have a whole house auto start generator.
If you are more concerned with running heaters, ato, pumps, etc during a 1-8 hour power outage. Get a generator. Whole house is best but a jobsite generator will be able to run your entire tank and parts of your house if you size it right.
That is the only option if you want to run the whole tank for hours or days. I use to use a 1500 Watt APC UPS and dumped it for a complete generator system with transfer switch.
If you can't afford that look at getting a UPS that can run your heater and some pumps or other critical equipment for at least a couple hours.
Any UPS that can run a whole tank including heaters for a couple of hours is going to cost a lot more than a small generator. Secondly I do not think you understand how UPS batteries work.
The last thing I would buy is a brand specific battery that runs a single piece of equipment. Also keep in mind with this and UPS systems, that a battery is a battery. Unless you get a sealed AGM type car battery, they will die. You can replace UPS batteries in units like APC. Read the reviews on the et battery on BRS. Lots of 1 star reviews because the battery died after 12 months. Caveat emptor.

Signing off...
UPS batteries are almost always VRLA type cells.
They are not like Nimh or Gel cells. In my experience they last about 2-4 years depending on the storage temperature and they can survive about 5 total discharges before they become almost useless. They are not designed to run things for hours at high load, they are designed to catch black out or brown outs and provide power for short periods of time, typically just enough time to shutdown a server system or get the backup generators online. A UPS is a terrible solution, I used it for 3 years so I know. Ecotech can use a VRLA cell because they are draining only small amounts of current from it and they are counting on the fact that during the warranty period most people will probably not have more than 1 or 2 long blackouts.
 
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laverda

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The BRS video comparison was very flawed! The ups was running the pumps at full power, while the battery pack was only running them at 25% if I recall correctly. That is a huge difference. 25% flow is not enough for me!

Some UPSs have 12 volt DC out puts which if used would increase the run time to way more then the battery setup for the same money. A UPS does not do as well running DC pumps when they are plugged in to it is because of the losses converting DC to AC and then back to DC. An AC pump is more efficient in this instance. If you bypass the DC to AC to DC your run time will be easily 4 times longer just because the batteries have 4 times the capacity.

The big advantage of a UPS is you can run a heater or other equipment if needed. If you think you will need to run a heater, you want as large a UPS as you can afford. A generator will be a better option if the power is out for long.

I use APC 1500VA UPS's that have an auxiliary battery pack option. I have run a 130 watt return pump for 6 hours on one. It will run my Tunze pumps for days. Even longer if the batteries are wired to the pumps directly. I picked mine UPS and an adtional battery pack for slightly more than on of the ice cap battery packs by shopping around
 

robbyg

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Some people think BRS is God to the reefing community. In the case they bombed out!
I don't know who you are referring to but I certainly do not think they are Gods or even close to being the number one source for accurate reefing information but none the less they do try as best they can and people learn a lot from them.

I suggest you run your own tests and show us what they got wrong because their tests pretty much mirrored my own experience, I would love to see you prove them wrong by doing your own video demonstration.
 
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