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Old 04-03-2007, 05:19 PM   #1
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Uninterruptible Power Supply Discussion

Hello all;

I was hoping to touch base with someone who might be experience with UPS systems. I did a bit of research here on AA and another bit on google yet I am still left with questions. More or less, here is the situation. I want to be able to power a couple of small air pumps and two heathers (probably 50-100 watts) for around 13-14 hours using a UPS. I am hoping to use this system while I drive my fish across the country in a uhaul. According to what little information I have found so far a 400 watt UPS system oaught to accommodate m y needs but I would love to chat with someone who has experience with UPS systems first. Any idea if the supply will last 13-14 hours with a intermittent load of around 200 watts? How long does the typical UPS unit take to recharge? Lastly, will a 400 watt model do the job and is there any one brand that is 'the best'? Thanks a lot and sorry for the bombardment of questions. I hope other folks on the board find this information useful.

Thanks again!

And for those of you who may have noticed it has been a long time since I posted, it's good to be back. =D


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Old 04-03-2007, 07:48 PM   #2
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Since you mention a 400W UPS system, I'm guessing you've found my previous posts on my experiences. If not, check out the links in this thread:


I'm not sure you're going to be able to squeak out 13-14 hours with a 200W load, at least not with the Xantrex unit I've had experience with. If you had TWO of the units, you could probably do it, but...

The things take a good 12-16 hours - at least - to fully recharge from a fully discharged state. If you're driving the 13-14 hours, I'm guessing by the time you get rolling the next morning, you won't have had enough time to fully charge them.

However... now that I think of it, you're probably going to transport them in a cooler, or some insulated thing... right? If that's the case, then the heat loss will be very minimal and you might just be able to do what you want. It just all depends on how "intermittent" that intermittent load actually is. Sounds like it's experiement time!

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Old 04-03-2007, 08:13 PM   #3
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In fact, I DID read that post

I just got back from Canadian Tire. I was looking at a 1200 watt model which claims to be able to run a refrigerator for 4 hours with a full charge. Also, I was thinking I wont need 200 watts worth of heathers because of the small containers I'll be using to transport the fish. You are right about the coolers. I will be using either coolers or some other container which is equally insulated -if not better. In any event, the fish will probably wind up in two coolers with a 50 watt heater each. I think each 50 watt heater would have no problem keeping around 10 gallons of water warm so the load would not be constant. Like you said, I need to experiment but I wont be able to :-( Since I am flying back to NS to move my stuff I would have to pick a UPS up when I got there so I need to know whether it will work, or not.

If this idea falls through the floor I have been looking at a inverter that will run off of a cigarette lighter. I'd have to run an extension cord from the cab of the truck in to the cargo area but oh well.

Anywho, thanks for the input and please keep it coming folks, I need all the help I can get!

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Old 04-17-2007, 08:01 AM   #4
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I don't understand why you do not want to just use the power inverter. I guess if you were interested in buying a UPS so that you could eventually use it in your house, but an inverter is going to be so much cheaper. You might have problems running your inverter through your Cig port because most of them have a 20-30 amp fuse which will probably only get allow you to drain 240-360 Watts (and the converter will output some fraction of that for your load). Depending on how cavalier you are, you could just replace the fuse with a 40 amp one or even a short for the time being. Otherwise I would guess you would have to run a direct connection to the truck battery.

Whenever you stop you would have to run and extension cord to your car, which I guess would be rather annoying.
Make it idiot proof and someone will just make a better idiot.
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