1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Modding Project: Acid Bank - Custom 24Hour UPS

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Ternix, 6 Nov 2009.

  1. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    100% Stage 1: Plan
    75% Stage 2: Design
    80% Stage 3: Obtain Parts for Circuit
    0% Stage 4: Build Beta for Test w/ results
    10% Stage 5: Obtain Parts for Casing
    0% Stage 6: Construct Tower
    0% Stage 7: Assemble
    0% Stage 8: Turn On with fire exit escape clear!
    0% Stage 9: Load Testing
    0% Stage 10: Live Test
    0% Stage 11: Conclusion

    Budget: £300

    As the title suggests I'm trying to make a UPS that can with stand a 24 Hour uptime during city blackouts for my entire office/lounge.

    Inspiration mainly came from Mike Howes solution to South Africa's timed brownouts. With him managing to achieve 5 hours on just 2 car sized 12v batteries.

    Second reason which finally made me start this project was I was playing Crysis Wars and had been in a Team DM for 4 hours and was doing pretty well. Then all of a sudden room goes dark street lights go out and my screaming UPS saying "SWITCH YOUR ***T OFF!". City District black out left me without power for a couple of hours, more importantly I had to sign off my game and switch off my PC. Whilst watching TV during blackout I started planning and remembered work has plenty of "scrap" batteries.

    Current Configuration:
    Intel C2D 2.66Ghz @ 3.5Ghz
    Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi ap
    4Gb DDR2 1066
    8800GTS 320Mb
    Perc 4e/DC SCSI Controller: RAID0 12x 72Gb 10k
    5x 92mm, 4x 80mm

    Poweredge 2650 (2x 2.6Ghz Xeon, 4Gb RAM, 2x 36Gb 10k, 3x 72Gb 10k, Dual Redundant PSU)

    Netgear WNR3500 Router
    2x 1Tb External Drives
    2x 17" LCD's
    1x 26" LCD TV
    Pioneer SC-LX71 amp receiver
    Focal Dome 5.1

    All the above I would like to be powered but I think the server and 5.1 would draw to much current, Any thoughts???

    Batteries
    At work many batteries come to us after just a few years as they wish for them to be changed and most of them have never even been used. Guess you really can't have down time in Banks.

    Model: BB BP5-12 5AH 12v

    Now I know these are somewhat small but when you combine 72 of them and they're FREE!

    After hiking 160Kg (352lbs) of batteries into my flat so far I'm now wondering how I'm gona stack 'em.

    Schematic (Simple)
    Thinking of having them in clusters linked in Parallel circuit all linked together with 10awg wire.
    [​IMG]

    Casing
    Other than the UPS case mod I also need to construct a tower case to hold them. I thought of going modular to be able to accompany expansion as I obtain more battieres. In drawings below thought of making it from 10mm MDF cheap and strong enough (I think), also unsure on heat produced due to tight confinement so thought of some quiet 120mm fans should suit it well. On the top is space for a 5.25" fan/temp controller unit which will only be installed if needed, there shall also be only 1 of these to start with but shall build up to 3 towers with the 72 batteries I've got already. Total weight for the tower is 72Kg, if I have to move house its gona stay and I'll move the sofa around IT!
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    UPS - Currently
    The towers shall be controlled by a Belkin 1200VA, this unit as well was for free hence the budget been so cheap. Unsure if the built in charger will be overloaded with such an increase in capacity???

    In the unit it has 2x 12v 9AH batteries, this was built to give you 100 mins of uptime but with age now only does 20 mins. The batteries shall remain and shall be included in the parallel circuit for the extra 20.

    Computer - Primary
    Value: £2300
    The main computer which has the specs above has been a slow creation. Started life in a AKASA Eclipse 62 Case and has worked its way into an RM P3 Server case to hold the 12 drives. When moving to Holland from UK I had to borrow my dads V90 Volvo just to bring it across as was to big for my MK4 Seat Ibiza!

    Many parts have even survived back when I had a water explosion due to my TEC freezing the pipes, woke up with the side window having a water level :duh: The system was a dual water circuit in case you got confused with one end holding a limo radiator.

    Destroyed:
    CPU
    RAM
    MOBO
    HDD x2
    External HDD
    ALL DATA (RAID0 Broken, backup USB HDD Fried)

    Survived:
    TV Card (fully under water)
    8800GTS (HS was under water)
    HDD (pool of water sitting on top)
    PSU
    DVD Drive

    So as you can guess I don't really want to repeat so I'm back to aircolling. Learn the hard way and £1k later :grr:

    Finally I need as much advise on this as possible as if successful a tower shall be placed into my car for the car PC project to be finally completed. Post a link later with that project closer to the time (got parts just never assembled).
     
