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UPS backup power

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by easternbob, Dec 15, 2009.

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  1. easternbob

    easternbob Member

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    A recent posting and then a blip in power last night got me thinking about uninterruptible power supplies. I'm new to these things, so speak slowly and clearly.
    What brand and models are people using? What kind of run times could I expect to see if I'm just running the pump (and controller) on my EKO 25? Would it be possible to run the pump and blower for any length of time?
    Thanks,
    Bob

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  2. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I run an APC 1500 UPS on my system. It will easily run pump and blower for 1-2 hours, if not longer. Got mine used....
  3. timberr

    timberr Member

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    Hey Bob,

    I have an Eko 25, I have a power inverter w/ built in charger and transfer switch. With one deep cycle battary I can power my whole system for 8+ hours. The inverter is a true-sine so I don't worry about messing up any of my TekMar controllers.
  4. maplewoodshelby

    maplewoodshelby Member

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    I just had installed a 400 watt inverter from napa along with two relays and hooked up to a battery. Cost of everything is about $150 and it is fully automatic. Not sure what my run time is but will soon test. I will add additional batteries later to extend run time. My dad installed with the help of a drawing from an electrician. If you can find an electrical supply store that sells the relays and will draw you a diagram you can do it for this price as well. Its an easy hookup as long as you know where the wires go. Saves you from buying the fully autmatic inverters that start around $250 for the cheapos
  5. MrEd

    MrEd New Member

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    So, how do you wire you system to use the UPS? Is it as simple as a dedicated circuit going to an outlet, the ups gets plugged into the outlet, and then you use a plug to connect all the rest of the wiring downstream...does that pass code?

    Also, it seems in a power out situation, you would want to run the circulator, but not the fan...or do you run the circs and the fan, and then just let the gravity loop deal with the overheat situation when the juice runs out?
  6. Deere10

    Deere10 New Member

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    couchburner what kind of relays are you using? Are you usung a deep cycle battery?? Looking into back up power myself just to run pump.. Thanks
  7. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    A true UPS is about as easy as it gets. You plug the UPS into the outlet and you plug your appliances into the UPS. There are many different sizes and types. Mine is more than big enough to run the pump, fan and some lighting for quite some time after power failure. I have a generator so really the UPS is to give me time (several hours if I really needed it) to pull out the generator, get it started and get the house running again.

    If for some reason my generator wouldn't run I'd simply hit stop on the boiler, let the circ run, and perhaps take some wood out. But again - if you have a bigger UPS unit (like the APC 1500 I have) you could probably run just the circ for many hours...prolly a lot longer than a load of wood could last.

    Off-the-shelf UPS units may not be the cheapest solution to power failure protection but I'd argue they are the simplest and most reliable. They maintain the batteries themselves, they have some nice readouts on them to let you know how high the load is and how much juice you have left, they make a heck of a racket to remind you when power does fail that they are down there and on some you can even configure them with your PC to respond differently to different situations. Pretty neat little devices in my opinion...
  8. Bricks

    Bricks Member

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    My plan...... used APC 1400 or 1500 with out batteries off of E-Bay. Roughly $50 shipped. Since they are 24 volt in this size going to run two 12 volt car batteries or deep cycles. Actually have two sitting here that are good but changed out of vehicles they were getting old but worked fine. Should give at least 24 hours backup.

    Edited to add Just plug boiler into the APC instead of wall outlet. And a plus also get surge protection to save controller.
  9. ohbie1

    ohbie1 Member

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    I have my storage circ backed up, and it will run 3+ hrs. on the battery.

    Deep cycle battery......depends on AH you want
    200 W inverter.............$20..........Inverters R us (internet)
    2 time delay relays............$7....... Surplus Electronics Store.
    trickle charger for the battery..........$20......Ebay

    I found the time delay relays necessary for times when you get that off-on-off business from the power company. You cannot have the household juice on at the same time as the inverter, or you blow the inverter.
  10. JSJAC

    JSJAC New Member

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    After the ice storm last year I put an inverter and battery bank together. I have four 85amp hour batteries and a 1800 watt inverter. I bought a separate charger that has four stages of charge. I have run on the batteries for about four hours and still had hardly made a dent in the battery voltage.
    You should use good batteries that are deep cycle style.
    With the batteries at least we can have some quiet without the genset running when the power is out.
    If you go to some of the solar sites on the web you can get lots of good free info.

