Power lost to server when UPS dies (but utility still available)?

I've had mixed results from different vendors - but a recent battery by Tripp Lite - the Smart 1500SLT - activated during a recent short brownout.  It instantly start beeping and flashing the Power LED even after utility power returned in a few seconds:

“POWER” LED: The LED flashes and an alarm sounds (4 short beeps followed by
a pause) to indicate the UPS is operating from its internal batteries during
a blackout or severe brownout. If the blackout or severe brownout is
prolonged, you should save files and shut down your equipment since
internal battery power will eventually


Eventually, the beeping went to a solid tone and shortly after, cut power to the server shutting it off.  My question is, we have other UPS units that are "SMART" units from Tripp Lite and APC - and I've spoken with numerous customer support reps without a clear answer - what "feature" has to be available so that when an internal battery completely drains itself - but the utility power is on - the connected PCs/Servers still remain on?

I have another APC Back-UPS that is beeping every so often to indicate the battery is dead - Back-Ups XS 1300 - and I'm trying to contact APC to see how it will react once the battery is completely drained.

Basically - aren't there batteries out there that don't rely on a battery's presence at all in order to operate on utility power?  i.e. even if I unplugged the battery from the unit - the attached PCs/Servers would remain on.

Another larger unit I have is the APC Smart-UPS 1500.
blueteamAsked:
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MutogiIT ManagerCommented:
I had this samething happen about a year ago spend thousands on 2 new UPS's and after time and time again it would shutdown, i bought 3 new power supplies that where +20% over the recomemended watts, heres what i mean


one is 300w i bought a 350 or 400w

another is 500w bout a 600w


the capasitors are not keeping the computer on long enough to allow UPS to switch to battery

its like 600ms but at 601, your dead in the water. a bigger power supply in the computer will have alot more capacitor load to allow the carry over from the battery.
MutogiIT ManagerCommented:
also try to volt test the battery or goto your local auto place and ask them to do a load test on batteries.

most can do 6v and 12v all info you need about the batteries are on the sides of them.
aleghartCommented:
The power may be back "on", but if it's not within the parameters for safe power, then the UPS will stay on battery until the battery is dead.

For instance, you could have power return at 108VAC or 130VAC, which works fine for lights and most equipment including computers.  But, if it's outside your UPS thresholds, then the UPS stays on battery.

Also, if the cycles are off, or a problem with the ground, or too much noise on the line, then the UPS will stay on battery.  The noise could be generated by lighting circuits or other equipment/motors coming online after the power incident.

How long were you on battery before the unit died?
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blueteamAuthor Commented:
aleghart,

Unit was on battery approx 10 minutes, started beeping to alert low battery - then 2-3 minutes later, constant alarm ringing for another couple of minutes.  All the while, utility power was back on.  There are approx 50-60 UPS units in the office - this happens fairly consistently (maybe 3-4 per year) where a unit stays on battery even when utility power comes right back...then goes until battery dies and server/PC shuts off.
aleghartCommented:
I have a few APC 1400, 1500 & 3000 UPS as well as a handful of smaller 300, 650, 900, 1200.  I'm changing batteries in something at least once a quarter.  They continue to run even when the battery is disconnected.  I think your expectations are normal.

As to why one unit doesn't come back online...sounds like a firmware problem.

The beeping on your dying unit will continue, even with the battery nearly dead, all of the online functions should work, like AVR.  You'll get no backup time if power is cut, but it should continue to run.  For months even.  I had someone call and say "Please come over! Something's been beeping for 3 months!"
MutogiIT ManagerCommented:
is this happing all the time or even if the power is on?

here are some off the wall questions like one,

Are you daisy chaining the UPS together, if so i wouldnt unless they are intended to be?

2 is the power normal, i mean like is there alot of above ground utility wires?

are u 100% sure that the grounds in the buliding are working and can carry more then a static shock?

ive had this problem on my APC 1500XS for years till again i found a small problem in the utility wires were, it was connected correctly but there was ALOT of corrosion, changed the plug and everything OK all good.


blueteamAuthor Commented:
This is only happening when something initiates the battery to kick in - such as a brownout.  We have 3 of the specific model that this happened on (Tripplite Smart 1500SLT) - the other two successfully went from battery back to utility power - but I don't know the life of those batteries - obviously better than the one that died.

We also have some APC SmartUPS, which seem to be more reliable.  There's another APC BackupsXS that's been beeping for a week (crucial systems have been moved to another UPS).  But I believe the problem has occurred in the past with APC units as well.

I guess I'll have to clear up with Tripplite - but I mainly was interested in seeing if this is "normal" functioning for a UPS (to shut off anything connected when the battery dies, even when on utility).

The UPSs are not chained.

aleghartCommented:
Not normal.  Looks like your unit is not transitioning back on to utility power.  The battery failure and subsequent shutdown is expected behavior...for a unit running on battery.  The issue is why it's not coming back online.

Could be firmware corruption, wiring issue, power quality issue.  If you eliminate some of those (like an adjacent UPS on the same circuit did fine) then it will help narrow it down.

But, as Mutogi pointed out, you could have a loose connector inside the power receptacle.  So, even though it's on the same circuit, one unit could sense a problem with the wiring that it thinks it unsafe.
MutogiIT ManagerCommented:
Just Throwing another idea in the wind,

Have you check the APC utility wire, what i mean is the wire from the wall to the unit?

Loose, Frayed, discolored, or even warm main wire???

not saying it normal but ive heard of the the main wire seeping or leaking very small amount of static into the ground from the utility power and not kick it back on at all and leave unit on battery.

May or may not be overloading it, or a surging system from battery to utility power?
CrystalMethodCommented:
I would check the utility to see if there is a setting for sensitivity. I know the APC utility has a setting for it, and I have mine set moderately sensitive just for brownouts.
blueteamAuthor Commented:
We've had yet another Tripp-Lite battery die on us.  The instant I unplug it from the wall - the unit shuts off.  The battery is just completely drained to the point that if there's a brownout, it shuts off, and when utility power returns, it stays off.  I spoke to Tripp-Lite and APC.

Here's what APC reported.....this seems like a terrible solution.  The only way around it seems to be cascaded UPS units or a tower solution.  


APC
: If the battery power is low and the shutdown sequence has started or the UPS has completely shutdown the connected equipment and even the UPS is shutdown, the UPS will not come on automatically. You need to turn on manually.
 Me: Is this the same for SmartUPS and BackUPS?
 APC: Yes

...

APC: If there is any internal fault in APC UPS or if the UPS is not receiving pure power (even after power is restored), the UPS will stay on battery mode. If there is any internal fault in APC UPS or if the UPS is not receiving pure power (even after power is restored), the UPS will stay on battery mode.



---

In addition batteries are only lasting 1-2 years in our server room - something doesn't seem right.  We're not even nearing the "5 year" estimate - and only a couple hit 3 years.

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aleghartCommented:
2-3 years is the most I get.  Some last longer without giving a dead battery alarm...but in a blackout, they don't last longer than 30 seconds.

I've even had a few swell so badly that I couldn't remove then without using screwdrivers and palette knives to pry them out.  And the dead battery alarm still hadn't gone off yet.

Unfortunately, my current budget does not accomodate a hydrogen bottle system.  So, lead acid is what we're stuck with.
blueteamAuthor Commented:
APC provided response
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