UPS Battery Mod - Mini Worklog

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by MorTus, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    My friend works in IT and replaced an IBM 1000THV UPS (APC Smart UPS 1000VA rebadged) for a client. The only thing wrong with it was the batteries were stuffed, however, replacement batteries from APC are about the same cost as a new UPS and the UPS comes with a new 1 year warrenty so clients just opt for the new item.

    So, more to the point, I received this poor unloved UPS. Now, the APC Smart UPS 1000 and 1500 use the same chassis and as far as I can tell use the same electronics. The only difference are the batteries, so instead of replacing the RBC6 battery pack with generics, I will be replacing it with RBC7 generics.

    APC Smart UPS 1000Va Specs
    APC Smart UPS 1500Va Specs

    The RBC6 battery pack is made up of 2x 12V 12Ah batteries, these are the Jaycar generics: Jaycar SB2489

    [​IMG]

    The RBC7 battery pack is made up of 2x 12V 18Ah batteries, these are the Jaycar generics: Jaycar SB2490

    [​IMG]

    Now notice that the connectors for the RBC6 and RBC7 are different. So I will be replacing the standard connectors. Also note that the APC batteries are linked with a fuse, I will be using the fuse from my old battery pack.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  2. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    UPS Mod Continued...

    So without further delay here is my mini worklog.

    [​IMG]

    Materials:
    IBM UPS 1000THV (Rebadged APC Smart UPS 1000) - Free
    New 12V 18Ah batteries - $149.90
    1m each of 12AWG red and black wire - $4.40
    A pack of ring crips - $2.75
    2 way auto connector - $3.95

    Total Cost: $161.00

    Tools:
    Multimeter
    Crimping Tool
    Screw Driver
    OCAU mug with fresh brew of coffee
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  3. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    Sweet, looks the goods! Will keep an eye on this because I'm going to have to replace my Powerware 5110 UPS batteries sometime in the next 18-24 months or so.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    I nearly forgot ...

    GENERAL DISCLAIMER: Follow this guide at your own risk, I don't accept any liability for you blowing up your UPS, frying your computer or burning down your house.

    High Voltage Warning: A UPS has components inside that run at 240V and certain items such as capacitors can hold their charge even once mains power is removed. The device should be left for at least 1 hr before dismantling to allow capacitors to discharge

    Now that we got that over and done with...

    Carefully pop off the front panel.
    [​IMG]

    Unscrew the battery panel.
    [​IMG]

    Slide out the old batteries.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the difference is battery size. These new batteries should give me 50% more run time that the old ones.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    The next step is to remove the small battery runners as these will prevent the larger batteries sliding in.
    [​IMG]

    Remove the 6 screws at the bottom to remove the main cover. Note: At this point you may be exposing yourself to high voltages.
    [​IMG]

    Unscrew and remove the runners.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the extra space and the clear path for the larger batteries which now takes up the full height of the UPS.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    Now we need to build a new battery pack by linking the two batteries in series, this will give 24V and 18Ah.

    Remove the fuse unit from the old battery pack.
    [​IMG]

    Strip and crimp round connectors on the ends.
    [​IMG]

    The batteries need to face each other to allow them to be easily wired in series. The fuse unit is installed between the +pos terminal on one battery and the -neg terminal on the other battery.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    Now to replace connector on the UPS, simply cut back the wires and crimp on the new 2-way automotive connector. Remember this needs to be the male connector.
    [​IMG]

    I then installed the batteries for a test fit and to measure up the final connecting lead.
    [​IMG]

    I made up a lead using the 12AWG wire, the female 2-way automotive connector and the round crimp connectors. Note, that I have left plenty of length to allow for easy installation and removal of the battery pack.
    [​IMG]

    And here is the battery pack all ready to go. I have also added some additional electrical tape on the terminals to pervent any accidental short circuits.
    [​IMG]

    The battery pack is now ready to be installed. Again, note the length of cable allows for easy install.
    [​IMG]

    The battery pack fits in nicely with enough room on top for the fuse unit and excess cable.
    [​IMG]

    Then simply replace the main cover, battery cover and front face plate.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    The UPS all running again. Its running around 50% load.
    [​IMG]

    And on battery (orange light). I ran a full drain test (battery down to 15%) and it lasted 31mins 35secs. Not too bad for a computer running an Intel Core Dual 3Ghz, AMD 4870, 10 Hard Drives and a 24" monitor.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  9. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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    I especially like the part about the coffee, yum.
     
  10. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    I wish my UPSs had room inside for bigger batteries.

    Got two MGE PulsarEX 1500VA units. each has 7x 12V 7AH SLAs in series for 84V.
     
  11. DJ_Hippster

    DJ_Hippster Member

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    hahahahaha.

    You know, I just purchased 4x 18aH batteries just like that, to put into my APC SC1000 and SUA1000, same chassis and situation you have done.

    Very easy mod this one, and gives great results!
     
  12. Renza

    Renza Member

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    is it possible to have larger batteries and have them externally mounted?

    also, what about multiple smaller batteries mounted in series externally?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  13. the Fan-Man

    the Fan-Man Member

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    i did that with a 1500VA APC unit...

    the only problem is, that it didnt like being run for over 20 mins. so the extra battery didnt really do much in terms of extra power. the voltage fluctuated and cut off with 2 short beeps at a time (overheat) - mind you my load is only about 4A (250v). (2 of 5 load LEDs on the front panel)

    keep in mind that UPSs are designed to give backup power in case of failure, enough that there is time to safely shutdown a unit or wave a cycle of power. they arent designed for continuous supply of power ;)

    >> thats the mod i did, ill post pics when i can pull the unit out of the rack.
     
  14. DJ_Hippster

    DJ_Hippster Member

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    Yeah a friend has 4x 40aH batteries sitting in his cupboard below his APC SC1500, all it means is you get longer run time on existing loads. You cannot increase the load beyond the original specs of the UPS as the circuitry is not designed for more, but you can certainly increase run time :)
     
  15. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    You certainly can, it's advisable to increase the size of the wire, as the long run will have increased resistance (thicker wire has less).

    A long run of thin wire, may in extreme circumstances be a fire hazard.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    MorTus

    MorTus Member

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    If you do go down the route of external batteries you need to keep in mind that the UPS still needs to charge them.

    I have gone a 50% increase in this mod, but I think alot of the components in the APC 1000 are the same as the 1500.

    I wouldn't advise going much more than that, yes you will gain more up time, but you will also increase you charging load / time.

    From the logs on my UPS the temperature of the UPS does go up a fair bit whilst re-charging the batteries. In my case from ~27 degrees to ~37 degrees.
     
  17. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Just a tip. Best place I've found for buying SLAs is Master Instruments. They stock a very good range at a good price.
     
  18. digizone

    digizone Member

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    Thanks for the post and PIC's! I too am considering this with an old 1400 APC UPS. Mine's the 2RU model. It has 4 x 12v 7-8ah batteries. So two banks of 24v go into the anderson plug that connects to the unit.

    I seached an came up with this interesting blog. explains how to recalibrate the UPS after adding extra capacity. That part is in page 13 of 15.

    http://www.aoaforums.com/frontpage/content/view/673/30/

    You require the serial cable to do it. I hope this helps.
     
  19. Oosh

    Oosh Member

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  20. seb

    seb Member

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    + for Dan's.

    He notes that some UPSes may throw an error if the extra batteries take too long to charge. Depends on the smarts inside the UPS battery charging controller.

    Otherwise just go ghetto:

    http://www.dansdata.com/diyups.htm
     

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