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UPS battery with spare battery for battery swaps/switch to wall power; redundant

Posted on 2011-04-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Does anybody know of a UPS that has a 'spare' battery so that when I swap the main battery out if it needs replacing I don't have to bring the server down in the process. What I am looking for is the following scenario:  

UPS battery needs replacing

there's a spare battery on the unit which I turn on so that the UPS stays 'on'

I then can change the battery without bringing down the server

when I'm done I switch back to the 'real' battery I've just swapped in and the spare battery gets charged up for future swaps

I realize there are UPS's with redundant batteries but I'm hoping for something less costly than those.  Based on what I have seen on the cost of those units for not much more I can have the server/s plugged into a power bar which in turn is connected to two UPS both plugged into separate power outlets.

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Question by:lineonecorp
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15 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
jgibbar earned 160 total points
ID: 35498882
Look at APC SmartUPS. Had really good luck with them and most models have battery packs that are hot swappable.

If you have multiple devices, thier website has a tool to tell you which model to use based upon load an uptime between power failure needs.

Hope this helps!
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 35498921
I am aware of Smart UPS but as per my note I did not want to go with the hot swappable battery packs. Too expensive for the budget. Just want something like large 'flashlight batteries' as the spare to be used when changing batteries - in other words there is a second emergency battery that can be kicked into play when needed. Home alarm systems often have this feature.
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Expert Comment

by:jgibbar
ID: 35498960
I guess i mis-read that you did not what hot swappable, what I read was "I realize there are UPS's with redundant batteries but I'm hoping for something less costly than those".

I don't really know of another good solution on the cheap.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35499122
I have an APC UPS in the basement for my home PC. It is big enough for a small server. Anything less would not like have enough capacity. It was less than $500.

How limiting (in dollars) is your budget?  .... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:srjacob
srjacob earned 256 total points
ID: 35499167
When AC power is on, the UPS is only charging the battery, not running the system.  Try this.  Get an APC smartUPS, and let it power a small load (like a light bulb).  Try disconnecting the battery, and I think you will find the load stays on even though the battery is disconnected.  When you reconnect the battery, you might see a small spark, but that shouldn't hurt anything.

If this works, your problem is solved.  Just make sure the battery wires don't short against the case or together.
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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 316 total points
ID: 35501022
APC use a bypass circuit for replacing batteries, not a spare battery. In the bigger ones you have to order it separately.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 468 total points
ID: 35504603
Not really, because storing Sealed Lead Acid batteries as used in UPSs when not in use, is not a good idea, because they have a "shelf life", if not regularly used and topped up (charged.). Sealed Lead Acid do not do well, if left unused.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 35643196
andyalder:

"APC use a bypass circuit for replacing batteries"

Not sure what you mean? There's a switch on the UPS somewhere?

" In the bigger ones you have to order it separately."
How does the plug into an existing unit?
 
As far as suggestions about changing the battery while the UPS is on, everything I've read and all the literature that comes with the UPS says the UPS should be off.

hanccocka:
"Not really, because storing Sealed Lead Acid batteries as used in UPSs when not in use, is not a good idea, because they have a "shelf life", "

What is the approximate shelf life?
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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 316 total points
ID: 35688254
APC service bypass pannel http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SBP5000RMI2U

Bypasses the UPS so you can power it of to replacee the batteries.
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 468 total points
ID: 35688501
The shelf life depends on the size, makde and model of battery.

APC do not make Sealed Leach Acid Batteries, they use may use CSP or Vision Sealed Lead Acid batteries. So it's always a good idea to ask the "replacement battery vendor" how long have the batteries been standing around.

To prolong shelf life without charging Sealed Lead Acid batteries, they are often stored at 10 degrees Celsius or less. Often quoted is a year from manufacture, as most have good sellf-discharge rates.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 35703560
All genuine APC batteries involved. Does CSP last longer? Is better?
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LVL 124
ID: 35703570
its difficult to know what sealed lead acid batteries APC use, either CSP or Vision in their UPS.
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Assisted Solution

by:srjacob
srjacob earned 256 total points
ID: 35703615
I'm not sure it matters what brand APC uses as long as the size is the same so it will fit in to the UPS (if you want it to).  I once took an APC UPS and put two 120 AH marine batteries on it to extend the run time (it powered a telephone system).  Drilled a hole in the unit to run the battery cables out.  Worked perfectly and got about 4 days of run time.  Take a look at the AH rating of the original battery and try to match that size of replacement.  If they are 12V 7AH batteries, you can get a good deal on these at an alarm supply company since these are fairly standard in bugler alarms.  Batteries Plus also has a good supply of UPS batteries are reasonable prices.
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 468 total points
ID: 35703625
The best Batteries to use for replacements are Yuasa Batteries.

there are superior, and made in Japan.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 35703713
Thanks for all the tips.
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