Battery UPS APC SC1500

mebaby333
mebaby333 used Ask the Experts™
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I have an APC battery backup, rack mounted. This model, SC1500, has a series of 4 batteries and the batteries were screaming to be replaced. I had my boss order the batteries and we got them but they were 4 unlinked batteries. This is a pain. I attempted to connect them the same way they were connected and got a spark. After that I got a bit nervous and I can not find a diagram for these batteries and how to connect them.
Does anyone have any idea?
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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2016

Commented:
If the batteries are the same, I see no issue. But the instructions to replace the batteries will have some note about switch the UPS off before replacing. Can you check that? A small spark would be expected because the new batteries will be empty and will get charged once connection is made. How big a spark is it? Check polarity and measure voltage on new batteries if possible.
I recently had to replace the batteries on a much larger APC and, after inspecting the battery packs, opted for buying the assembled batteries rather than trying to pry the old ones apart to move the wires!
If you are scared (which I can understand!), unplug all of the computers and use a trouble light for testing.
mebaby333It Admin

Author

Commented:
I figured it out. First my boss wired it and I was relieved but it was tested at 24v and the back of the unit states 12v so I gave it a go and it measured 12v.... I installed them and nothing blew up ;) but the building wiring fault is on and a constant alarm.....
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mebaby333It Admin

Author

Commented:
Also the spark was initial spark was between just the batteries not the unit :)
You need to download the users manual so you'll know how to check the status and what the errors mean.
http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=sc1500i&ISOCountryCode=us&tab=documentation
mebaby333It Admin

Author

Commented:
I have read the manual a million times.... okay maybe 2 times and then some scanning.... no info on the error :) They are pretty secretive with their stuff I tell ya
1) Are you in the U.S. and is this a 110 or 220v model?
2) Have you tried a different A.C. power source and/or do you have an outlet tester to check the A.C.?
3)  What lights are lit on the APC and do you have the Powerchute software?  If so, what does it say is wrong?
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
the way voltages and current work with batteries is in series you get more voltage.
series connection
- connector - (  - battery 1 + )  ... ( - battery 4 +) + connector = 4 x voltage of 1 battery (all batteries must be equal voltage)

parallel connection - same voltage 4 x current

- connector | (- battery 1 +)  |
                     | (-battery 2 + ) |
                     | (-battery 3 +)  |
                     | ( battery 4 +)  |  + connector (positive)
or a mix of series and parallel (2 x voltage 2 x current)

you connect up 2 sets of series and then connect the negative of one of each end and the positive of one of each end this gives you 2 x voltage of 1 battery and 2 x the available current

Batteries are rated in voltage and amp hours (amps are current)
4 batteries in parallel will all be at one voltage (the voltage rating of the battery) but you will get 4 x the amp hours.

For insurance reasons you probably should have had a qualified technician (i.e. electrician) do the change over if you have any qualms.. If your boss is also the owner then he is permitted to do whatever he wants without calling in an electrician/plumber.
mebaby333It Admin

Author

Commented:
I thought it was 12v but I think I just caught a glimpse of the 120v marking and translated it in my brain to 12v. I think we will be switching it to the 24v (which is Davids suggested connection I believe) configuration and trying again. Thank you guys for your help.

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