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eBay Replacement UPS Batteries... Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Nasha, Jun 15, 2018.

?

Would you buy 12v UPS batteries off eBay for ~50% cost?

Poll closed Jun 22, 2018.
  1. Yes - They're perfectly fine

    42.9%
  2. Yes - They will be slightly inferior, but good value

    28.6%
  3. No - Stick with a known company, it's worth it

    14.3%
  4. No - And stay away from Jaycar too

    14.3%
  5. Hell no - eBay is full of cheap dodgy crap especially batteries

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Nasha

    Nasha Member

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    So, one of my batteries in my UPS is cactus and i was tossing up replacing the UPS with a new cheap and nasty, or replacing the batteries...

    Had a quick eBay surf rather than just shooting to Jaycar, and they can be had for half the price... Easy call right?! I have no experience with these batteries & eBay... I'm well versed with lithium batteries, and i know there's plenty 'too good to be true' items on eBay in regards to lithium cells and battery banks, so it naturally made me question;

    1. Has anyone had any anecdotal experience with eBay 12v SLA batteries... Am I paying for a grossly inferior product? (Personally, the batteries i got from Jaycar last time didn't impress me, they weren't a common brand name, build quality was ordinary, and it is certainly inside of 2yrs i had a failure)

    2. Currently I have 12v 9Ah batteries, with 12Ah available in the same form factor for only slightly more cost... Is this travelling further down the inferior product line?

    3. 90% of eBay batteries state they're AGM... Jaycar don't offer low capacity AGM batteries... AGM batteries are generally more expensive than flooded SLA's, but in my understanding a superior product on all comparable fronts? (Couldn't find any reasons not to use an AGM) - Is this the 3rd and final trip into a piece of crap battery purchase?

    How is it that eBay can offer a superior product, with a higher capacity, for half the price @ Jaycar (I understand Jaycar is by no means the best choice to be buying batteries from, nor the best to compare against either. I've purchased SLA's in bulk from a wholesale supplier to perform UPS repairs years ago, so i know they have a nice chunk of markup).

    To eBay or not to eBay?

    I'd appreciate all thoughts, experiences or lashings for even considering it if appropriate :)
     
  2. Sunder

    Sunder Member

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    Sorry if you think this is a thread hijack, but if the above is the case, why not convert to Lithium?

    LiFePo4 and LTO both fit perfectly within the charge curve, and are substantially safer. It's a bit more expensive up front, but their life/reliability way more than compensates for that if you're intending to keep the UPS > 3 years.

    As for whether eBay lead acid is any good, it's easily believable that their price is half Jaycar's, but from what I've heard from people on the electric bike forum, the quality can vary substantially. With a UPS, that might not matter so much, because load drawn is much smaller from a UPS.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Nasha

    Nasha Member

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    Cost, is the primary reason. I don't have the cash to spare at the moment. I just recently finished selling off approximately 500 high quality 2nd hand 18650 cells because i needed the money more than the planned eBike build. Bike forums would mainly be geared towards lithium batteries, and yes, anything that is not mainstream branded is an unwise purchase, Ultrafire, Trustfire etc etc. I can't see eBikes using 12v SLA's surely?

    There are also technical variances which need to be addressed that don't make a swap to lithium cells as simple as changing over - Charging methods, nominal voltages, operational voltage, discharge depth etc.

    As for load, a UPS would have more demand placed on it's batteries than an eBike. 250w is the max legal bike motor, at 48v means the batteries are under 5A load at maximum draw, across 4 batteries - UPS supplying 250w @ 24v is demanding twice the current, from half as many batteries.
     
  4. rireland

    rireland Member

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    This is my exact same situation as well. Original batteries lasted ~5y, replaced at jaycar which lasted a disappointing ~2y. They were nowhere near as cheap as i can find on ebay. Leaning towards trying the cheapies, if they last a couple years with no issues I'd consider it a step up at least.
     
    Nasha likes this.
  5. Sunder

    Sunder Member

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    People still use SLA when their original eBike came with SLA. Some are talked out of it by people who have since converted to lithium.

    I suspect if you dynoed pretty much any kit based eBike on the road these days, they'd be a little over 250w... It seems like 1000-3000w seem to be the most common sizes... That keep pedals and try to pretend that they are legal eBikes at least.

