Backup Laptop Power for Power Outages

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Drew1, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    @John Ratsey


    Thanks for that inforamtion with the setting and the enclosure.


    Its one of those cyberpower UPS... have you heard of those? Well the software installation is done through the site such as cyberpower right? They aren't going to send me a cd disk to install right? Because im using a laptop and i dont have a cd drive like most laptops.


    Okay so fully charge it. Then once its charged, then use my laptop while on battery. Then once it hits say 10% battery. Connect it to the ups and use it. And see how long it last right? Now let say im using it the entire time while charging and now my laptop is at 100% battery. Do i continue to use it as is connected while it shows 100% battery like i would when connected to the outlet? Or do i disconnect it from UPS, use it on laptop till it hits 10% again, and then connect back to UPS and do it again? Either way, it should be the same amount of battery right? But almost for sure, the UPS probably would be out of battery already by the time it charges my laptop to 100%? Most likely it might not even charge it to 100% like how my power companion does? Im taking a guess that it would charge my laptop max 2 hours and then it run out of juice... then only power i have left is my laptop battery... does that sound about right? The UPS is 1500va/900w.

    Hey all just received the UPS. I'm looking at the instructions and it says i need to charge it first for 8 hours. I took a look at a video online youtube for my model cyberpower 1500va/900w and a videosay UPS when bought... they are shipped where there is no power at all to prevent it from turning on during shipment. Can someone here confirm this is true for all new UPS bought online?


    Also, the instruction say



    Plug the ups into a 2 pole, 3 wire grounded receptable (wall outlet). Make sure the wall branch out is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker and does not service equipment with large electrical demands... e.g air conditioner, copier etc.




    Okay so i want to make sure of this before i plug it into an outlet.



    I have 2 electric outlets in the wall near my computer desk. I have a surge protector that is connected to one of the outlets. The other outlet is not used at the moment. In that surge protector, i have 2 monitors, laptop charger, modem/router and a landline phone connected to it. I have about 1 outlet that is not used at the moment on the surge protector. Basically everything i have connected is connected to the surge protector.



    So whenever i have to charge my UPS and right now of course to charge it up, do i plug it into the power surge? Or do i plug it into the other wall outlet that i have? Or does it not matter? I was going to connect it to the wall outlet but my concern would be if i connect it to the wall outlet and when its charging... say i have a power outage, would there be risk of damage to the UPS? Or none at all?



    But I then thought plugging it into the surge protector for 8 hours would be better idea because the surge protector protects it? Or is there a risk to connecting the UPS to the power surge because i have a ton of things connected to it? Sorry if this is a dumb question. I don't want to plug it into the wrong outlet and then if something goes wrong, I would not be happy. Once i get an answer, i will connect the UPS for 8 plus hours.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2019
  2. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Fully charge the UPS, plug the computer into it then disconnect the UPS from the mains. The computer will then use the power from the UPS until the UPS shuts down. This shows how much extra run time the UPS can provide. You can do two tests, one with the computer running normally and one with the maximum power savings enabled, so you can see how much difference there is between these two settings. If you first drain the computer battery then plug into the UPS then it's less efficient as some of the power from the UPS will be used to charge the battery which will then be discharged when the UPS shuts down. The "round-tripping" (charge/discharge cycle) is probably around 85% efficient while it's also extra wear on the computer battery.
    If the UPS is this then the batteries are sealed lead-acid and would need to be shipped in a charged state as lead-acid batteries don't like being left discharged. However, they may not be fully charged and hence the advice to fully charge before use. I note that the specification of that Cyberpower UPS is detailed and includes "Runtime at 60W ( min ) 90". This is useful guidance on what you can expect in therms of extra operating time. This means 75Whr usable capacity so it's a bit better than the battery in the computer.
    The UPS includes its own surge protection but there's no harm in plugging it into your existing surge protector provided it can handle the extra power of the UPS. The warning about not using a circuit supplying high power equipment is because such equipment can cause short voltage dips which might then cause the UPS to briefly switch over to battery.

    John
     
  3. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Hey John


    Okay i get the UPS part with the charging. I will try those tests. But you always want me to immediately connect my laptop to the UPS right when laptop battery is 100%? So you are telling me if i use the laptop on battery to 10%, then connect it to UPS and use it while it charges, not only does it wear out the laptop battery... but i will get a lesser charge? Thus i might get a total of 2 hours if i connect it normally but 1h45m if i do it my way... is that what you are saying? Should i try a test on this to see if its the same? This term is called roundtripping? I never heard of this term.


    But i always thought it would be strange just connecting my laptop to UPS or powerbank first when no power... because i always thought best to use laptop battery first. Also its like a psychological thing. Like if i connect my laptop to UPS or powerbank first, then say i get 2 hours or whatever it is... now i know i only have battery left. But if i go on battery, then use it... then close to running out... then connect to UPS... then use it and charging... then it run out... then i go on battery, it feels like i have more battery... does that make sense? Or foolish to think like that?


