Jump to content
Oaklands

storm has taken out the power

Recommended Posts

Oh, and an update: it was off long enough we ha to go to the store again. Eggs, milk, yogurt, and meat were all bad. Dang it!

Look around and see if places near you sell dry ice. I think the Kroger near me sells it. Putting a block in the fridge and freezer will keep stuff cold for hours. Dry Ice for a Broken Refrigerator or Broken Freezer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lester Weevils

It's a lot of money to spend to keep a computer running for a while in a power outage but this computer is where I do my work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lester Weevils

It's a lot of money to spend to keep a computer running for a while in a power outage but this computer is where I do my work.

Hi UberDuper

I program for a living from home too. It is a vital issue if power goes down more than an hour or two very occasionally. Apologies if the following sounds preachy. It isn't meant to be a lecture. Just thinking out loud because it is an interesting topic and I has thunk about the issue quite a bit. :)

Computer UPS's have different necessary specs than backup power which makes em more expensive. They need better surge suppression, boost/buck voltage features, and must switchover quick enough to keep from crashing the puter.

The computer UPS's less than $1500 seem to add backup VA capacity rather than runtime. In other words, a big spensive (to small-time programmer) computer UPS will maybe be pure sine wave, maybe always-online, with sufficient capacity to run a rack of servers, but still only offer maybe 5 or 10 minutes backup at full rated capacity.

The design assumption on most boxes seems to be that 10 minutes runtime gives sufficient opportunity to either shut down the puters or enough time for a big old automatic backup generator to start, warm up and achieve stable voltage. Big server farms and such would presumably have a big ole automatic deisel genny in a shed outside if the the bidness need to stay up during long outages.

If you get a giant expensive computer UPS and only load it with a laptop, then it will run longer than 10 minutes, but it probably won't run the laptop an entire workday, and is a real expensive solution compared to a few spare batteries for the laptop. :)

My computer UPS's had got old and I replaced em earlier this year with three APC Back-UPS 1500 from Best Buy. If you order direct from APC, they sell a nearly identical model with an expansion battery socket on the back, and you can get a same-sized battery box to double the runtime. But I was lazy and just got the non-expandable ones from Best Buy. My old UPS's had got so that they would sometimes go down before you had a chance to shut off the computers.

In the longest power outage this year, I shut down all three Back-UPS 1500 a few minutes after the power went out.

Then I used each UPS, one at a time, to run a MacBook for programming. Each one only ran the MacBook for about 2 hours each. But that was better than nothin.

Most computer UPS have wimpy chargers and take up to 12 hours to completely recharge, so you can't just run a backup generator for a couple of hours to recharge the UPS. Would need to run a backup genny for 12 hours.

That big UPS I built long ago, I am gonna re-design a bit if I rebuild it. It was a quick job, just a big plastic trunk mounted to a cheap mechanics crawler sled. Plastic seems the preferred thang to keep batteries in, in case they leak. The acid is less destructive to the plastic than wood or metal. I bolted a piece of plywood on the top of the plastic trunk to mount a StatPower heavy-duty smart charger and a StatPower 800 watt Inverter, with 4 Guardian AGM 100 AH sealed batteries. As long as the thing is on a level surface it rolls easy, but it weighs more than I do and will bust yer balls getting up and down stairs.

The small inverter paired with big battery bank and big charger was intended to be able to quck-charge the batteries if run off a generator (to minimize generator up-time), and provide enough power to run a small desktop for one day or a laptop for 2 days or more.

The batteries just got too old to hold a charge. They don't last forever. If I redesign it, am gonna get one of those big harbor freight appliance hand trucks and build a heavy duty box securely bolted to the hand truck frame. That will make the heavy-ass thang easier to move around.

====

Re more convenient options--

I have one of the older xantrex branded version of this box--

NPower Portable Power System — 400 Watts | Portable Power Solutions | Northern Tool + Equipment

It is not incredibly expensive but has more AH and runtime for the money than any pre-built gadget I've been able to find. I got it to keep in the bedroom to run a cpap breathing machine in case power goes out.

That thing ran for two days in the outage, charging cellphones, powering a radio and small light. Didn't use it for the laptop any.

Am considering getting a couple more, one for kitchen and another for the other bedroom. Maybe one in the livingroom.

It doesn't have boost/buck voltage regulation and it doesn't switch over quick enough to act like a computer UPS. So it isn't a computer UPS replacement. But it does offer as good runtime for that kind of money I've seen, in an off-the-shelf product.

