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  UPS That Does NOT Use a Rechargeable Battery? 
 Date Written 
john albrich Oct 26, 2010, 06:55am EDT Report Abuse
First off...yes, I know I could design and build my own UPS from scratch based on my specs, and yes I could hack an existing design...but due to constant severe pain (with requisite meds) and ongoing degeneration of my vision, it's harder to work on circuits, and...I'm just getting lazier.

Does anyone know of any decent UPS that either:

A) Does NOT use a rechargeable battery (In other words, I can make an high-capacity alkaline battery pack, connect it to the UPS, and then except for routine periodic UPS tests FORGET about the battery itself for the next 6-8 years (unless there is an extended AC mains power failure, or multiple short-term failures))

B) If the UPS does use a rechargeable battery, it allows you to turn-off/disable any "battery recharging" mode (effectively allowing you to select between using a rechargeable battery and a non-rechargeable battery)?

I've searched and come up with nothing that fits the need.

Note: I do NOT mind scheduling my own periodic manual battery/UPS tests because I have to do those anyway...I NEVER assume the UPS will adequately perform that critical task for me.

I see two main problems with rechargeable units in these days of heightened eco-awareness:
1) The useful life expectancy of a lead-acid/gel-cell rechargeable battery pack in a UPS application is about 3 years
At which time you must replace the lead-acid/gel cell battery pack...with the attendant disposal issues and the $25-$40 cost of the replacement pack (likely to go up in the next 2 years. During that 2-3 year period, the actual run-time of the battery pack decreases substantially. So while you might start with 10 minutes of run-time, by the 3rd year you've only got 5 minutes of run-time...and perhaps less, depending on the battery pack and on the "intelligence" of the UPS' recharging circuit. And even the most intelligent units don't keep the battery pack from seriously degrading over that time period.

The consequence of that is if you don't have any extended power failures during that time, you end up "wasting" the battery pack for nothing (and needlessly adding to landfill or eco-disposal issues)

If the UPS used an alkaline pack instead of the lead-acid pack, the battery would last at pretty damn close to full-capacity for 6 years or more. And, you could still run regular UPS tests during the time-frame to ensure the sub-system was functional.

2) The UPS initiates and keeps a "float" charge on the battery pack, OR the UPS conducts periodic automatic tests and then initiates a re-charge cycle because the designers assume the battery requires it.
Either way, it means I can't just connect a non-rechargeable pack

Or, IF such an UPS doesn't exist, does anyone know of any UPS unit for which someone has already "hacked" the circuit design (and/or "PIC" coding) and disabled and/or bypassed the recharging and automatic test circuits?...So that a non-rechargeable battery can be attached without causing any problems? (or, if the automatic tests aren't disabled/bypassed, the frequency of tests is at least significantly reduced from say daily/weekly to monthly)

The replacement cost of an battery pack comprised of alkaline cells is less than or very competitive with the equivalent Amp-hour rated lead-acid/gel-cell battery pack.

Note: in this application, I think the internal resistance differences between non-rechargeable alkaline cells and rechargeable lead-acid cells would not be a major issue in powering a typical UPS.



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