UPS for modified sine wave system?

Vance GVance G New UserPosts: 7Registered Users
Without getting in to the details of why I need this (shouldn't, but it's not my system and I can't do anything about it) I need a computer UPS that will accept modified sine wave from a Trace SW4048.

I already know why most of them don't work, they think MSW is too "low" in voltage, pronounce a brownout, and switch to battery.

I have some wireless network gear I need to keep up and running.

Have any of you actually gotten an off-the-shelf UPS to work with MSW? My first couple tries with current UPS's didn't fly, I have an old APC that allows you to adjust the low-side cutout to 90V with DIP switches that I am going to try next time I visit the site.

Thanks for any help you might be able to provide...

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Gone Fishing... Posts: 17,615Banned
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    Unless I've gone completely senile in the past two weeks (possible) the Trace SW4048 is a sine wave inverter. It should have no trouble running a UPS.

    So perhaps that is not the problem you're experiencing. The SW series is no longer made and support/repair can be difficult to attain (as often lamented on this forum - they were good inverters).

    The logical question would be; if you've got a battery-powered, true sine wave invert, what do you need a UPS for? Could you give more detail as to the current set-up and what further you're trying to get it to do?
  • john pjohn p New User Posts: 814Solar Expert
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    This question does not to me make a lot of sense.. If you using a msw inverter or any inverter for that matter running off batteries why you need to run a UPS from it as it in itself is really a UPS??? In fact its how I run my computer at all times off a inverter.. as then no possibility of power failure from grid mains.. The batteries are normally solar panel charged but if the battery voltage gets low an automatic voltage switch turns on the mains battery charger.
  • Vance GVance G New User Posts: 7Registered Users
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    OK, I'll try to answer both of you at once here.

    The 4048 is indeed a MSW inverter.

    From the manual:

    "The inverter makes a stepped approximation to a sine wave. The number of steps typically varies from 34 to 52 per cycle."

    I can verify this as I have looked at the output with a scope.

    As far as to WHY I have to try to get a UPS to work:

    This isn't my system or house. I can't go around modifying it.

    If it were me, I would do just what you say and run the network gear off of the battery bank. That would be a lot of work as it's sitting +/- 200 feet away from the house in a freight container, but it's the right thing to do. Don't have time right now.

    The reason I need the UPS at all:

    We have a very large submersible well that has to be run off a generator once or twice a week to fill a 40K gallon tank. When we run the generator, the manager throws a transfer switch to put the house on genny power which also switches the 4048 to charger mode and gives the battery bank a little extra kick.

    It's that 1 sec. or so when the xfer occurs that I lose power to everything. The wireless access points I'm using come up in a random state - most often not working. Mgfr states that you should wait at least 30 sec. during a power cycle. I have investigated this as well and it's the truth.

    So, I need an uninterruptible supply of short duration to avoid needing to ask the
    manager to remember to wait for 30 sec. each time he throws that switch.

    I can do it with an AGM battery and BatteryMinder for the single piece of problematic gear, but I thought it might be nice to put the Starband Nova CPE on backup as well as it takes 15 - 20 min to find the sattelite again every time it loses power. Small UPS would handle everything nicely if it would just stop rejecting the MSW as non-compliant.

    Hope this all makes sense...
  • john pjohn p New User Posts: 814Solar Expert
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    so where is the inverter now sitting? you say..That would be a lot of work as it's sitting +/- 200 feet away from the house in a freight container, but it's the right thing to do. Don't have time right now. so how far is the ups? inverter?? a long way +/- 200ft or it really is just 200ft? how hard can it be to just run a 200ft length of building cable 200 ft?? if it is 200 ft at 120v from inverter? sorry if im not really understanding you..
  • mike95490mike95490 Title:User Posts: 6,213Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?
    Vance G wrote: »
    The 4048 is indeed a MSW inverter.

    From the manual:
    "The inverter makes a stepped approximation to a sine wave. The number of steps typically varies from 34 to 52 per cycle."

    With 30 steps, I doubt there are many things that would complain about that.

    Most MSW inverters have 3 steps, which is really harsh on gear.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • Vance GVance G New User Posts: 7Registered Users
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?
    john p wrote: »
    so where is the inverter now sitting? you say..That would be a lot of work as it's sitting +/- 200 feet away from the house in a freight container, but it's the right thing to do. Don't have time right now. so how far is the ups? inverter?? a long way +/- 200ft or it really is just 200ft? how hard can it be to just run a 200ft length of building cable 200 ft?? if it is 200 ft at 120v from inverter? sorry if im not really understanding you..


    The entire system is housed in a 20' freight container about 180' away from the house. 120V via 3 #8 in a conduit from the container to the house.

    Can't (shouldn't) run DC in a conduit with AC when the DC runs logic. Esp. when AC is MSW which will inductively couple all kinds of hash to just about anything else running in the conduit.

    So, need to dig 180' trench, lay pipe, pull wire. Becomes a big project when I am 400 miles away and only get up every so often.

    UPS solution is easy and fast.
  • Vance GVance G New User Posts: 7Registered Users
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?
    mike90045 wrote: »
    With 30 steps, I doubt there are many things that would complain about that.