This model has a higher-wattage inverter, but the battery capacity isn't big enough to match the inverter and the price is too high versus bang-for-buck IMO--

NPower Portable Power System — 1800 Watts | Portable Power Solutions | Northern Tool + Equipment

For a pretty potent but quasi-affordable not-difficult-to-install semi-permanent install, Xantrex used to sell this thing but it isn't on their web site right now. So I guess the couple of other brand names have taken over the product--

Phono Solar Generator Kit — 1800 Watts, Model# 1800SJ/1800JPB | Portable Power Solutions | Northern Tool + Equipment

You can get it without the solar or wind component. You can get a spare battery box and load it up with four batteries, equivalent to the system I built but with a bigger inverter.

It is "ready to install" and meets electrical codes. Have occasionally thought about maybe getting one, but there is no way it could be portable. Wherever you set the thing up, then it will stay there unless you take it apart into pieces light enough to tote.

Those Honda and Yamaha small inverter generators are quiet and make clean power good enough for a puter. They are light enough to tote and small enough to store in the basement or house. It is hard to find bad user reviews on those two brands.

That has always been my basic idea-- long-term battery backup and a genny to recharge it and cool down the refrigerator a couple of times during the day in case of a prolonged outage.

But maybe it is the wrong path. Maybe a better path is just bite the bullet and get a whole-house automatic backup generator fed by a 500 gallon propane tank in the back yard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was quite a post. :)

An APC BackUps 1500 contains two 12v 7.5 - 9 Ah batteries in series. You can remove those batteries and extend the wiring out to two 12v deep cycle SLAs of your choosing. IIRC the 1500 can handle about 850watts. I think my mac pro, main monitor, and cable modem is ~500watts but I haven't picked up a killawatt to confirm.

upsforless sells refurb 1500s for $100 and you can get 55Ah AGM SLAs from Tempest for $110 each TD55-12   Tempest Deep Cycle AGM, Valve Regulated, Maintenance Free, Sealed Lead Acid Rechargeable Battery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That was quite a post. :)

An APC BackUps 1500 contains two 12v 7.5 - 9 Ah batteries in series. You can remove those batteries and extend the wiring out to two 12v deep cycle SLAs of your choosing. IIRC the 1500 can handle about 850watts. I think my mac pro, main monitor, and cable modem is ~500watts but I haven't picked up a killawatt to confirm.

upsforless sells refurb 1500s for $100 and you can get 55Ah AGM SLAs from Tempest for $110 each TD55-12 Tempest Deep Cycle AGM, Valve Regulated, Maintenance Free, Sealed Lead Acid Rechargeable Battery

Thanks UberDuper. Good to know.

My Back-UPS 1500's are all set up in a row under the desk, so expanding their capacity would take some thinking. But it might be worth trying to expand them.

Have you seen any how-to websites with pictures and descriptions of people who already did that? So as not to re-invent the wheel any more than necessary?

I'd be tempted to go with 100 AH or bigger AGM batteries. They are not that much more expensive.

A problem with that solution is the "one shot" nature of the deal. It would likely take days for a Back-UPS 1500 to recharge 200 AH of batteries. In an extended outage it would take a lot of generator runtime to bring em back up.

Alternately, possibly a battery-isolator could be used to run a smart charger on the bigger batteries without blowing up the Back-UPS charger, but that may be over-thinking the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no clue what you guys are talking about but....

cf6002d1.jpg

...I love it when a plan comes together. Get to building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a forum post from someone that did this exact thing: Replacing UPS Batteries with Marine/RV Batteries

A 100Ah is gonna weigh a lot. The TD100-12 is 69lbs and you'd need two.

The slow charge of the UPS is going to be easier on the batteries and will cause slower venting of hydrogen. But yeah it'd probably take 2 or more days for the ups to fully charge 50+ Ah batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks UberDuper. Great informative link.

If someone were planning to do that before buying a UPS-1500, it might be less trouble and no more money to order the version from APC which has the external battery jack on the back. Avoid hacking the wiring inside the UPS-1500.

Also, POSSIBLY, the firmware on the unit with an external jack, might be smart enough to know about the extra battery capacity and give a more realistic runtime read-out? Just guessing.

I used to modify stuff at the drop of a hat, but lately only do it when there is no other reasonable choice.

Dunno anything about the upsforless refurb BackUPS. Maybe they are better than new. Maybe they are infant mortality factory-returns with only a few hours actual usage.

Have had APC UPS's for many years and have not been unhappy with the brand for the price. But the electronics seem to age about the same rate as the batteries. I have seen user web reviews with the same observation. I've arrived at the opinion that once the battery starts to go then it is risky replacing the battery because something else in the UPS is likely to fail before the new replacement battery gets completely used up.