    Remember with my dell power companion, the test i did was when using it only with my laptop and no monitor connect, i use laptop on battery till like 10%, then connect to it and use it as is. Then it charges while im using it... then once it run out of battery... then i use my laptop on battery etc. So are you saying with my dell power companion, i lose minutes because i do it my way? The use it on battery first till it drains and then connect the power companion to it when its at 10%?


    You say i wear out the battery this way. But isn't this what laptops are meant for? Thus use it on battery and portable? I mean because the way you say this, its like never go on battery unless you have to? Example you are at coffeeshop and your laptop has 100% battery. You will be there for a while. There is an outlet to connect your laptop to. So always connect to it even if you have 100% or close to full?


    This is what i bought

    https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/product/ups/cp1500avrlcd/



    I connected the UPS to the other wall outlet.
     
  4. Porter

    Porter Notebook Virtuoso

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    You will never get back out the full amount of power you used to charge up a battery, so there are losses and that means less run time. Each cycle of the battery is a little bit of wear, yes they are made for it but none will last forever.

    If you run down the UPS batteries first, then switch to the laptop battery you waste zero power on recharging a battery. Also just one cycle for both UPS and the laptop battery.

    If you run down the laptop first, then the UPS to recharge the laptop, then the laptop again, you burn up 2 cycles of your laptop, one for the UPS, and waste heat/energy during the recharging of the laptop battery. The power is limited to the battery capacities and you can't come out ahead no matter how you do it, but can lessen the amount of losses with the order you do it in.
     
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  5. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    My approach would be to leave the laptop plugged into the UPS so the UPS's battery gets drained first. When the UPS shuts down you still have a full laptop battery and a fairly good idea how long it will keep running for. And when that battery is close to empty you'll be warned and, if necessary, the laptop will hibernate to avoid data loss.

    Round-tripping is the process of putting the energy into the battery and then taking it out again. It's likely about 90% efficient at best so not something you want to do when you are trying to conserve power.
    If you are normally running on mains power then it makes sense (to me) to be plugged in to the UPS. Your approach makes sense if you need to be running the laptop on battery for portablity reasons and then the mains power is off when you want to top up the battery.
    I think the Dell Power Companion is intended to be a supplementary battery for use when working away from a mains socket and not intended to be used as a UPS.
    It's a matter of judgement when to run off battery and when to charge. Frequently topping up the battery to 100% will disproportionately increase the wear (much of the wear on the Lithium chemistry occurs at the two ends of the charge range).
    The battery in that UPS is rated as 12V 9Ah = 108Whr. However, I don't think that is all usable capacity as (i) you lose energy as the UPS converts to mains voltage and the computer's PSU converts the mains to DC - perhaps 80% overall efficiency; and (ii) the UPS will probably shut down before the battery is fully drained.

    John
     
  6. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    @Porter


    Thanks for that information. So basically if you connect laptop which is 100% immediately to the UPS or if its already connected to the UPS, that would mean also that i probably will get a little more battery that way as oppose to the way i do it right? So this would the same apply to my dell power companion right? Thus always connect to the UPS or dell power companion first... then just use the entire battery... then use my laptop battery as the final battery right? So basically doing the way you and John suggested... i would even get a bit more battery power when i have no power right?

    @John Ratsey


    Okay i will do that with the UPS. So connect laptop to it immediately if power outage or have it connected already to UPS. So you suggest doing this with the dell power companion as well right?


    The power companion, i do not plug it into UPS. I bought that not that long ago and that was only backup battery i had. Now i have a UPS. So you suggest with the dell companion, connect it to my laptop the moment i run out of power like the UPS right?


    Now here is the thing. Since i have companion now and UPS... which one do you suggest i use first?


    Example, im on laptop. Power goes out. Previously what i did was use my laptop on battery for 1h15m. Then connect to power companion once im low in battery. Then i use it as i normally would and then it takes 1h45m to charge before it runs out of power. Of course i dont have full charge on my battery as the companion doesn't do whole thing. So by now, its 3 hours... and i only have my laptop battery left. I would have about 45m or so. At this point im doing my thing but have to figure out to get to a coffeeshop or something so i can connect to a power outlet. And of course chance they have no power either because here... if no power.. good chance most places have no power. But let say i continue to use laptop till battery goes out. Then i would go to a coffeeshop and connect my adapter to outlet. But when i do this, im not sure if you heard of this or not, but you could connect the laptop ac adapter to the power companion and connect that to the laptop. Did you know this? So when you do this, not only can you continue doing your thing... it would charge both the laptop battery and the power companion at the same time. But someone tells me it first charges so and so... then the other thing. I assume it first charges the laptop battery first right? Then the power companion? So let say after a few hours, both are fully charged. That would mean i know i have about 3h45m of backup or a bit more right since well that estimated time was me doing it the wrong way of letting laptop battery run low before connecting to power companion?