    Jeff
  11. maplewoodshelby

    maplewoodshelby Member

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    This is the exact relay that I use from ebay. You will need two of them, an inverter, and battery. The more batteries you add the more run time you get. This setup runs my taco 007 circulator and nothing else. The 007 circulator draws less than an amp so with the battery i have it should run about 8-9 hours. I have a large dozer battery coming that will triple that time. The circulator runs constant during power failure. Also make sure whatever inverter you buy has an on/off switch that holds in eiterh position. Once your all wired up you turn the inverter to on (but it has no power when the house has power) and when the power goes out the relays close to the battery mode completing the circuit and running off battery. True sine vs modified sine inverter made no difference to my taco pump as far as noise so I wouldnt even worry about that although I'm sure others will say different.
    If you decide to go this route with these exact relays I can email you a copy of how to wire it up. It is very busy but also very simple.
    The UPS backups are the simplest and I almost went that route as I know little about electronics. I am sure glad that I did not.
    The UPS is very expensive and go ahead and figure on replacing it every 4 years. The UPS will not run my system long enough to make any difference if I am not at home. I will still overheat or not be able to get the heat into the house during power failure. With this system if I have a power outage for a week or more which we are due to have, I can get more batteries and take them elsewhere where there is power to charge them and keep switching out batteries and I can keep right humming along eating ramen noodles and reading by candlelight!!
    Let me know if you get those exact relays and I will email you the hook up. IF you know anything about dhw please see my other post and respond as I am just learning how to pipe the best system. Not many people on here use their boiler to heat their water but I am going to take full advantage even though it has a litte upfront cost


    http://compare.ebay.com/like/270456939117?ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes
  12. easternbob

    easternbob Member

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    Thanks for all the replys. I've learned a lot about UPS and inverters in a day.
    Found this unit on ebay
    http://cgi.ebay.com/APC-Back-UPS-Pr...ltDomain_0?hash=item439c131325#ht_1649wt_1084
    It's a APC Back-UPS Pro 1400 without a battery.
    I'll say it again I'm no computer or electronic whiz so..... Would it be possible and easily done to hook one or more deep cycle batteries to this unit? And will a unit like this charge the battery while the reg. power is on? Seems like a good deal, so long as hooking up an external battery is an easy project.
    Thanks.
    Bob
  13. timberr

    timberr Member

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    Should be pretty simple, I have this unit to protect my PC and there is just a plug connection that you make. Personally I want enough run time on backup to cover a full burn when I am not at home. At this time of the year I fire the boiler in the AM and head to work. If the power fails I want everything to run smothly. With 1 deep cycle I can run for more then the full burn cycle. Periodically I pull the plug on the power to test this.

    Good luck
  14. Hydronics

    Hydronics Feeling the Heat

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    Does it use 12 volt batteries? If so I would think it would be good to go with deep cycle's.
  15. easternbob

    easternbob Member

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    That is a good question, I don't know? Can anyone comment on this and how easy (or not) it will be to hook a deep cell or two into it?
    Bob
  16. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    i am glad this topic came back up....i had some plans worked out last year with an inverter and what-not, but i am starting to warm up to the UPS idea. but i am having trouble with the math on a UPS. anyone know how long a taco 007 (.7 amps i believe) will run on a 1500VA / 980Watt UPS?
  17. easternbob

    easternbob Member

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  18. Medman

    Medman Feeling the Heat

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    These units may be configured to run off of a 12 V battery or two 12V's in series, for 24V depending on model. They will MAINTAIN the charge in a deep cycle battery but may not be able to provide enough current to recharge the batteries once depeleted. I have had issues here trying to run with large Sealed Lead Acid batteries using a small UPS.

    I started with an APC 650 (normally has one 7Ah battery) and one 25Ah 12V battery - worked OK, but only about a 20 min. run time. I added another battery in parallel, so 12V 50Ah. The UPS ran for double the time, but once powered back up the batteries drew too much current and tripped the protection circuit on the UPS. The only way to bring the batteries back to charge was with my auto battery charger.

    I have since moved to a larger UPS (1500VA) that uses two batteries in series. Using the two batts. above, I am getting about 40 min. run time for EKO25 controller, fan and boiler circ. I am planning to upgrade the batteries soon, and I anticipate the same current issues.

