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Really considering getting an UPS for this sole reason

Hello guys,

 

So I'm really considering getting an UPS for my devices for this sole reason: the power outages in this part of my street are getting out of hand, I'm not even joking to say that in the past 4 years that I've moved here, the power went out for about 40 times (an average of 10 per year). It's extremely annoying, the blackout doesn't even last that long (an 1hr blackout is rather rare).

 

So basically I'm thinking of getting an UPS that can get me through the short power outage. Now I'll list what I will be plugging in it and give a rough estimate on a typical power usage of each device:

  • My desktop PC: this will consume the most power, and I'll be conservative and say at around 200W doing nothing much (I just browse the internet and listening to music mostly)
    • Ryzen 5 3700X: rated at 65W, lets say 50W
    • RTX 2080S rated at 250W, let's say 50-100W (I won't game on it during the outage, nor do anything gpu intensive, Youtube might be the most intensive case here)
    • The rest of the components: 50-100W
    • I don't know if it's relevant, but here's the power supply: Seasonic GX 750W
  • PC Monitor: LG 32GK650G-B let's say 50W (using at 30% brightness)
  • Sound system: Microlab H200 2.1 let's say another 50W (using it at half % volume)

I won't be using a power strip, so that I won't add more inefficiencies.

 

This adds up to around 400W and using the 50%+ rule, (as I've read) I'll need a minimum of a 600-700 VA UPS. The one I'll be most comfortable would be @ 1000VA but searching for one I realized that the runtime (regardless of % usage) varies wildly.

 

Runtime: 1 hour of runtime is perfect for me, if the outage takes longer, I'll just shut down everything.

 

Do you find this as a valid reason to invest in an UPS ? Let me hear your opinions and some UPS suggestion and I'll be forever grateful (and maybe a quick explanation on what to look for in a UPS)

 

Thanks.

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How do you plan on accessing Internet when your router/switch has no power? Or what do you plan doing during the blackout?

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UPS' are not designed to allow you to continue to work or use the computer. They are designed to give you enough time to save what you are doing and shut the computer down safely in the event of a power outage, so I think you have the wrong idea as to what UPS' are used for. 

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6 minutes ago, jj9987 said:

How do you plan on accessing Internet when your router/switch has no power? Or what do you plan doing during the blackout?

I'll use USB tethering from my phone. As I said, just doing some internet stuff, reading, chatting, watching some yt, listening to music.

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3 minutes ago, SpookyCitrus said:

UPS' are not designed to allow you to continue to work or use the computer. They are designed to give you enough time to save what you are doing and shut the computer down safely in the event of a power outage, so I think you have the wrong idea as to what UPS' are used for. 

Yes I know what UPS are mostly used for, but I only need like 40-60 mins tops 🙃 @ 300-400W load

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You want a Battery like Tesla has, not a UPS.

 

https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

 

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Just now, Dedayog said:

You want a generator, not a UPS.

Ok cool, so basically there won't be a UPS to satisfy my needs? 

 

PS: i'm open to discussion, so for everyone just state your mind. That's why I made this thread to see if I really need one or not.

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3 minutes ago, Răzvan Botea said:

Ok cool, so basically there won't be a UPS to satisfy my needs? 

 

PS: i'm open to discussion, so for everyone just state your mind. That's why I made this thread to see if I really need one or not.

Well there will, but they would need to be so large as to be as expensive as a home battery solution.

 

As above said, a UPS is to handle spikes and flickers of power loss.  Most are good for a few minutes of power to shut down safely, saving your stuff.

 

If you want to actually work thru an outage of 10 minutes to 1 hour... you'll need to invest.

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Just now, Dedayog said:

Well there will, but they would need to be so large as to be as expensive as a home battery solution.

 

As above said, a UPS is to handle spikes and flickers of power loss.  Most are good for a few minutes of power to shut down safely, saving your stuff.

 

If you want to actually work thru an outage of 10 minutes to 1 hour... you'll need to invest.

Oh, ok. So a $300 1000VA UPS won't cut it ? I wish I had the opportunity to try one (not a SH one mind you).