    I can understand if you were assembling from 18650s, that the lithium packs wouldn't be cheap. I build using prismatics, as the cost per wh is substantially cheaper.

    Anyway, if Lithium is out, I won't beat a dead horse. Good luck with the purchase. As rireland said, even buying from "reputable" sellers is no guarantee. They might have started out as quality cells, but a year of sulfating sitting on a shelf (assuming they didn't charge minimum once a month), then you could be buying half dead batteries. Same goes for lithium I guess - just to a much lesser degree.
     
    Nasha likes this.
  6. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    I had many Jaycar SLAs through my small UPS, lasted about 3 years but that's mostly because of the UPS not being kind to them.
    For my tiny solar setup I bought a 12V 35AH SunStone through eBay. Three years in gentle use no problem. I also bought a higher capacity set for a 24V mobility scooter and they also seemed just fine. All were bought from lanplus_Australia. Both the vendor and manufacturer certainly seem to have a reputation to uphold.
     
    Nasha likes this.
  7. Technics

    Technics Member

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  8. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    You get what you pay for with batteries, the primary cost of manufacture is the lead, less cost = less lead = less capacity.

    now you need to determine whether the price you are paying is a quality product for a good price, or a cheap product for an overinflated price (jaycar), this is where brand name comes into it.

    I stick with Century brand batteries for my UPS, I have 38 batteries to cover my 5 UPS, not exactly a huge sample size, but the Century batteries last at least 3 years, the no name ones, generally fail after the first power outage (big discharge). if not straight from the shop. they're rubbish.


    If the UPS is a good quality unit, it pays to replace the battereies, if it's a cheapie, go our and buy another new cheapie, the electronics of a cheapie UPS won't last either.

    When shopping for batteries be sure to get deep-cycle batteries, they're more $ again, but are required for a UPS, non-deep-cycle batteries are only 'starter' batteries, designed for short term high current (a shallow discharge), then recharged straight away, not the right usage for a UPS.
     
    Nasha likes this.
  9. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    I get my UPS batts from WES - they do Panasonic gel cells for decent prices. One thing I did with my APC Smart-UPS's was to adjust the charge voltage to a more civilised value - by default they charge at quite a high voltage, I assume to get longer runtime, but it significantly shortens the battery life. Not sure if other UPS brands do this.
     
  10. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Dunno... from my experience, genuine replacement batteries can be had on eBay for less than normal. Maybe not 50%, but still a saving for a genuine or proper OEM product.

    JSmith
     
  11. pinchies

    pinchies Member

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    I get my UPS batteries from LanPlus too- they have an ebay store too, and I my batteries have lasted pretty well for a few years, one has been about 3 years and is due for replacement now. They have a factory in Heidelburg if you want to pickup too.

    Lead Acid is not rocket science ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    Nasha and JSmithDTV like this.
  12. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    Anyone got any info on drop in Lithium replacements for 12v 7Ah SLA batteries to go in a UPS?

    I only just this week picked up 2 batteries from LanPlus to replace the dead ones in a UPS. Did a quick 5 minute look for lithium alternatives but didn't see anything quick and easy and I wasn't spending any effort past that.
     
  13. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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  14. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I'm in the middle of a trial of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries for some remote network sites. the startup cost is a lot higher than lead acid, the cost benefit comes from considerably increased lifespan and reduced maintenance.

    (plus for me a heck of a lot less weight,space and venting requirements, which aren't really applicable to a UPS battery.)

    I replaced my last UPS battery with a generic equivalent VRLA from a local battery supplier at less than a quarter of the cost of the manufacturer approved spare, which nobody had in stock anyway.
     
  15. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    No it's not, it's long been well understood and optimised.

    However, it means the only way to reduce cost is to reduce lead content, which reduces performance.

    So you very much do get what you pay for. and luckily weight is a good indicator of quality.
     
  16. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    don't just replace one, replace them both (all)
    and, look up if you have a warehouse for one of the main battery companies anywhere close, they sell them damn cheap, 7AH standard UPS batteries @~$19 or so each.
    or, ask if they have any out of warranty shelf stock, they keep them charged and it's a bit cheaper again.
     

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