UPS back-up for Pellet Stove

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BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
This topic came up as an aside on another recent post.

Although not specifically about a pellet stove, many of these stoves have a computer board (mother board) that needs protection. In Northern Ontario, Hydro One's incoming current has significant fluctuations and are hard on sensitive electronic equipment.

One way to solve this problem is to buy a UPS, but there are a lot of different options. I only looked at OnLine UPS systems because they have the added advantage of allowing the stove to safely run off a generator.

An OnLine Double-Conversion pure sine wave UPS performs a number of tasks. But mostly it's in the design that the benefits are seen. The OnLine UPS takes the incoming AC current and converts it to DC, and then back again to AC, so the electronics in the pellet stove are never exposed to either the raw feed from the grid, nor the dirty current from the generator.

The raw current feeds the battery, keeps it charged, allowing the battery to feed the outgoing current to the stove. It is important the UPS has enough wattage for the stove.

I am buying a 650W OnLine UPS and the Piazzetta Stove has a start-up wattage of 330W with running watts of 102W. That allows enough room to charge up some cell phones and laptops. Input current is 5.8A to supply the stove with start-up amps of 3A.

The one downside of the OnLine versions is their cost, the cheapest good one being almost C$800.

If there are any errors here, feel free to let me know.
 

MButkus

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2008
253
Jersey
What ? ?
Staples or any computer store will sell a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) with some 1500 AH with a LCD display showing power drain and possible run time for some $100 - $200. It's just a box with a battery. Real powerful ones with two big lead acid batteries will go for $250+ (U.S)
Those units are all sine wave and will protect against almost anything.

What they are selling are high end (computer servers for companies or radio stations) very expensive units way over the needs of a homeowner. I have had a UPS for 23 years (plus the ones at my college/work) with power zaps, street transformer problems and the like. Never had a problem with my stove, TV or 3 computers in the home, neither at work. I have had my UPS run off a gas generator, the UPS will smooth out the generator power. As long as the generator has a built in 3 prong plug, the UPS will see a ground.

I would believe others on the forum would concur, the are selling some dooms day device for C$800.
MA900II High frequency UPS usually used for Centralized server rooms and blade server centers, mainframe, network control center, cable structure racks. I'll assume you don't have any of those in your house ?
 
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BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
So are you talking about a Standby UPS or a Line-interactive UPS? In any case if it's just a battery and a box you are not getting a pure sine wave to your electronics under normal operation, unless you have an pure sine wave inverter generator.

Standby and Line-Interactive UPS's are not designed to alter the sine pattern of incoming current. It's only when there is a power failure do they send a pure sine wave to your electronics.

When companies say their UPS supplies a pure sine wave, that occurs ONLY when activated during a power failure.

An OnLine system sends a pure sine wave to your electronics all the time. That is not needed in my opinion when you have consistent incoming electricity from the grid which will always be a pure sine wave (although there could be large fluctuations esp in rural areas), but if you are running off a generator (unless that generator supplies a pure sine wave), you are running your electronics off of dirty energy. All the companies I have researched that discuss generator use recommend an OnLine system, because the incoming current never goes directly to your electronics, but passes through 2 conversions, from AC to DC and back to AC and then the pure sine wave is sent on to your equipment.

I agree the cost is a lot, but so is replacing the board in a pellet stove. Mine costs C$485 + tax + shipping/handling + labor to install, plus the wait time to get the stove up and running. And where I live there would be no one that would know how to do it.

Line-Interactive UPS's are interesting, as they have better voltage regulation than standby, an AVR reducing wear and tear on the battery. BUT these still only provide a pure sine wave when battery is activated, and that's only during an outage, because they send the incoming current, regulated for voltage drops and surges, directly to your equipment.

I would be interested if someone has set up a good quality surge bar along with a pure sine wave inverter and had good results running off a generator.


What ? ?
Staples or any computer store will sell a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) with some 1500 AH with a LCD display showing power drain and possible run time for some $100 - $200. It's just a box with a battery. Real powerful ones with two big lead acid batteries will go for $250+ (U.S)
Those units are all sine wave and will protect against almost anything.

