UPS as battery backup

boisblancboy

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So I’ve been looking for battery backups since I have frequent power outages and even though I have a whole house generator would rather not have to run it through the nights.

The battery backups I’ve come across for example the ones bulk reed supply sells seem crazy expensive and not practical.

Why would an Uninterrupted Power Supply(UPS) like the ones for a computer work? With them they immediately switch over when power goes out and there isn’t a need for 12 vdc equipment.

I may be missing something but wanted to see what others thought. Thanks!
 

JayM

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So I’ve been looking for battery backups since I have frequent power outages and even though I have a whole house generator would rather not have to run it through the nights.

The battery backups I’ve come across for example the ones bulk reed supply sells seem crazy expensive and not practical.

Why would an Uninterrupted Power Supply(UPS) like the ones for a computer work? With them they immediately switch over when power goes out and there isn’t a need for 12 vdc equipment.

I may be missing something but wanted to see what others thought. Thanks!
From what I understand a UPS does not have near the capacity necessary to run a reef tank for any amount of time that would justify the expense.
 
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boisblancboy

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What are you planning to power with it? It's all about the battery power.
Well I’m in the beginning of my planning stages but nothing bigger than a 25 gallon tank, so the heater, pump(s) etc.

Basically I’d be willing to get whatever size unit to run things for up to 12hrs.
 
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boisblancboy

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From what I understand a UPS does not have near the capacity necessary to run a reef tank for any amount of time that would justify the expense.
That makes sense. The battery back up packs seem very expensive considering you’d need DC equipment also as a back up.
 

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Well I’m in the beginning of my planning stages but nothing bigger than a 25 gallon tank, so the heater, pump(s) etc.

Basically I’d be willing to get whatever size unit to run things for up to 12hrs.
Heaters would drain a small UPC battery quick. A bubbler or small circulation pump, might last longer.

Big batteries can do more but cost more. I have an electric chainsaw, it can cut fine like my gas one for a bit, but the battery is the big cost.

A deep cycle marine battery with an inverter might be a good option for a pump. They are generally used for electric trolling motors, on low they can last a few hours.

What are the lowest temps that you may experience? Would you be away from your tank? You could wrap the tank in a blanket to conserve heat or warm up water bottles and float them.
 

JayM

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Well I’m in the beginning of my planning stages but nothing bigger than a 25 gallon tank, so the heater, pump(s) etc.

Basically I’d be willing to get whatever size unit to run things for up to 12hrs.
This UPS will sustain a 300 watt demand for about 30 minutes and costs about $1000 bucks. Your heater alone will likely kill that off in a few hours under a best case scenario. You're unlikely to find a UPS to run a reef tank for 12 hours. Not something that's at all affordable anyway.
 
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boisblancboy

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Heaters would drain a small UPC battery quick. A bubbler or small circulation pump, might last longer.

Big batteries can do more but cost more. I have an electric chainsaw, it can cut fine like my gas one for a bit, but the battery is the big cost.

A deep cycle marine battery with an inverter might be a good option for a pump. They are generally used for electric trolling motors, on low they can last a few hours.

What are the lowest temps that you may experience? Would you be away from your tank? You could wrap the tank in a blanket to conserve heat or warm up water bottles and float them.
During the heating season I have a wood stove so even when the power is out, heat is never an issue. Yes at time I’m sure I would be away from the tank during an outage. Of course hopefully not long but I wanna plan and error on the side of caution.
 

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I have only my 85W pump plugged into a 1500/900 UPS and the pump will run for ~ 2 hours. This gives me the time I need to get the portable generator up and running so I can run everything else. I would only plug in a heater, lights, skimmer, waves etc...with a whole house generator so it doesn't skip a beat. whole house generators usually have like a 15 second delay. not much but its long enough to drain the pipes to the sump and restart. there are hacks on YouTube for how to modify a UPS with 4 deep cycle marine batteries to get you a larger source.
 
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This UPS will sustain a 300 watt demand for about 30 minutes and costs about $1000 bucks. Your heater alone will likely kill that off in a few hours under a best case scenario. You're unlikely to find a UPS to run a reef tank for 12 hours. Not something that's at all affordable anyway.
Thank you. Ive got some experience with battery’s and loads so sizing a system I guess isn’t the issue but finding something that will automatically kick in during a time of need is where I’m stumped.
 
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boisblancboy

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I have only my 85W pump plugged into a 1500/900 UPS and the pump will run for ~ 2 hours. This gives me the time I need to get the portable generator up and running so I can run everything else. I would only plug in a heater, lights, skimmer, waves etc...with a whole house generator so it doesn't skip a beat. whole house generators usually have like a 15 second delay. not much but its long enough to drain the pipes to the sump and restart. there are hacks on YouTube for how to modify a UPS with 4 deep cycle marine batteries to get you a larger source.
Makes sense. I too have a whole house genny. But if I can figure this out I’d like to not have to run my genny through the night for my situation.
 