  2. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    8,614
    Likes Received:
    197
    my worry is the weight, you say 160Kg of batteries, plus a good 10Kg of material to build the unit to hold them, thats alot of weight in one spot over time.

    Can you place this mass next to a brick wall if your not on ground level.

    Also are brown outs in holland really that often?
     
  3. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well each tower is 72Kg so the 160Kg will be spread out. I'm in a brand new build on the ground floor with an underground car park so this floor is more than thick enough as it's all concrete (est. foot thick) but am a bit worried for this soft laminate (thermal floor).

    Well its not so much Holland but I think their standard of electrical wiring etc. Example in UK I could switch on my Pioneer amp it would switch on fine but here it sends a spike through out my aparment like a vacume does when you turn it on. Few times it has tripped the fuse box so UPS's are essential.

    Like to add recently there has been alot of construction here so the last major blackout was caused by them turning on the power to a new building.
     
  4. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

    Joined:
    9 May 2008
    Posts:
    2,603
    Likes Received:
    83
    This looks epic but I think to save your floor you'd be better just stacking 2 compartments on top of one another, then starting a new stack (I'm assuming it's 160Kg for the lot, so 40Kg each stack should be fine for the floor). It might also be worth mounting on heavy duty castors, then you can move then around every couple of weeks to stop a dip developing in your laminate

    Also, I wouldn't put a full tower in the car, I'd maybe have a small board in where your spare tyre would go (encased of course, much and grease doesn't treat new boards very nicely), then have the tyre elsewhere, incase you DO break down (Or fit it under a seat or in the glove compartment, if it'll fit)
     
  5. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yer full tower would need to be reconstructed to fit but the concept behind it I hope to put in my car.

    Can anyone translate this;
    http://www.engineersedge.com/gauge.htm

    Don't really understand this table and I am looking into getting sheet metal cut to apply to 10awg.
     
  6. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Replying to myself, nevermind.

    After blowing my Belkin during testing, puff of smoke and plunged into darkness :D

    Also the pallet which had all the 72 batteries got crashed. Truck lift dropped it so 80% of the batteries now short.

    So decided to upgrade to something with a little more juice and got a 3KVA Best Power UPS weighing in just over 100Kg.

    Pallet should arrive sometime mid next week.
     
  8. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    3,152
    Likes Received:
    235
    I have faith, but have you considered making the racks out of, erm, something that doesn't burn readily? They make fire-resistant MDF, or perhaps a steel box frame with something fire-resistant in between...?

    I worry about the floor, too, but this looks like it's going to be excellent!
     
  9. SPACE TOAST

    SPACE TOAST New Member

    Joined:
    13 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    True UPS or "Battery Backup?"

    Greetings all.

    This is my first time visiting Bit-Tech, and from the info I have seen available here already today, it won't be my last!

    I have a question for the O.P. - Are the system(s) this unit will power capable of withstanding short periods of time (up to several hundred milliseconds) with no incoming power as will be the case with a Battery Back-Up system? Or do you need a true UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY that provides constant output power with no switching 'lag' time?

    As an electronics tech in the military, we had some equipment that was *VERY* sensitive to any loss of power, no matter how short the duration. These systems were connected to a true UPS which converted the incoming AC power into DC which both charged a bank of batteries, and powered an inverter that turned the DC back into AC power for the protected systems.

    If the primary power failed, the battery bank seamlessly maintained DC power to the output section's filter, regulator and inverter so there was absolutely NO loss of power to the connected units. This method is generally preferred because the conversion process to DC allows for easier and better voltage regulation and filtering of the output power.

    Most of the commonly available Battery Back-Up units from APC, Cyberpower, etc are designed for home electronics which can generally handle a short power dip during the switching lag time between the loss of primary power and the battery system kicking in. They monitor the incoming AC, and when a power failure is detected, it takes a short time before the switching process provides power from the battery.

    If this is all that is needed, there is no real reason to over-engineer a dual-conversion system, unless you need the added output power filtering and regulation.


    Best of luck!
     
  10. BlackWhizz

    BlackWhizz New Member

    Joined:
    17 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    383
    Likes Received:
    1
    I like the idea. But in you live in Holland (i too :p). There arent much power drop outs in Holland :S so i think that monsterous ups is just plain waste of time :)
     
  11. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Silver: I have thought about that and have already invested in some fire extinguishes.

