Large vs Small UPS battery backup...and Lithium Ion?? | BRStv Investigates

randyBRS

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We're BACK with more battery backup testing!

After the last Investigates we all wanted to know if you could get longer run times from the UPS backups if you turned the pump speed down to 20%....

So today not only are we testing that very question, we're also testing the theory that smaller wattage inverters on these UPS backups will be MORE efficient than larger ones and consequently will last longer (for fractions of the cost)!

Let's find out what happened.

 

dougers31

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Have you guys done tests on running the main pump and heater on the same backup? If the power goes out I could care less if my mp10 stops running but if the main (sump)pump that drives a tank goes down then that's a problem.
 

JoshH

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Have you guys done tests on running the main pump and heater on the same backup? If the power goes out I could care less if my mp10 stops running but if the main (sump)pump that drives a tank goes down then that's a problem.
None of these backups will last very long running either heaters or main pumps. They aren't designed to run heavy wattage items for any length of time. The purpose of these are really only to maintain some form of air exchange and light flow in the tank for a few hours, maybe days depending on the setup until you can set up a more permanent option.

If you did want to run your heater and main return you are looking at a completley DIY setup involving multiple deep cycle batteries... :)
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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Have you guys done tests on running the main pump and heater on the same backup? If the power goes out I could care less if my mp10 stops running but if the main (sump)pump that drives a tank goes down then that's a problem.
Honestly to me personally the return pump and heater are the lowest on my priority list when it comes to a power outage situation. I think the survivability of the living organisms in the tank weighs far heavier on exchanging/reducing the buildup of CO2 in the tank during a power outage rather than a slowly falling temperature or adequate flow through the filtration components in the sump.

I'd say that the quickest way to reduce CO2 buildup in a tank without power is simply by circulating the water as best as possible. From a wattage draw standpoint and overall efficiency, a small powerhead or two in the DT is probably the best way to achieve this.

As for heating the tank during power outage, I'd say that during a short/multiple hour power failure your tank will likely not catastrophically drop in temp to a meaningful amount that would kill the tank....however for longer/multiple day outages I would really start to be concerned.

I think the only viable way to run a heater during a power outage is by a generator, specifically because heaters generally run at much higher wattage than most of our tank equipment. Just think, if we could only get 8.5hrs of battery backup from a pump running at only 5-Watts, how long would that same UPS backup last when trying to run a 300Watt heater? I would hypothesize that it's only good for minutes instead of hours, which probably won't help our tanks in any meaningful way.
 

dougers31

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I should have been a little more specific as far as tank size as I was mostly referring to 40 gallons and under... I know I'm on bigger tanks and even midsize a return pump would suck a UPS dry very quickly.
 

JoshH

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I should have been a little more specific as far as tank size as I was mostly referring to 40 gallons and under... I know I'm on bigger tanks and even midsize a return pump would suck a UPS dry very quickly.
Even small return pumps and heaters still draw astronomically more wattage, however, on a small tank with probably 3-4 orso Deep Cycle batteries I think could run a 40B for a solid day or two. :)
 

jhatfield

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Super interesting! In my experience the UPS (Cyperpower UPS) barely lasts an hour no matter what is hooked up to it. There is a massive difference in performance on paper vs in practice.

Add to that the reliability of these consumer ups isn't the greatest. This week I discovered, the hard way, that my UPS shuts down completely during an outage, failing to switch to battery power at all. Worse yet, it doesn't turn back on when the power comes back on. Fortunately the tank only fell to 72deg and didn't lose any critters.
 

BZOFIQ

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Super interesting! In my experience the UPS (Cyperpower UPS) barely lasts an hour no matter what is hooked up to it. There is a massive difference in performance on paper vs in practice.
Most great UPSes are designed to run a fairly large load for a short period of time, say 900-1200 watts of servers over the course of 30-40 minutes. Enough time to shut down services, park hard drives and gracefully shut down the server - they are very inefficient otherwise.


Add to that the reliability of these consumer ups isn't the greatest. This week I discovered, the hard way, that my UPS shuts down completely during an outage, failing to switch to battery power at all. Worse yet, it doesn't turn back on when the power comes back on. Fortunately the tank only fell to 72deg and didn't lose any critters.
Reliability of quality UPS (lots of APC experience here) units is actually quite opposite to what you're stating. You have a defective unit, that's all. Some larger units when depleted down to 0, if you allow it to via management card may be programmed to turn back on after few minutes of charging say 5% of battery charge; otherwise they come right back on. Quality APC units charge batteries much faster than home-destined products too.

Additionally, when shopping, always pick pure sine, especially if you plug sensitive electronics into it.



That said, there are 2 things I am working on ATM but may take few more months before I can actually finish.

First one is to retrofit one of my APC SMTs with 2 huge deep discharge batteries and another to run Tunze powerheads directly from 24V battery source to bypass the inefficiencies of up converting the voltage. Tunze's failover controller comes with its inherent shortcoming where if you control their powerheads with 0-10V signaling and the power fails their powerheads will no longer run even if it switches to the battery power source.

