OK to keep a UPS with sealed lead-acid battery in the car boot?

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Scootre, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Scootre

    Scootre Member

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    I have a UPS with a sealed lead acid battery. I was wondering about having it in the boot on my car for when I'm out on photography trips to charge camera batteries, torch batteries, drone batteries, iPad, phone etc, when the car is parked.

    What are the risks, if any, especially when the car is parked in the sun? The battery within is a sealed lead-acid 12V/7AH and weights about 2Kg.
     
  2. power

    power Member

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    needs to be firmly secured, otherwise yeah nbd.

    just think of it like a car battery. if you were in an accident what would happen to it.

    if you are leaving it there permanently it will need ventilation.
     
  3. cmi83

    cmi83 Member

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    If you google the battery info + msds, from what I can see they have very high heat tolerance. So as long as it is mounted properly (vertically/secured) it should be fine

    *Edit - as power mentioned, maybe stop in at an Auto Elec and ask how the rear mounted batteries are normally ventilated..?
     
  4. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Just get yourself a little sine wave inverter and run it directly from your car battery. Unless that ups is gigantic, the internal batteries wont be up to what you are asking anyway.
     
  5. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    This!

    And also don't forget that some of the listed usage needs can be met with 12v ciggie lighter adaptors too. Inverter will run the charger for batteries, but iPad phone etc can be done just by plugging into the vehicle.
     
  6. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Was it me, by the way, I'd simply purchase additional rechargeable batteries, charge them up at home in preparation, and carry adequate spare ready-charged replacements when I'm out and about in the field.

    That's how we operate when travelling in caravan and spending lengths of time off-grid using solar. Rather than the overhead of running inverter for several hours to recharge a set of batteries, we just have numerous sets ready, and do the re-charging during our occasional stops in powered sites from place to place.
     
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  7. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    As covered above, look for 12v charging options, carry more batteries, they'll be more efficient than running a UPS (or just an inverter) converting 12v to 240v, then the charger turning it back down to ?v for each charger.

    Also, many UPS won't start cold/offline (i.e. they're built to provided continued power, not provided power where there is none), many of the high end UPS can be configured to start cold.

    tl;dr; you're doing this wrong, get 12v chargers.
     
  8. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Not only that, but you would have to lug this thing back out of the car to charge it, and it will also run pretty warm in the boot, reducing battery life further.

    Either get 12 volt chargers for your gear, or use a pure sine wave inverter, do not use a modified square wave one. UPS's under 300-400 dollars are also modified square wave usually and will murder some charging units. Been there, done that, killed a laptop charger with a MSW inverter.
     
  9. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    12v laptop charger is the go. We have two multi-tip units and use one for each laptop.
     
  10. money_killer

    money_killer Member

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    heat kills batteries. make sure its also secure
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Scootre

    Scootre Member

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    Hi Guys

    Thanks for all the reponses. I should have been clearer... I want to stick it in the boot with my camera gear luggage and then plug stuff into it when I'm parked and not driving anywhere... out in the scrub. That said, I'd forgot to consider a pure sine wave unit. I have my big iMac at home on a PS unit forn the reasons cited here.

    I've certainly got a number of cig lighter style and USB charging points in the SUV. But I'm only needing to do this when the car is parked and I'm out in the scrub shooting (pics) and I need to charge my spare camera and drone batteries. I imagine it'd be OK for that?
     
  12. SLIMaxPower

    SLIMaxPower Member

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    I wouldn't be risking using your car battery with an inverter.
    Using an inverter with a vehicle generally best works from a dual battery setup - this saves your cranking battery.
     
  13. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Yep, there's that of course.

    I still wouldn't be trying UPS in the car. Running on battery, they're essentially just an inverter running from a smaller battery anyways, and a thing designed to keep equipment running for a short period of time. They're not really something designed to provided sustained power output over lengthy periods of time.

    As said above, it'd be better to simply carry an adequate supply of ready-charged replacement batteries in the car.
     
  14. OP
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    Scootre

    Scootre Member

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    OK, so I need to ascertain how long to charge the batteries I have using the UPS method and how many I can do. The practicality of doing it in the car is that I can charge stuff during the day a d get a number of opportunities to swap over batteries, instead of charging batteries at night in a motel room and then getting up at 2am to swap stuff over.

    I already have a spare UPS which means I don't have to buy a bunch of spare batteries at $60+ each and extra mains chargers to charge them. I can do that any time I like.

    This may or may not be practical, so I just need to try it all out and see. But you've all answered my main concerns about carrying the UPS in the boot on a hot day.

    Cheers.
     
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  15. cozbert

    cozbert Member

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    I wouldn't be too worried about the battery, but i would suspect that the UPS would die fairly quickly from vibration as the electronics aren't designed for vibration like a vehicle inverters.
     
  16. james150

    james150 Member

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    Look at actual 12V accessory chargers.
    It avoids the 240v step up and step down which will chew through the majority of battery life.
    I have a jumpstarter which has a 12v outlet on it which I use when I go camping to charge my laptop and phone.
     
  17. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    I'd be having a close and analytical look at that. I'd also be trying, if possible, to determine the amp/hour rating of the UPS battery. It'll be a lead/acid battery, which means the more times you deep-discharge it the shorter its life will be. Lead/acid batteries shouldn't really be discharged to less than about 70% capacity or thereabouts. (That's amps, not volts. )

    There are online calculators available to help work out how much power draw your usage will consume, and how much storage capacity is best for meeting needs.
     
  18. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    The problem here as already suggested is the mains camera battery chargers aren't very efficient and inverters aren't either when lightly loaded. To top that off most camera battery chargers do take a while to do a full charge.

    Following on from that I'd really suggest looking at the 3rd party chargers that run off 12V. I picked up one on eBay years ago. Came complete with a set of adaptor plates for just about every camera battery. Only used it to charge the Sony NP-9XX batteries without any dramas at all.
    I'd also add SLAs don't like heat. I killed one in 18 months. It's replacement has already lasted twice as long thanks to it being out of direct sunlight. There almost certainly are SLAs that will tolerate heat better but don't assume every SLA will appreciate being toasted every day.
     
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  19. mtma

    mtma Member

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    The UPS may also be built in a way that isn't robust against vibrations. It might be sufficient to survive being transported, but it could very well be unsuitable for long term use there.
     
  20. Privatteer

    Privatteer Member

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    You will kill the batteries in the UPS as well fairly fast. They are designed for the occasional outage and thus draw the battery down quite low. Repeatably running it down will significantly shorten the lifespan.
     

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