Maybe that is the wrong way to look at it. Just sayin, dunno if I'd want to save a few bucks buying a refurb unit, though it may be just as good a bet as buying a new one. Maybe the refurb would run for years and the brand new one would fry in a week. Never can tell.

Edited by Lester Weevils

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have no clue what you guys are talking about

Me, either. I do have to wonder if a bunch of hamsters, a hamster wheel bolted in place of the pulley on an alternator from the junkyard, some wiring with battery clips, an old car battery and a power inverter from Walmart would work.

Edited by JAB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Me, either. I do have to wonder if a bunch of hamsters, a hamster wheel bolted in place of the pulley on an alternator from the junkyard, some wiring with battery clips, an old car battery and a power inverter from Walmart would work.

Send it to Mythbusters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What part of Morristown are you in? I have been listening to the scanner and it sounds like I may have to head to the Rescue Squad to help out tonight.

Out in Talbott off 11E

Power went out around 9:00 and did not come back on until almost 2:30am. The bad part was I use CPAP for my sleep apnea and could not get into a deep sleep without choking. (comes from using the CPAP for so many years). Popped my mask on as soon as the power came back on.

It wasn't as bad as people in KnoxVegas, so it could have been worse.

Edited by Oaklands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oaklands, I have the same problem with cpap. You can get a ups that will run the CPAP all night, but it is easiest if you don't run the humidifier heater in the CPAP. If you know the power is out before you go to bed you can turn off the humidifier heater and run on a medium-sized UPS all night no problemo. The fan doesn't suck much power. It is trickier if you go to bed with the humidifier on and the power goes out in the middle of the night and then the humidifier prematurely drains the UPS before it is time to get up in the morning. Need a bigger UPS to run that humidifier all night.

JAB, the holy grail would be a generator mounted to the tail of a Labrador Retriever or Coon Hound. The wattage would put Hamsters to shame. A seriously tail-wagging dog breed ought to power the entire house no problemo.

UberDuper, one thing I thought about after reading that BackUPS 1500 link you sent-- APC seems to recycle the same model numbers over several different hardware designs. I discarded a several-years-old BackUPS 1500 that was entirely different than the new BackUPS 1500's.

The ones I got this year do not have a wiring harness you plug into the batteries. The batteries are duct-taped together with a plug, and there is a socket down deep in the battery bay. So you don't hook up any wires. You just drop the battery pack into the bay and it plugs into that socket.

Just sayin, if you get a new-design Back-UPS 1500 which does not have the external battery socket on the back-- Custom wiring will require either cannabilizing that connector off of the factory battery pack, or somehow hunting down the identical funky plug which APC uses for the battery connection.

Edited by Lester Weevils

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up Lester. I was wondering how much drain it would be on a UPS. Will order one from work today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Oaklands

I have the xantrex-branded version of this box (xantrex doesn't sell it any more, but appears to be the same box)--

NPower Portable Power System — 400 Watts | Portable Power Solutions | Northern Tool + Equipment

It has 40 AH of battery, which is a lot bigger than a computer ups, and isn't terribly expensive.

That box will run my resmed cpap all night long as long as the humidifier heater is turned off. Modern cpaps draw less power than the early models.

I used to need the humidifier more in the past, but lately I don't get stuffy nose if the humidifier is not used, dunno why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez...last time I was down in 'Nooga, lost power here for over a week due to tornados.

Now, back here again, and just lost the juice due to big thunderstorm.

Maybe Hamilton County will pay me a stipend to stay the hell away from here.

- OS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Out in Talbott off 11E

Power went out around 9:00 and did not come back on until almost 2:30am. The bad part was I use CPAP for my sleep apnea and could not get into a deep sleep without choking. (comes from using the CPAP for so many years). Popped my mask on as soon as the power came back on.

It wasn't as bad as people in KnoxVegas, so it could have been worse.