What they are selling are high end (computer servers for companies or radio stations) very expensive units way over the needs of a homeowner. I have had a UPS for 23 years (plus the ones at my college/work) with power zaps, street transformer problems and the like. Never had a problem with my stove, TV or 3 computers in the home, neither at work. I have had my UPS run off a gas generator, the UPS will smooth out the generator power. As long as the generator has a built in 3 prong plug, the UPS will see a ground.

I would believe others on the forum would concur, the are selling some dooms day device for C$800.
MA900II High frequency UPS usually used for Centralized server rooms and blade server centers, mainframe, network control center, cable structure racks. I'll assume you don't have any of those in your house ?
 

MButkus

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2008
253
Jersey
Just checked on Northern Ontario, Hydro One's... And people wanted to move to Canada after the elections ? ?
I pay about $100 a month for power (electric stove and oven too), some months it goes up - goes down. You "did have" dirt power according to the newspapers, the new power company is much cleaner and doesn't go out or brownout.
You guy pay .09 a KwH to $.18 a KwH depending on the time of day.
In Jersey it's $.09 KwH steady, then $.03 to deliver it.
Yikes.. so I see why you used to need a power cleaner.
But according to the papers, that is fixed.. you're just paying for it in very high electrical bills during the daytime.
But if you had such bad power, wouldn't TVs and computers be frying all over the place ?
Very rarely do we get a voltage drop, during very hot weather we did and it drove the UPS crazy.
I replaced it with a AVR model, no problems since.
 

BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
Well our usage isn't bad where we are (10.3/KwH steady only because Hydro's wifi won't reach our meter), but the crime is in the delivery charge, rates rise with more usage, and when only a few are on a line. I'm in the highest delivery rate and so our delivery charge is twice the amount of usage. No question a new gov't coming to Ontario next election.

Good point about power to TV's and computers, but I was only really talking about generator usage during a power outage. My backup is mostly electric (includes pellet stove) and with a power failure I would only have the fireplace, a good one, but it couldn't handle the whole house. So a generator that can safely power the electronics of a pellet stove is key to that. If I fry the board I'm toast.

In our rural areas, there is more voltage fluctuation with Hydro One that with Toronto Hydro, which is considerably more consistent. If I was only concerned about normal operation from a functioning grid, I would have exactly what you have, a Line-Interactive UPS with AVR, which is very good at dealing with most fluctuations and not working the battery (prolonging its life).

I'm not convinced that the companies are trying to snow the public by recommending an OnLine UPS system when using a generator. Of course, the new inverter generators change everything.


Just checked on Northern Ontario, Hydro One's... And people wanted to move to Canada after the elections ? ?
I pay about $100 a month for power (electric stove and oven too), some months it goes up - goes down. You "did have" dirt power according to the newspapers, the new power company is much cleaner and doesn't go out or brownout.
You guy pay .09 a KwH to $.18 a KwH depending on the time of day.
In Jersey it's $.09 KwH steady, then $.03 to deliver it.
Yikes.. so I see why you used to need a power cleaner.
But according to the papers, that is fixed.. you're just paying for it in very high electrical bills during the daytime.
But if you had such bad power, wouldn't TVs and computers be frying all over the place ?
Very rarely do we get a voltage drop, during very hot weather we did and it drove the UPS crazy.
I replaced it with a AVR model, no problems since.
 

CleanFire

Burning Hunk
Jan 16, 2015
149
sw NH
I am buying a 650W OnLine UPS and the Piazzetta Stove has a start-up wattage of 330W with running watts of 102W. That allows enough room to charge up some cell phones and laptops. Input current is 5.8A to supply the stove with start-up amps of 3A.

The one downside of the OnLine versions is their cost, the cheapest good one being almost C$800.

You would be better served investing the $$$ into a good quality inverter Generator, and using a higher wattage backup UPS, like the Cyberpower 1,500 watt PFC model - 650W is barely enough for motor startup voltage, and you don't want to under-volt the stove: that will stress / burn out the stove's electronics..

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00429N19W/?tag=hearthamazon-20
 

MButkus

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2008
253
Jersey
Yikes... staying in Jersey for now. $.10 for the power. $.03 for delivery all mutliplied by KwH. So my 990KwH came to $140. Last month it was $85.
We live in a semi rural area, almost never get power outages. Some blinks off (30 sec) with bad lighting storms or out for 2-4 min. Maybe once every five years a power outage from a pole going down (wind) for 1 - 4 hours. I bought a LP gas generator after the Sandy super storm (8 days out). It's still in the box ! During Sandy storm I borrowed my son's 3K generator, it ran for two days and I plugged in my UPS to it. But everything was down so no internet or TV. At least it charged the battery.
 

BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
@CleanFire:

Thanks for your reply.

The stove is rated as follows;

Rated current during ignition A3.0 (Start up Amps)
Maximum power input during ignition W330 (Start up Watts)
Maximum power input at work W102 (running Watts)

It looks like a 650W (5.8A) UPS system is about double what is needed to run the pellet stove. Is that not enough?

I agree an inverter generator would be the best idea, but cost is a factor.
 

Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
I would guess that trying to start a stove on an UPS will deplete the battery before the pellets are on fire. The UPS is to keep the stove going once it's running, as the fans and auger are relatively easy loads to the UPS. The ignitor is a more demanding resistive load.
 

BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
Yes, that's true. Starting up the stove just with a UPS is a bad idea.

Sorry to confuse you. Without grid power, I would start up stove with generator for power supply, and the OnLine UPS would be supplying the power to the stove through its battery, which would be constantly recharged by the generator.

As you say the igniter is the biggest draw: total start up wattage for stove is 330W (3A) and running wattage is 102W. The igniter is using 2/3 of the start-up draw. The UPS 630W is almost twice the capacity needed for start up.

Cheers

I would guess that trying to start a stove on an UPS will deplete the battery before the pellets are on fire. The UPS is to keep the stove going once it's running, as the fans and auger are relatively easy loads to the UPS. The ignitor is a more demanding resistive load.
 

chken

Minister of Fire
Dec 7, 2013
1,136
Maine
Looks like you're going for the holy grail. Like you, I run a Piazzetta with the same demands, 300w on startup, and 100w on my normal settings. I have a CyberPower PFC1500 UPS, that is just like the one linked by CleanFire for about $150, when it's on sale at NewEgg. It's a pure sine wave UPS, line interactive, avr. All the good stuff that you mention, EXCEPT, it's not double-converting like you want. Double converting is great, essentially the line power is always being conditioned for whatever it's running. The downside is I suspect the battery will need to be replaced far more often.

The only thing my CyberPower UPS doesn't do that I would like it to do is run off my whole house 12k LP generator. It doesn't. The Piazzetta runs off my generator power just fine, but the UPS doesn't. However, I shut off my whole house generator at night since it's basically generating a half load when I'm barely using it, and I can run a small 2k inverter generator, WEN brand I got for $350. That runs overnight just to power the Cyberpower UPS which the Piazzetta plugs into. 1 gallon overnight to power the WEN inverter generator, which charges the Cyberpower UPS which powers the Piazzetta. I guess, I could just plug the Piazzetta into the WEN inverter generator, but I have the UPS, why not use it.
 

Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
I bought and just received a CyberPower PFC1500, which was for sale at half the regular price on cyber monday. I have set it up and connected the stove to it. I will do a test on battery over the week-end and will report back!
 

Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
Well, I tested the thing tonight. With the stove at power 1/5 (my stove stay there most of the time) I got 97 minutes before it got to below 5% battery remaining. I then plugged it back before the shutdown. I'm fairly happy, as I was hoping for an hour!
 

BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
Sorry for the slow reply.

It's true the battery is under load all the time with an OnLine UPS, and it will wear out sooner. Nice to see people using a Line InterActive UPS off a generator with good results.

Don't know why the 12K can't run the UPS. That's weird. My understanding is the AVR handles minor fluctuations without the battery, but the battery engages when the fluctuations are too great for the AVR to handle. Sounds to me that the UPS is not accepting the raw current (modified sine wave) from the large generator, and needs the pure sine from the small unit.

Anyway you set-up sounds perfect.

Thanks for the reply.



Looks like you're going for the holy grail. Like you, I run a Piazzetta with the same demands, 300w on startup, and 100w on my normal settings. I have a CyberPower PFC1500 UPS, that is just like the one linked by CleanFire for about $150, when it's on sale at NewEgg. It's a pure sine wave UPS, line interactive, avr. All the good stuff that you mention, EXCEPT, it's not double-converting like you want. Double converting is great, essentially the line power is always being conditioned for whatever it's running. The downside is I suspect the battery will need to be replaced far more often.

The only thing my CyberPower UPS doesn't do that I would like it to do is run off my whole house 12k LP generator. It doesn't. The Piazzetta runs off my generator power just fine, but the UPS doesn't. However, I shut off my whole house generator at night since it's basically generating a half load when I'm barely using it, and I can run a small 2k inverter generator, WEN brand I got for $350. That runs overnight just to power the Cyberpower UPS which the Piazzetta plugs into. 1 gallon overnight to power the WEN inverter generator, which charges the Cyberpower UPS which powers the Piazzetta. I guess, I could just plug the Piazzetta into the WEN inverter generator, but I have the UPS, why not use it.
 

BillX

New Member
Sep 4, 2016
44
Northern Ontario
97 minutes is impressive. Stove must be set up for optimum efficiency.

Well, I tested the thing tonight. With the stove at power 1/5 (my stove stay there most of the time) I got 97 minutes before it got to below 5% battery remaining. I then plugged it back before the shutdown. I'm fairly happy, as I was hoping for an hour!
 

Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
Of course, power 1 out of 5 is just idling, around 8000 btu output. It will suffice for outside temps above 15F but below that will need a higher setting. Moreso in a power outage since the baseboard electric in the bathroom won't contribute any heat!

We rarely get power outage lasting more than 15 minutes. The idea is to merily avoid the stove shutting down and staying off for the whole day while I'm at work or all night while sleeping.

I live about 5 miles from a hydro powerplant, utility is really stable around here!
 

Vand M

New Member
Jan 16, 2017
70
North East , Maryland
I have an apc bn900m 480w system. Trying to figure out how long it will run my pelpro pp130 or my castle stove?? Confusing lol just need to know if I will have enough time to shut it down.
 

Vand M

New Member
Jan 16, 2017
70
North East , Maryland
I have an apc bn900m 480w system. Trying to figure out how long it will run my pelpro pp130 or my castle stove?? Confusing lol just need to know if I will have enough time to shut it down.
Wondering if I should just shut it off if a storm comes

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Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,310
Lorraine NY
Try it. Plug stove into upc start it. Then unplug upc from the wall. Turn off stove
 
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Vand M

New Member
Jan 16, 2017
70
North East , Maryland
Try it. Plug stove into upc start it. Then unplug upc from the wall. Turn off stove
Sounds like a plan. Thanks! I'll let you know what happens lol

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2011 GT/CS

Member
Aug 31, 2013
74
Lehigh township, Pa
I have a Cyberpower 1500PFCLCD. Pure sine wave on a Hartman P43 and I can get 60 to 90 minuets of run time. It also soothes out any power fluctuations. Have had it for just over a year and seems fine. It I unplug the backup from the wall it gives you a live reading of estimated run time.


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dotman17

Member
Dec 21, 2017
115
Everett, WA
Harman wanted $500 for a backup battery for my pellet stove. Screw that. Then my friend suggested a generator. Screw that. So I bucked up and spent another $2500 and bought a wood stove for upstairs. It's off the grid and works all the time.
 

Vand M

New Member
Jan 16, 2017
70
North East , Maryland
Harman wanted $500 for a backup battery for my pellet stove. Screw that. Then my friend suggested a generator. Screw that. So I bucked up and spent another $2500 and bought a wood stove for upstairs. It's off the grid and works all the time.
Just bought a generator and a battery backup and only spent 350.00 total. Backup battery gives me about 90 min. That's long enough to start the generator.

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Vand M

New Member
Jan 16, 2017
70
North East , Maryland
What ups did you get ?
Got the cyberpower1500lcd. Just a step up from the gentleman who told me what he had. Cost 164.00 and got a 4 year extended warranty for 11.00 more.

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