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Old 05-11-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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UPS in a trailer

I have access to a UPS that is used in a computer rack. It is rated at 3000va or about 2200 watts. It is set up to take 120 and charge 12 volt batteries. Then puts it back out as 120 volts. This means it has both a converter and an inverter. Something would have to be done to have it also put out the 12 volts.

In reading amp hours and all that, I am confused and am not able to accurately compare this to a battery which is only 12 volts.

My question is there any value in its use?

Gene
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
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It sounds like a pretty heavy duty UPS. If you need one for your house it might work out, but it's pretty large to use in a trailer.

Make sure it has fresh batteries, they can be costly to replace.
Do you know how much it weighs?
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:56 AM   #3
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i think it weighs about 125 lbs and the battery runs about $350.

i had looked into the same idea on a smaller scale. one thing i noticed is that a portable fan i plugged into a ups ran slower than normal. an inquiry to APC indicated that it was not intended for this type of useage. at that point i was over my head and stopped playing with the idea.

i did end up buying a different brand on a clearance sale that has a test for voltage that has had interesting results.

i've seen back-ups that seem to use wet cells. i don't know if that is the case here.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:27 AM   #4
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I have similar 2200 and 3000 units and they are extremely large, bulky and heavy. You'd be far better off with a small generator.

Given the size, weight and benefit, I just don't see this as a great idea. In RVing, particularly with smaller units, weight can be an issue and some of these weigh more than 125lbs. My back can tell you first hand.

UPS units do generate heat and significant sound when the inverter is actively creating AC power from the DC batteries and they don't do it for a long time either. I had 2 or 3- 6 amp max rated servers on a 3000 and got about 1 hour 15 minutes and as the unit aged, those quoted times lessened. Replacement batteries are not cheap either and you have to replace them typically every 3 to 4 years, or more, depending on how many cycles the batteries are put through. Running these in conjunction with wet cell deep cycle RV batteries I am also not sure is such a hot idea if that was the route you were thinking. These units are designed in a specific way and the manufacs tell you not to modify or change out to unapproved batteries. Normally I like most like to push the envelope, however with lead acid batteries, you have the equiv of 2 to 3 sticks of dynamite. Not something I'd consider experimenting.

OTOH, if you had a generator, normal coach battery or batteries, an inverter/charger, you time for power production would go up 3 fold, weigh less and have far less TCO (total cost of ownership). You could replace the batteries on these larger UPS units 3 times and have spent as much as you would have on a 900 to 1000 watt generator. Getting and LP powered generator provides on less fuel source to haul since you already have LP on board in most cases.

Oh and not only do I use a gen with the RV, at work, we've started to abandon the rack mounted UPS systems in our large data center due to cost of the replacement batteries and benefits the smaller 2000 to 3000 units provide compared to a large Liebert or GE monster in line UPS, we have also placed a natural gas generator in service as well. There are still great applications for these rack mount UPS units, but in your application and in our data center, they make less and less sense.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:02 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the quick replies. You make it sound as one needs to be afraid of explosions and burning. Maybe the meek and timid. Also, OTOH, I do not have a generator nor batteries nor converter nor inverter. All things that are on the shopping list waiting for funds.

Once again the cheap way loses out.

As a poll and maybe another thread, just what "cheap" "alternative" methods do win out over the traditional more costly method? Not limited to electric, but anything trailer related.

Right now I am at the stage I need to run wiring and then insulate. My trailer only had 120v and was essentially just an extension cord. No fuses just light switches. Plugged in, power, not, no power. Right now the trailer is empty and I have a blank slate as to what to do. Please offer suggestions and tips on what to do or not to do or not to forget.

Thanks, all, Gene
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:06 AM   #6
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Hey $169 for intell power 9100 with wizard you can find online.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:10 AM   #7
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Sell the UPS on Greigslist.org

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrcrowley View Post
Hey $169 for intell power 9100 with wizard you can find online.
You could get at least 100 bucks for UPS .
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:14 AM   #8
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It's my opinion and probably I am not alone here, when I say fire is your worst enemy.
Using "cheap" is not good at all!!! Inexpensive is OK "IF" you buy wisely and use correctly. By this I mean, aquiring known good products with a tried and true record for less money is far more prudent than cheap alternatives.

Buying an "INTEL" on sale is better than some "other brand" with no proven record. IF money is an issue (and nowadays that's a forgone conclusion), save for what is best and watch for sales or buy used from a trusted friend or dealer.

Here on the forum you will find many folks who have there opinion on what is best for any number of systems for your coach, but they all have in common is experience and knowledge of the products used.and how to best buy them as well as installation.

We here have no wish to see picks of your once wonderful Airstream reduced to very large aluminum inget on wheels. Nor hear of a member injured for the sake of a saving a few bucks.

Just my two cents worth.
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