 

Also the tesla powerwall that you linked 🤣 states 7KWh of energy (or in broad terms, it would last around 1 hour at a load of 7000W). But I'm not an electrician and I might be gravely mistaken. In terms of energy, 400Wh would suffice in my use case.

 

But in any case, I think I got the general ideea. Thanks for your input.

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30 minutes ago, Răzvan Botea said:

Yes I know what UPS are mostly used for, but I only need like 40-60 mins tops 🙃 @ 300-400W load

Again, that's not how they work. UPS backups are not for using the computer after a power outage, they supply enough power to the computer for a few minutes to make sure the computer is shutdown properly and work is saved. You're not understanding that what you want to do is something they are NOT designed to do. UPS' are designed to run computers and equipment of certain wattages for only 5 to 10 minutes. You're not going to get anymore than that out of one. If you buy a high enough wattage you may be able get a few more than 10 minutes but even a high end 1000va plus UPS isn't going to work how you want it to. You essentially need to get a generator for what you're wanting it to do, maybe invest in some solar power.

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Just now, SpookyCitrus said:

Again, that's not how they work. UPS backups are not for using the computer after a power outage, they supply enough power to the computer for a few minutes to make sure the computer is shutdown properly and work is saved. You're not understanding that what you want to do is not something they are NOT designed to do. UPS' are designed to run computers and equipment of certain wattages for only 5 to 10 minutes. You're not going to get anymore than that out of one. If you buy a high enough wattage you may be able get a few more than 10 minutes but even a high end 1000va plus UPS isn't going to work how you want it to. You essentially need to get a generator for what you're wanting it to do, maybe invest in some solar power.

Ok thanks man. Looks like my "calculations" were out of whack. So it's no-no.

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5 minutes ago, Răzvan Botea said:

Ok thanks man. Looks like my "calculations" were out of whack. So it's no-no.

Right, and to put it into comparison, a 1500VA unit at $200 can provide the following:

 

That may be enough for you, depending on what you're doing. But if you want internet and all that, take into account the load of the modem/router too.

 

image.png.3950cc491fce4edc656521cb4eec3894.png

 

https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/tripp-lite-ups-1500va-810w-battery-back-up-tower-lcd-usb-120v-energy-star-v20-ups-810-watt-1500-va/apd/a6964424/power-cooling-data-center-infrastructure?gacd=9646510-1025-5761040-266794296-0&dgc=st&ds_rl=1282786&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkIGKBhCxARIsAINMioJXJXoJferkx0o3sBmi_0eQupVtlTmXvtAqML5aCJQ3pOcAvwPfsTwaAoatEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&nclid=arawzlLbNfoJ5dQHsZIf1lSjyx2p6mEVxrZF3ZszrJJA_15S0XXPRUb33jFzTKQy

 

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46 minutes ago, Răzvan Botea said:

a minimum of a 600-700 VA UPS

And a pack of batteries the size of a fridge if you want it to run for an hour.

 

You'll need an UPS and a generator for that, but if you're going to use for 1 hour it'd be a total waste of money imo

48 minutes ago, Răzvan Botea said:

in the past 4 years that I've moved here, the power went out for about 40 times (an average of 10 per year). It's extremely annoying, the blackout doesn't even last that long (an 1hr blackout is rather rare).

That's cute. Back in 2018 we had no power for 38 days straight because of a storm, fortunately the generator was more than enough to keep everything needed running, not much though, just some lights, the fridge and my computer. Summer's coming where I live and that means weekly outages and daily brownouts, the kind that can wreck appliances that aren't protected by an AVR or breaker, now that's annoying. Lost a fridge and 2 (really cheap) power supplies to those.

 

To give you an idea the kind of generator we have can output a total of 20A and runs on propane, a small tank (about 35 lb) lasts for16 hours and the engine can run non-stop given it has enough cooling, oil and some maintenance, we might use it for 6 or 8 hours max though.

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you'll have a shot if you buy a 5000va UPS.

 

Of course you're dropping well over a grand at that point.

 

Here's a 1500va from APC, that says it'll do 24 minutes at 300W

 

https://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/products/1500VA-Gaming-Back-UPS-Pure-Sinewave-3-USB-charging-ports/P-BGM1500

 

That being said, YES you should buy a UPS.  If you blackout that much, I imagine you're getting much more frequent brownouts.  A UPS will help keep that from hosing your computer.