    Toast: Thanks for the long reply, the systems been powered are not to sensitive to that problem but did consider it when researching.

    BlackWhizz: Monsterous maybe but does every mod have to be justifiable?

    Here is my replacement UPS after frying my Belkin. Tad more powerful so much I think I'm going to have to rewire my brand new aparment :waah:

    100Kg with batteries on European Pallet.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2009
  12. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Update:
    Just linked the 4 big batteries that came with the new UPS.

    On the 3000VA / 230v loads; (Just gaming PC and Ext. HDD)
    13% Idle
    15% Playing Crysis Wars and 1080 HD Film

    Very different from the 60% load on my old Belkin. What was impressive is that 5 SCSI HDD's and 9 Quiet Fans consume 4% at idle. (2 PSU's as don't have one powerful enough for my entire system)

    Question:
    Can you combine fuses on the house fuse box to create the required amount, eg I have 2 spare 16amp fuses, could they be combined to make one 32amp fuse?
     
  13. widmod

    widmod Member

    Joined:
    9 Oct 2006
    Posts:
    423
    Likes Received:
    1
    Could you show us you monster-systems please?
    also are 12 72GB drive a bit much? :jawdrop:
    thats 864Gb of storage space, that would easily be replaced with a 1TB drive or even 2tb which would double your storage space. This would also lower your power consumption and you wouldn't need 2 PSUs. When you could replace your 12 discs with 1 its probably time too buy a new HDD.

    As for the UPS i like the idea of converting "old" spare batteries into a ups, i hope your new ups can load /use them all. Wouldn't it be a better idea to have some of the batteries in the tower as reserve than wiring them all together? A little cicuit might switch to the next stack of batteries when one is empty or you could do it manually. How much power will it draw loading all the batteries with the UPS all the time your computers are on?
     
  14. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    widmod:
    With the "credit crunch" came many opportunities for me obtaining "free parts". All 12 drives were free when I was made redundant along with redundant pay which paid for the controller :D

    So yes consumes more power but when I get 400Mb/s speed for free you can't turn that away vs. 70Mb/s on a 80Gb 7200rpm. Also 1 PSU came from my old pc (water explosion incident) and the other from the PSU powering the 320w TEC which is no longer used, never bought a new PSU when buying my new mobo after the water explosion.

    The case which holds my system was from my College during a refit on the IT department, once again FREE (College went from P3's to latest Xeon in 2007). Will post pic tomorrow when I have light

    The new UPS is built very strong and has a 5amp charger with heatsinks bigger than a small printer with a 120mm fan so shall stay nice and cool. During an outage the amount of batteries is not the problem, its when it comes to charging them that you don't overload the charger. "Switch to next stack" this has its problems and no advantages. Ware is not evenly spread as some batteries get more cycles than others and in overall battery time is the same.

    As for the draw I have no idea exactly but max peak if both PSU's are used then its 1150w, then combine that with the rest of my lounge / office looking at max peak 2000w.

    Thank you for replying, although my reply does sound like I'm putting ur reply down I still really appreciate it.

    After that lengthy reply another 88 Batteries have just come in at work so in a month their mine.
     
  15. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Picys of system and UPS (Blackberry Cam)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Edit:
    Just done a full test on the 4 big batteries and has powered the following for 93 mins.

    PC (playing crysis)
    17" LCD
    26" LCD watching TV
    Pioneer sound system including sub

    This is much longer than I thought but at only 20% load this does show that these batteries don't have much life left.

    Next step will be to start testing the smaller batteries to insure they don't short before plugging them into the UPS.

    Holiday for the next week so project on hold till I'm back.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2009
  16. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whilst getting ready for holiday I thought I redo my maths and after some time this is the kind of size I'm looking at. This is assuming there is no loss in the life of the batteries which there will be.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ternix

    Ternix New Member

    Joined:
    5 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Project On Permanent Hold

    Unfortunately my landlord saw the tower of batteries and called a fire officer to my apartment. I have been ordered to remove the small batteries now and to insure they do not return.

    Apparently it was a fire risk with almost 300 batteries in my apartment :D

    As such the project to recycle is now abandoned but once I move back to UK later this year I shall return using bigger new batteries with same 24h objective.

    That's all Folks :waah:
     
  18. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

    Joined:
    22 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    2,129
    Likes Received:
    32
    That is a shame, sorry to hear about it.
     

Share This Page