    So now in my situation with UPS and power companion. This is what you suggest i do right? First connect fully charged laptop to UPS if i have not already. Use the UPS battery until it runs out. Then connect my power companion to my laptop. Use it until i run out of battery. Then finally use my laptop battery for the 1h15m or so right? Then go to coffeeshop and when i do obviously bring the companion with me so i can fully charge that and my laptop battery at once in an outlet right?









    You say

    If you are normally running on mains power then it makes sense (to me) to be plugged in to the UPS. Your approach makes sense if you need to be running the laptop on battery for portablity reasons and then the mains power is off when you want to top up the battery.



    I"m bit confused with what you mean here.


    Well I almost never bring my laptop outside or do anything outside with my laptop. Only reason is if im doing my thing and there is power outage and i have no more power backup. My laptop is charged to a power surge always 100% when im doing my thing in my apartment. So basically right now, there is not really a difference of having everything connected to the UPS or power surge right? Only difference is make sure the UPS is always fully charged 100%. And say i just leave it under my desk, well i just connect my laptop charger from the power surge and plug it to UPS and thats the same thing right?


    Well i rarely if ever run my laptop on battery. If im doing my thing... its always plugged in. Well my laptop is charged fully to the outlet 100%. You say that wears out of the battery. Someone mentioned a while back you charge it fully if you using it like a desktop which i do... but they say make the max battery 90% ... that way it makes the laptop battery last longer. That is true right? So most ppl do this to make battery last longer? The only negative thing of me doing this is if there is power outage, now i lose a few minutes of backup since unplugging it.. i have less percentage. But what i notice was the moment i unplug the adapter from my laptop, back then it was 100% or 99% battery. Now its more like 95% or so. That is because battery is starting to wear out right?


    Well the UPS is still good right? This was the highest available VA UPS available.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2019
  7. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Yes. :)
    If you keep the UPS plugged into the mains then it will keep itself fully charged and ready for a mains power outage.
    I've got my XPS15's battery set to maximum 85% charge as it's usually plugged in to a reliable mains supply but in your situation I would make it a bit higher. However, it's the big battery so the impact on battery time of not having it fully charged is less.
    Unfortunately, VA isn't a reliable indicator of your need, which is Watt-hours. You only need about 150VA output to match the rating of of XPS's PSU (and you should be trying to minimise the power drain when the mains is off). You've bought a UPS which could power ten XPS 15's at full load, albeit for a few minutes so you've paid extra for the higher rated power conversion electronics. The ideal UPS for your needs would have a relatively low power rating but several internal batteries so it can deliver that power for longer. (Thought: Is there room to add another battery inside the UPS?).

    Anyway, it's time to see how long the UPS will power your computer but also don't forget you should be able to reduce the power drain using my suggestions made previously.

    John
     
  8. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks a lot for all that information man.
     
  9. Maleko48

    Maleko48 Notebook Evangelist

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    If you are looking for the most energy-dense backup power system I would recommend DIY with electric automotive cells like here:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-5-N...AOSwjoFcEZUS:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!32909!US!-1

    That will beat out solar + SLA car battery arrays, 18650 lithium packs, etc.

    As a bonus, they are easily maintained should a cell go bad due to their mechanical interconnects via drilled bus bars, rather than soldered nickel tabs like traditional 18650 packs- mechanical connections also makes them more modular too in terms of voltages.

    You could likely salvage the power handling board out of a bad UPC pack where the cells themselves went bad but the main board is still fine if you intend to power multiple 120VAC items - this however is not as efficient as if you used the pack as a dedicated laptop-only power supply that supplied your laptop's mainboard the 18VDC it needs directly- when used in that format it could keep your laptop running for quite a long time compared to pretty much all other solutions.

    3 Nissan Leaf modules = 6 cells = 25.2 VDC when fully charged and 21.9 VDC when drained = 440 Wh (far more than any 18650 lithium packs you will find)

    (most laptop mainboards require 18VDC)

    Your laptop's power requirements would be a trickle compared to what these cells are built for so the cells would last a long time if voltages are managed carefully.

    SEE ALSO:

    https://www.hybridautocenter.com/HA...me=58ah-nissan-leaf-battery-module&Itemid=605

    http://www.ev-propulsion.com/EV-calculations.html


    $0.02
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  10. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Maleko thanks for that information. But the big question is... can you leave these things inside my studio apartment? If not, then i cannot do this.


    Now could i store it in like a place like a room but its hot inside etc? Or is that not safe? Then take it out when an outage and then bring it in my studio apartment and then use it?


    Because if i cannot do this... then there is no use for it. I want to be able to store it inside and use it inside when necessary. Again, i rarely would use it much.
     
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