Okay, joking about hamsters aside, with a power inverter from Walmart and a deep cycle (marine) battery, you can easily run a CPAP all night. My wife uses a CPAP (I am supposed to - and do when I can stand it - but generally can't sleep worth a crap with it on which creates a whole, new set of problems.) When we go camping at Tellico where there are no utility hook-ups, as the camping trailer doesn't have a generator and runs off of one, deep-cycle marine battery as a 'house' battery, we always take a spare deep cycle battery in a battery box. Some say it is dangerous to have a deep cycle battery inside so I sit it outside under the edge of the trailer (to protect from rain), hook up the power inverter and run the wires in through one of the windows. It will run her CPAP for about two nights (if she doesn't sleep in too long) before having to be recharged. She doesn't use the humidifier, though - says that with hers she gets too much moisture built up in the tube/mask. Of course, being a deep cycle it doesn't hurt anything to run the battery completely down and recharge it repeatedly. Since we don't have a portable generator to recharge that battery, I just use jumper cables to attach it to the battery in the tow vehicle and let the tow vehicle run while we are fixing/eating breakfast. That pretty well completely recharges the battery. Of course, to recharge the house battery I just have to plug the trailer cable into the plug in the bumper of the tow vehicle and, again, let the tow vehicle run for a bit (so it won't drain the battery in the tow vehicle.) If we camped more I'd want a small generator just to recharge the batteries (portable generators are different from RV generators and can't really be used as a substitute) but so far the jumper cable method has worked without issue. IIRC, the 'store brand' deep cycle I bought at Advance Auto ran me somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty bucks while the power inverter was something like thirty bucks - so roughly $90 total invested.

I also know that some folks use a power inverter and a motorcycle battery to run a CPAP. The motorcycle battery would be smaller and more portable but I don't know how long the charge would last or how constant draining/recharging would impact its long-term performance.

Edited by JAB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even with a deep-cycle battery, you get the best battery life if you never discharge more than 50 percent. If you routinely run em down to nothing, they will fail pretty quickly. Very light discharge cycles like 10 or 20 percent lead to the longest life. You can google up manufacturer charts which estimate the life of the battery in charge-recharge cycles, depending on how deep you discharge them.

As best I recall, with heavy discharge they can die in less than 6 months but with light discharge they can last 5 or 6 years.

That is why for instance with a solar, wind, or other long-term power system, the bigger the capacity in the battery bank the better, because you don't discharge the bank so deep between charging sessions.

Most inverters have auto-shutoff that will avoid drastically damaging the battery, but even with auto-shutoff the batteries get pretty drastically discharged if you run all the way until the auto-shutoff point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A non AGM battery is safe to have in the house, but you want to take it to a well ventilated space to charge it. They only gas during charging. An AGM battery releases almost no hydrogen.

What's the draw on one of these CPAPs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the draw on one of these CPAPs?

Hi UberDuper

It varies, but if memory serves mine seems to draw about 30 or 40 watts without the humidifier heater. Can go higher than 300 watts with the humidifier heater turned on.

In addition it has been alleged that the digital "modified sine waveform" can prematurely age or even outright damage the resistive heaters in some of the humidifiers (presumably because it delivers more power than an equivalent pure sine wave, into that kind of load). If the unit controls power to the heater using a triac light-dimmer type of circuit, then it wouldn't work very well against the stepped digital wave. It would not have very good control resolution.

Therefore if one had a UPS ambitious enough to drive 300+ watts all night, then ideally it would also use a pure sine wave inverter. That is hearsay. Dunno by personal experience.

The power draw can vary depending on how the cpap is set up. It likely draws more power if the pressure is prescribed higher. Some of them have features that will modulate the fan faster as the user inhales and modulate the fan slower as the user exhales, but that feature is not always turned on. It depends on the prescription and sometimes on user preference. And some of them do not have that feature available and have no option but to constantly run at the pre-set speed.

Some of them are smart enough to try to real-time diagnose the user's breathing and modulate the pressure accordingly. I think those are less often prescribed but could be mistaken. If a person has more trouble breathing when sleeping in certain positions, then that feature would seem useful if well-implemented.

My 40 Ah UPS will only barely run the cpap all night. But it is only intended for emergencies. For nightly use a bigger UPS would be desirable. In other words, my cpap is always plugged into the UPS, but it is very rare that power fails and the UPS comes on in the middle of the night.

Edited by Lester Weevils

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


The Fine Print

Tennessee Gun Owners (TNGunOwners.com) is the premier Community and Discussion Forum for gun owners, firearm enthusiasts, sportsmen and Second Amendment proponents in the state of Tennessee and surrounding region.

TNGunOwners.com (TGO) is a presentation of Enthusiast Productions. The TGO state flag logo and the TGO tri-hole "icon" logo are trademarks of Tennessee Gun Owners. The TGO logos and all content presented on this site may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission. The opinions expressed on TGO are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the site's owners or staff.

Before engaging in any transaction of goods or services on TGO, all parties involved must know and follow the local, state and Federal laws regarding those transactions. TGO makes no claims, guarantees or assurances regarding any such transactions.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to the following.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines