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UPS as backup power

Hello all,

I'm not sure if people here are using these already or not however the topic
came up on another list, someone had concerns about their biological filter
not surviving a blackout of several hours. I posted the results of a UPS
unit I tested last night. I'd like to post these results here too as perhaps
some may find them interesting. It's ok to post the same info on more than
one list right? Anyway, hope this is of some interest:

Message posted:

OK so I finally did some real testing to see if the theory still
works and boy was I surprised! I remembered I had an old UPS in my
garage which my brother in law gave me a few months ago. It's a
couple of years old (probably 3-4) and has been sitting dead in my
garage for around 4 months now.

Here are some actual figures:

UPS Tested:
3-4 year old "TrippLite BCPERS500"
Charging Load: 110V 60Hz 575VA/362W
Output: 110V 60Hz 500VA/315W

Canister Tested:
Eheim 2217 Canister
Rated at: 30W
Actual drawn from mains: 250mA (very close to rated 30W)

Computer Tested:
Power Supply: 300W
Monitor: 120W

I didn't have the time to wait for the battery to charge all the way
so I kept it at 60min charge time for both tests starting from a dead
flat battery.

Charge Time: 60min
Computer ran for: 3.5 minutes
Canister filter ran for: 195 minutes

Both values indicate when the low battery warning light came on. The
computer quickly dropped dead however the canister ran for an
additional 15 minutes before I pulled the plug and whent to bed.
Considering this unit is a little old and the battery probably close
to the end of it's life, I feel the results are surprising (even to
someone like myself who was optimistic), I had a hunch it would run
for a couple of hours but was not expecting to go over 3. I wonder
what a new unit or slightly larger one will do.

Obviously these units are made for peak use and luckily for us when
we give them a load which is a fraction of what they are built for
they really perform well. I think next time I need to take a 1-2 hour
trip with my fish I might consider using a UPS to run a small Duetto
or similar filter with small heater in the car.

I'll test run times with heater and heater/filter combinations if
anyone is interested in knowing how that turns out, but I think it's
safe to say that a small UPS is a valid solution to power outages for
our biological filters.

Giancarlo Podio