    Most MSW inverters have 3 steps, which is really harsh on gear.

    I only wish that were true. And I admit I have only tried one UPS so far. But the one I tried (APC ES250 I think it was) did not work. Kept switching from battery to AC and back about once every two sec.

    Realize that UPS's are DESIGNED to look for non-compliant AC (aka - perfect) and try to make it better with some kind of AVR or by switching to battery so... "Houston , we have a problem" when our AC is NEVER perfect (as in MSW).

    The UPS folks, to their credit, realize this and cover it in their FAQ's, stating that their devices won't work properly when powered by inverters or small generators.

    I was just hoping that one of you had forged ahead and tried a few and found one that worked. Re-wiring these folks house just to get this to work is NOT part of the project...
  • john pjohn p New User Posts: 814Solar Expert
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    WELL to me the only solution is to swap the MSW for a true sinewave inverter. it has to be the cheapest way to go.!!:D
  • BB.BB. Just some guy Posts: 24,231Super Moderators admin
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    Or, as you have said, a AC small battery charger+inverter at the remote location.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mikeomikeo solar piddler Posts: 383Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?
    The wireless access points I'm using come up in a random state - most often not working. Mgfr states that you should wait at least 30 sec. during a power cycle. I have investigated this as well and it's the truth.
    Not knowing what wireless equipment that you are using this may not work for you but I have my Zhone DSL modem/router, D-Link wireless access point and Davis weather station all running off a group 24 12 volt marine battery. I have a 10 amp charger that runs off 120 volts AC to keep the battery floating when there is power and recharge the battery when power is restored. The Davis weather station operates on 5 volts so I am using this down converter for the weather station.
    http://www.dimensionengineering.com/DE-SWADJ.htm The other two devices had wall warts rated for 12 volts so I just cut their leads off and wired them to a fuse and then to the battery. They have been working several months with out a glitch. Our utility power goes down several times a month for varying durations.
  • Vance GVance G New User Posts: 7Registered Users
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    Mike:

    This is approximately what I intend to do if the old APC UPS I am going to try next time I am up there does not behave. You have a similar problem.

    Of the 3 devices that need to come up after a power cycle, only one of them needs the "must be off for 30 sec." rule. The others are OK. That one device uses POE anywhere btwn. 10 - 24VDC so it's a prime candidate for an AGM battery backed up by a Battery Minder.

    BatteryMinder when hooked to a battery has little or no ripple so it's OK to run stuff at the same time as it's maintaining the battery.

    The Starband NOVA CPE is a bit of an issue as it runs off 24VDC, so to cover that I will need two AGM's and a 24V BatteryMinder.

    No big deal. It can be done.

    When I need 5V for something, I use Murata 78SR2 switching regulators:

    http://www.murata-ps.com/data/meters/mpm_78sr-2a_a00.pdf

    pin compatible with 78XX series, fairly efficient and easy to use.
  • n3qikn3qik New User Posts: 741Solar Expert
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    If the transfer is only a few seconds and all of the wall-warts are DC. May want to look a adding at an large capacitor bank between each wall-wart and device.
  • Vance GVance G New User Posts: 7Registered Users
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?
    n3qik wrote: »
    If the transfer is only a few seconds and all of the wall-warts are DC. May want to look a adding at an large capacitor bank between each wall-wart and device.


    Thought about that, but only briefly...the inrush current when hooking them up for the first time and any time after that if charge had dropped appreciably would almost certainly blow the wall-warts. They have ZERO current limiting cuz it would make them cost another dollar or so. God forbid we ever build anything in China with any real goal other than to be cheaper than the guy there who already builds them...
  • john pjohn p New User Posts: 814Solar Expert
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?

    Adding capacitors to wall wart/plug packs does not always work that well.. sometimes they wont start as the caps look like short circuit or they do and burn out as the load is too high . And some burn out very quickly when powered by MSW inverters.. Even more fail if used on cheap square wave inverters.,

    And off topic why do Americans continue to keep saying "if its a cheap MSW it most likely a square wave inverter"???? :confused:
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Green Jedi Posts: 264Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: UPS for modified sine wave system?
    Vance G wrote: »
    ...Of the 3 devices that need to come up after a power cycle, only one of them needs the "must be off for 30 sec." rule. The others are OK. That one device uses POE anywhere btwn. 10 - 24VDC so it's a prime candidate for an AGM battery backed up by a Battery Minder.

    BatteryMinder when hooked to a battery has little or no ripple so it's OK to run stuff at the same time as it's maintaining the battery.

    The Starband NOVA CPE is a bit of an issue as it runs off 24VDC, so to cover that I will need two AGM's and a 24V BatteryMinder.
    If your batteryMinder works OK with the existing AC, you can use AGM with a small true-sine inverters like these - http://store.solar-electric.com/sasiwain1.html - to run your devices from this TSW. The charger just maintains the battery or supplies DC current for the inverter. If the battery minder is not sufficient, you can use an Iota charger. Don't try running the UPS 24/7 in this inverting mode since it might make it fail because UPS are not designed to run 24/7 in inverting mode.
    GP
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