I have an idea on how to address that with couple of relays and an alternate source of 0-10V signal voltage.
 

behold81

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We're BACK with more battery backup testing!

After the last Investigates we all wanted to know if you could get longer run times from the UPS backups if you turned the pump speed down to 20%....

So today not only are we testing that very question, we're also testing the theory that smaller wattage inverters on these UPS backups will be MORE efficient than larger ones and consequently will last longer (for fractions of the cost)!

Let's find out what happened.

Thanks. Good to see an improved solution.
However not everyone has mp pumps so the eco tech is useless for us.

the aim to find a correct solution for a tank not just pump

Few things I would like to see.
  • Tests with more equipment to match real life
  • What equipment would kill a ups too fast or still be fine to run (return pumps, heaters, doser, apex kit like 1link WAVs. )
  • Best ups options from those out there cost Agnostic
 

Bigzman

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Hi Randy,

Any chance BRS can investigate battery backup solutions that can be charged via 12v source our solar such as battry inverter generators?

Rechargeable-Lithium-ion-Generator by Enkoo and Jackery seem to be good price points under 200 and provide power while changing. In Enkoo case you can plug in via dc as well.

20191208_101003.jpg
 

robbyg

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Good video Randy.
There is something to be said about the neat compact design of the Ecotech battery module.
I pretty much like all their products. They are not cheap but you do get your money's worth.

My only recommendation to anybody who has a serious investment in their tanks is to have a generator and get one that you can run at night. It's one thing to crank one up at 2pm and another thing completely to crank it up at 1am. My first generator almost caused a neighborhood riot when I fired it up late at night to save my tank.

Think of what you need to power and I suggest getting a Honda 1000eu or 2000eu all the way up to eu7000 if you want to do the whole house. This line of generator is so quiet that I can talk to my wife 5ft from it at normal voice level without a problem. Once its placed in a shed outside you cannot hear it in the house unless your really listening for it and your neighbors will hear nothing.
 
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ectoaesthetics

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This is very in line with my own personal experience. I run a UPS backup that gives me about 5.5-6 hours of runtime in my mp10 turned all the way down (which is how it runs in my tank). I cannot run the ecotech solution as it would run the pump at 50% which would blow the water right out of my 4.5 gallon display that it is in.

Sooo my power went out early last night and just came on this evening. For me this means that I let the UPS get me through most of the night, fired up a gas powered generator in my back yard early this morning, this then powered my UPS/pump for a couple of hours. This run time charged my UPS back up to full power where it ran until the power came on. I will be picking up another UPS as my model is capable of being daisy chained together with compatible models. With over 11 hours of run time I would feel comfortable using a combo of gas power and UPS as my backup solution... REALLY wish I could run something direct to DC!!!! But as stated above I cannot run the MP10 at 50% in my system...
 

CuzzA

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Even small return pumps and heaters still draw astronomically more wattage, however, on a small tank with probably 3-4 orso Deep Cycle batteries I think could run a 40B for a solid day or two. :)
I can run power heads for 24 hours on my DIY backup. A UPS makes little sense to me, especially in the absence of a controller. Here's my setup for anyone interested in putting some insurance on their system.

 

JoshH

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I can run power heads for 24 hours on my DIY backup. A UPS makes little sense to me, especially in the absence of a controller. Here's my setup for anyone interested in putting some insurance on their system.

Absolutely doable for powerheads, as shown in the BRS videos with a direct connection to DC, poweheads can last for days. It's running an entire setup, return pump and heaters where you need multiple high capacity deep cycle batteries to run for any length of time
 

CuzzA

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Absolutely doable for powerheads, as shown in the BRS videos with a direct connection to DC, poweheads can last for days. It's running an entire setup, return pump and heaters where you need multiple high capacity deep cycle batteries to run for any length of time
Indeed, there are a lot of variables., however. The size of the UPS, the appliance's required power. My system is pretty much universal and I posted it since the topic came up. I think at a minimum every reefer should at least have a UPS or some sort of backup. It is irresponsible to pull all of this marine life from the ocean and not ensure that something as simple as a tripped outlet or car accident knocking down a power pole Kills everything.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who likes to vacation and travel. In those long term situations where we are absent from the tank, a UPS isn't going to cut it.
 

JoshH

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It is irresponsible to pull all of this marine life from the ocean and not ensure that something as simple as a tripped outlet or car accident knocking down a power pole Kills everything.
I agree 100%, currently reviewing my own options for backups. I'm looking at a solar/battery backup. Longest blackout I've had is about an hour, but I'd like a couple days of battery just in case, probably a generator after that point :)
 

scardall

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If you have a DC PH the straight DC back up is better. I'm willing to bet most people use an AC PH and based on this posts date a 560W STD. UPS will last the longest at the 5-8W load range. NOTE: Consider what your average power outage is to determine what will work for you. In my case Most are < 5 hours.
 

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