    One circ. running at about 80 watts from a 1400VA UPS, depending on the size and type of battery installed, will run 3-6 hours.
  19. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I am using a 1500watt ups to power the Eko 40 inc the pump so in case of power failure it will run as a normal burn cycle. Power outages are rare at my house considering I am a few thousand feet from a power station.
    Here are a few items to consider with UPS systems
    Batteries:
    The best are the designed for ups gel-cell type made by companies like power sonic , johnson controls, union they are sold by companies like batteries plus , apc , and industrial supply companies. They are rated for indoor non vented use.
    The second best is the deep cycle marine made for trolling motors they don't have quite as good of recovery and life but are pretty decent for most of our applications. Some might be rated for indoor or non vented use.
    The worst car are batteries they are not made to run down and recharge like a deep cycle and will fail also cannot take the higher charging rate and sometimes crack and leak.
    In addition only batteries like gel-cell are made to be used in an enclosed area because when recharging regular batteries will out gas toxic fumes that can harm persons and property besides being explosive.
    So as far as batteries be careful with what you use in your system if it's an inhabited area.

    One other note battery boxes are a good idea to keep people away from the batteries and keep the damage contained in one would explode.

    Charger inverters :

    Factory made complete units are sized to match the battery to the other components so they function correctly together.
    Units that are charger / inverter only are able to charge a range of battery sized and should be listed in the manual.

    When installing different batteries on these unit the capacity of the charger needs to be considered as the unit is designed to recharge the size battery it came with. You can go a little higher and it will still work but if you go too far above the capacity the charger will blow a fuse or burn out when trying to recharge the larger batteries.
    BTW all the units for sale with out batteries on ebay and such are due to wanting to avoid shipping batteries as they must be sent truck haz mat and will be more costly.

    Connection :
    The units are setup for 6, 12, or 24 volt batteries and the batteries are also available in these sizes. multiple batteries can be wired together but you need to know the output of the charger converter so it can be wired in series or parallel to match the output.
    In the event you don't do this you may gain a new nick name like Sparky.

    The units are pretty easy to connect using standard crimp ring type or other connectors just make sure to size the wire based on the amps you are drawing.

    There are many sites that have helpful info on how to figure the right size for your needs like apc.com and tripplite.com
  20. Jesse-M

    Jesse-M Member

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    Bob, check this out........buktus






    .
  21. easternbob

    easternbob Member

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    Jesse, thanks for the web link alot of great info on that page. Also interesting to see he's had it running for a long time. Found out the unit I was looking at on ebay is 24v so I would have to wire two batteries in series.
    Medman brings up an interesting point though that the UPS won't be able to charge large batteries that have been run way down, so if I'm not around to hook them up to a car charger thats going to cause problems (thinking if I'm away for a week vacation and I want to keep the pump running for freeze protection)
    Couchburner, has a neat idea with the the off the shelf parts, was hoping for something cheaper.
    Bob
  22. easternbob

    easternbob Member

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    Couchburner,
    How do you keep your batteries charged? I'm assuming that you have to put them on a trickle charger every now and then?
    Bob
  23. maplewoodshelby

    maplewoodshelby Member

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    Yes I will put them on battery charger from time to time. I've always been told to run deep cycle batteries down from time to time to extend the life so i will do that as well. That UPS you were looking at on Ebay will serve the same function as my setup in switching over automatically during power loss. That is what my relays do All the UPS systems that I have run across are 12 or 24 volt so adding batteries will be no problem. If you can get that cheaper than $75 than you will have the same thing as me minus the battery for the same price. Both systems work the same way and my intentions are to prevent overheat and to keep heating the house during extended power failure ( I would have to be home to switch out and charge batteries elsewhere). If you go on vacation for a week you must have somebody load your boiler so make sure and show them what it should do if power goes out. My wood boiler is hooked into my propane boiler. I have never used my propane boiler and dont intend to but it is there and will run off this backup as well
  24. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Feeling the Heat

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    Or, you can go with a small Inverter/charger..... Xantrex have a few good one, but of course, they'Re not cheap. But the sometime come on sale. On of my firends bought this one at 50% @ CT: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brow...11867P/Chargeur onduleur Xantrex, 1 000 W.jsp.

    Xatrex Freedom HF 1000

    IT's got an build in transfer switch & 20 amp charger. You can put as many battery as you want. But it just going to take longer to charge @ 20 amp. All automatically. It's all about how much money you want to put in.......
  25. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry guys, I just realise that the link I post was in french....

    http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST%2Fbrowse%2F4%2FAuto%2FSolarPortablePower%2FInverters%2FPRD%7E0111867P%2FChargeur%2Bonduleur%2BXantrex%2C%2B1%2B000%2BW.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524443306630&FOLDER;<>folder_id=1408474396672500&bmForm=form_locale_change&bmFormID=1261061306459&bmUID=1261061306459&bmLocale=fr_CA

    I know this is from CT, bu it's giving you an Idea
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