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I was in the same boat last year setting up my tank. I have UPS on all my workstations and such, why not the tank?

Well, even a small tank is pulling 70 - 100w, even in emergency mode. The UPS solutions for that that would last more than an hour run $1000+ and might work 10 hours. Like this one: https://tripplite.eaton.com/smartpr...tion-lcd-display-usb-db9-serial~SMART2600RM2U

I also found a few battery stations, mainly designed for camping, that would handle the job a little less automatically, but again we were into the $1500 range.

so, I went with the icecap battery for like $200? to keep the flow alive for a day and figure I can use the generator and blankets (or everyone gather round for a big hug ;) and such for heat if needed.

Fortunately, i'm in the desert where it's above 70 degrees 8 months a year and we don't have extended blackouts often, just quick brownouts that the system (and my UPS) hasn't even seemed to noticed yet. So, for us this was a good solution.

If you do find something that works well, I'd be interested!
 
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boisblancboy

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I was in the same boat last year setting up my tank. I have UPS on all my workstations and such, why not the tank?

Well, even a small tank is pulling 70 - 100w, even in emergency mode. The UPS solutions for that that would last more than an hour run $1000+ and might work 10 hours. Like this one: https://tripplite.eaton.com/smartpr...tion-lcd-display-usb-db9-serial~SMART2600RM2U

I also found a few battery stations, mainly designed for camping, that would handle the job a little less automatically, but again we were into the $1500 range.

so, I went with the icecap battery for like $200? to keep the flow alive for a day and figure I can use the generator and blankets (or everyone gather round for a big hug ;) and such for heat if needed.

Fortunately, i'm in the desert where it's above 70 degrees 8 months a year and we don't have extended blackouts often, just quick brownouts that the system (and my UPS) hasn't even seemed to noticed yet. So, for us this was a good solution.

If you do find something that works well, I'd be interested!
I’ve been searching online all evening and I think I may have found a solution. But got some more research to do first. If I figure it out I’ll probably start a new thread for it. I am in a unique situation where power outages are often and can last days. So I need the safety net of autonomy for when I’m not around and will protect the tank.
 

The_Paradox

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I’ve been searching online all evening and I think I may have found a solution. But got some more research to do first. If I figure it out I’ll probably start a new thread for it. I am in a unique situation where power outages are often and can last days. So I need the safety net of autonomy for when I’m not around and will protect the tank.

A 1500va UPS paired with a start control module and small electronic start generator will do what you want. My 1800va generator will run off around ten dollars of petrol a day vs the whole house unit which jacks my electric bill almost that much per hour.
 

BubblesandSqueak

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A 1500va UPS paired with a start control module and small electronic start generator will do what you want. My 1800va generator will run off around ten dollars of petrol a day vs the whole house unit which jacks my electric bill almost that much per hour.
this would be great to pair with a battery generator indoors. but by the time you get the cost of everything, might as well just get the whole house back up with a ups to catch the switch over?
 

The_Paradox

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this would be great to pair with a battery generator indoors. but by the time you get the cost of everything, might as well just get the whole house back up with a ups to catch the switch over?

Total cost should be around 1500 max. Whole house is great for late summer hurricanes where you want/need HVAC online for humidity control. It’s not great if you don’t need HVAC up and are oppose to gas bills of hundreds of dollars a day.
 

BubblesandSqueak

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Total cost should be around 1500 max. Whole house is great for late summer hurricanes where you want/need HVAC online for humidity control. It’s not great if you don’t need HVAC up and are oppose to gas bills of hundreds of dollars a day.
everyone here pretty much has a WH backup. paying ~$8k for them. I'm still running my portable 8500W via outdoor plug. I really don't care about running a generator all night. it's just if I was away I need to have a neighbor hook it up for me.
 

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So I’ve been looking for battery backups since I have frequent power outages and even though I have a whole house generator would rather not have to run it through the nights.

The battery backups I’ve come across for example the ones bulk reed supply sells seem crazy expensive and not practical.

Why would an Uninterrupted Power Supply(UPS) like the ones for a computer work? With them they immediately switch over when power goes out and there isn’t a need for 12 vdc equipment.

I may be missing something but wanted to see what others thought. Thanks!
I use a 3KVA UPS which keeps the tank essentials running for at least 4 hours. Long enough for me to start the generator.
 

The_Paradox

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everyone here pretty much has a WH backup. paying ~$8k for them. I'm still running my portable 8500W via outdoor plug. I really don't care about running a generator all night. it's just if I was away I need to have a neighbor hook it up for me.
Was referring to a UPS paired with a generator and start control module. Whole house will set you back 15k easy depending on what you want to run.
 

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I have a tiny APC UPS (1500VA) on my 25 gal tank. Even with extra batteries to extend the run time I only get about 45 minutes when the heaters on. Without the heater I can get about 2.5-3 hours. Plenty of time to get a generator going. I mainly have mine to reduce brown outs.
 

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