 

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I have a couple of these:

 

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/qvVBD3/cyberpower-cp1500pfclcd-ups-cp1500pfclcd

 

...on the each of the two PCs in my sig and another smaller UPS on my router/modem/NAS. My wife works from home, so these are handy for when brown outs or short power outs during storms would otherwise cause her a lot of trouble.

 

There have been several occasions when I have simply not stopped gaming during short <5 min. power outages. If just browsing the web, I could get maybe 20-30 minutes of use which corresponds to the chart above. It's funny when I'll be chatting on Discord and say something like, "huh, I think the power just went out." I'm sure that's confusing for some people since I'm still talking to them...

 

Even if it doesn't last you for the full hour you need, I think getting a UPS or two can still take a lot of the frustration and worry out of the equation, and still has other benefits, too. Plus it sounds like most of your power outs are short like mine, so it'll likely last through the bulk of them, but not the hour long ones.

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1 hour ago, tkitch said:

you'll have a shot if you buy a 5000va UPS.

 

Of course you're dropping well over a grand at that point.

 

Here's a 1500va from APC, that says it'll do 24 minutes at 300W

 

https://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/products/1500VA-Gaming-Back-UPS-Pure-Sinewave-3-USB-charging-ports/P-BGM1500

 

That being said, YES you should buy a UPS.  If you blackout that much, I imagine you're getting much more frequent brownouts.  A UPS will help keep that from hosing your computer.

 

Thanks a lot guys for your insight. Now I'm further convinced that my "calculations" are wrong (I was assuming that the relationship between runtime and VA rating of the UPS would be liniar; eg: 1000VA ups supplying 400W would last about an hour, 400W in 60m would be 400Wh (1000VA in the UPS world is about 500Wh, or in other words, keep a computer @ 500W alive for an hour or so))

 

Now reading this, I'm much more happy with a rating of 20mins for a 300-400W load, just have to take into account the price and decide whether it's worth it for my needs.

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1 hour ago, Dedayog said:

Thanks for the input. If may, I can reduce the power consumption by just having the PC and my monitor plugged in (still at around 200-300W). I can tackle the rest (internet and external speaker; eg: usb tethering from my phone & using a BT speaker, but I have to buy a wireless card for my pc, which is in the realm of doable)

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1 hour ago, Caroline said:

And a pack of batteries the size of a fridge if you want it to run for an hour.

 

You'll need an UPS and a generator for that, but if you're going to use for 1 hour it'd be a total waste of money imo

Holy crap I think I realized why my "calculations" were wrong all the time. So the VA (and to some extend the power W) is just a measure of how much it can output, BUT there's no measure of energy capacity in the product's datasheet; eg: 1000VA UPS can give you about 800W but because of the energy density (or no. of batteries) it can die out pretty soon; now the same 1000VA UPS can give you more runtime because if it has more/bigger batteries (energy density is increased).

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7 hours ago, Răzvan Botea said:

Yes I know what UPS are mostly used for, but I only need like 40-60 mins tops 🙃 @ 300-400W load

I know people who modify their UPS to do this. Normally the higher VA ones use two 12V 7.2Ah SLA batteries to give a theoretical 172.8 Wh. That is not much only 26 minutes maximum, and lead acid batteries drop in voltage very quickly once partially discharged. 

 

To overcome this limitation, they connect a much larger lead acid battery, such as a car battery which has up to 75Ah for a large car battery. That gives you 900 Wh, enough to run for 1 hour at 400W.

 

Disclaimer: Tampering with your UPS in this way voids the warranty, and the use of lead acid batteries indoors in your study is not recommended at all due to safety reasons of acid and outgassing.

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7 hours ago, Răzvan Botea said:

I'll use USB tethering from my phone. As I said, just doing some internet stuff, reading, chatting, watching some yt, listening to music.

If that's all you are doing wouldn't it make more sense to buy a cheap second hand laptop or tablet instead? Or just use your mobile phone.

A UPS would still be a good idea for your desktop if you're facing frequent power outages but it doesn't really seem like you need to be on your desktop PC during those times. 

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