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I have this UPS configured with six (yes, six) expansion battery packs. All batteries are fresh and test good. The connected load is very low (under 100 watts typical). Using their monitoring software, everything appears to be in order for it to run for 1,483 minutes, or roughly 24 hours. When I use the the run time calculator, where it actually runs on batteries, everything behaves as it should. I've gotten about 7 hours of run time before I canceled the test with plenty of battery capacity still showing.

The problem is that when there's a real power outage, it only runs for about ten minutes and then shuts down hard. No warning, no nothing. I know that there are several settings to allow the shutdown of connected equipment via RS232 command. I've suspected that one of these settings is what's causing this shutdown, and it has nothing to do with battery capacity left. I can't figure out which one it is. Yes, I know that this equipment is old and yes, I know that the PowerChute software is antiquated. Still, it's good equipment and works perfectly otherwise. Any ideas?

Oh, and yes, I have contacted APC, well now it's Schneider Electric. All they want to do, in their most pleasant forced sales pitch voice from a three-ring binder, is to sell me their latest and greatest. They offer no actual technical support whatsoever.


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Hi Ed,

Is it worth making any sort of comment on their company forum?

https://forums.apc.com/


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What it's model number?

Are you pulling the power during your test?


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Those things are made so cheap that it doesn't even pay to replace the batteries. Once they start having problems it's time to replace. Nobody, including the manufacturer, supports them. Used to spend time prying swollen gel-cells out only to find that the thing cooked them when charging. Decided a long time ago, if the UPS doesn't work tell the customer that they have to replace it. Don't waste your time.

-Hal

Last edited by hbiss; 05/28/20 09:52 PM.

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Ed, real silly question, but I've done this. Are the expansion packs all connected in series and not parallel. And are the plastic covers off on the battery leads

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For clarification, HERE IS AN ILLUSTRATION OF THIS SYSTEM to show how the main unit and external battery pack cabinets are connected. Although they daisy-chain together, the design ensures that each pack provides 24 volts output, with each pack connected to the others in parallel.

@Ken: These battery packs have connector cables to link them together. They can't be connected any way except the correct way.

@Hal: This is a real UPS, not the disposable type. It is intended for enterprise-type installations where battery replacement is the only maintenance.

@Patrick: It's an APC SU1000XL, with six external SU24XLBP battery packs. During the calibration test, no, I am not pulling the power. It remains connected to AC power, as well as the connected load. This is a normal test utility used to determine the capacity of the system in real time. It is during a real AC power outage that it behaves differently than what the run time calibration test indicates.

@Dean: No, I have not checked with their forum, but that's a great idea. I'll give that a go.

I'm sure that this issue has to do with the settings in the PowerChute software because I had this problem before and I was able to correct it via the settings. I just can't remember which setting it was and I'm not getting any younger!


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@Hal: This is a real UPS, not the disposable type. It is intended for enterprise-type installations where battery replacement is the only maintenance.

Nahh, I just looked at it. Just because it's big doesn't attest to the quality of which APC isn't known for. The only maintenance on any of them is battery replacement which usually costs almost as much as the UPS. It's like like printers, they price them cheap then sock you on the inks and toners. And I really do think APC cooks the batteries when charging so that you will have to replace them.

Now, if we were talking about something from Liebert I would say otherwise.

Hey, play with the software, maybe you're right.

-Hal


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Originally Posted by hbiss
Those things are made so cheap that it doesn't even pay to replace the batteries. Once they start having problems it's time to replace. Nobody, including the manufacturer, supports them. Used to spend time prying swollen gel-cells out only to find that the thing cooked them when charging. Decided a long time ago, if the UPS doesn't work tell the customer that they have to replace it. Don't waste your time.

-Hal
The older APC's are indeed hard on batteries, and I've also dug my share of swollen cells from UPS cabinets. I have gone to the practice of shotgunning batteries on a 3-year schedule.

I can go 4-5 years between battery swaps on other brands. The last owners at my day-job went with Tripp-Lite, which haven't been as hard on batteries. The new owners like APC, so we'll see if their new models treat batteries nicer.

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I've had good results with Tripp-Lite. Use two here @ home (one keeps the Verizon ONT running and the other supports my Avaya Partner ACS). I use a T-L at church to support the building's Avaya Merlin Magix. An older APC with freshly replaced cells keeps our new carillon going when commercial power cuts out.

Church Magix
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Thank you everyone for suggestions on a complete forklift upgrade, but as it turns out, I figured it out on my own. This is for others who might encounter a similar situation to mine in the future.

The PowerChute software interacts between the connected PC or server. It wasn't the settings in the UPS at all that was causing the premature shutdown. It was the power settings in Windows. Those settings, which I assume were at default, were instructing the UPS to run for two minutes before sounding alarm, then run ten more minutes before beginning a graceful shut down of the PC. The final Windows command was the check box for "shut down UPS" as the last step. After correcting these settings, the UPS now runs for approximately nine hours with the normal load I have connected, but that's only because I didn't let it run any longer.


Ed Vaughn, MBSWWYPBX
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