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 UPS
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 12:28:23 AM on 26 December 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

I have sent a letter to the supplier, however, worth noting. UPS Bought 4th Month 2017. Last night I noted the battery monitor was suddenly saying 98% and over a short period of time was falling: There was no power outage? On putting my hand on the case, it was seriously hot?

So obviously something went awry: Unit disconnected. First suspicion: Batteries (2).

Removing the cover things only got worse. The transformer was seriously hot but worse still, the batteries were also extremely hot & that alone, could easily lead to and explosion, battery rupture causing fire, or destruction of the unit.

My suspicion was proven as one 12V battery was below 11Volt; So was the instigator. That of course calls into question if it has a current limiter and how it senses charge. Clearly this thing is questionable when it comes to fire risk & a (preferably re-settable) fuses, or circuit breakers are in order.

I often wonder how well some of these chargers go in an overload situation; Where cells fail, or the battery is really drained. My answer on a no break I made was a Barretter & it was the same idea on 3 German flash guns. If the NiCd batteries were drawn down, or the polarity reversed. The Barretter saved the transformer, whilst the attempt was being made to redeem the situation with the batteries.

Obviously not happy about this.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 1:37:07 PM on 26 December 2019.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 399

Let me guess where it was made!!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 2:47:50 PM on 26 December 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

It actually does not say but a hint would be that the batteries are in sideways. Putting no air space between them has been a no no pretty much since we started building recharge batteries.

The heatsinking is at the top above an already warm transformer that will circulate very little air over them as they are in the middle of a solid board, near the width of the unit. Not much thinking there either. Ventilation on the battery end of the cabinet end is also virtually non existent. There are no fans within.

Getting the batteries out is also ill-conceived. Obviously designed to look pretty & contribute to E-waste and only for Doctors, Dentists & Chartered Accountants who can afford to throw it away when it hiccup's, rather that design it to have the battery easily removable by common man.

For me Its too compact for its own safety & an OH&S nightmare and a fire risk. I really cannot see that it is a design suited for Australia. I would not buy another like it.

Clearly a customer with no faith in the product after an incident like this and considers it unsafe for purpose, has a right to vote with their feet and support the opposition.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:39:43 PM on 26 December 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

Photos?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 4:53:28 PM on 26 December 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

Most UPSs are made this way these days, leading brands like APC included. Back in the days when I hosted this and a few other sites, I had two 3kVA UPSs in the rack to keep the servers up. I bought both of them second hand and replaced the batteries before putting them into service.

Both machines required complete disassembly to remove the old batteries because the expanded to the point where the UPS chassis was holding them together.

Gel batteries don't last long these days. Fire standards state that batteries in monitored fire alarm systems have to be replaced every two years - simply because the batteries are such poor quality that they cannot be depended on for any longer than that. That said, some last two years, others up to six years.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 11:07:37 PM on 26 December 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

Photos will not tell you much other than the layout. I dismantled it (basically had to) to inspect it & get the batteries out & quarantined in case they had ruptured. At least the transformer looks like its continuous rated, however that tends to be defeated by putting it in a tin can with poor ventilation.

I will send a happy snap to Brad. He can either post it or forward it. Albeit one has not identified the brand.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 12:36:11 PM on 27 December 2019.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 399

Construction sounds a bit like switch mode power supplies made, you know where.
Very poor pcb component layout with electrolytics placed next to high wattage resistors etc ensuring a short life.
There seems to be no standards WRT importing these time bombs.
Even supposedly reputable brand equipment have these retched power supplies made by a third party.
I've repaired many of them using high grade electrolytics and mounted them away from heat sources.
For very little extra effort they could have been made this way in the first place.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 3:06:15 PM on 27 December 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

Very true, one or two CPU fans can vent heat. I made up a PSU unit for a National SW5 using a commercial PSU Module. Its vented metal box has a fan underneath the raised box & that blows directly across the main heatsink and the circuit board.

Now do not overlook that we have an obsession in this country for spending $millions on things that don't work, & even more $millions recalling, pulling out, & generally fixing up the mess, instead of moving forward.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 6:06:56 PM on 31 December 2019.
Relayautomatic's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 24 April 2012
 Member #: 1136
 Postcount: 122

Re UPS batteries overheating and leaking, an article in the Jan 2020 Silicon Chip would suggest that it is not an uncommon problem.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 8:22:57 PM on 31 December 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

It's not, and it often comes as a surprise. I just had a 30kVA unit at work refitted with batteries. It's a biomedical rated UPS and uses a particular brand of battery to ensure longevity. New batteries for one of these is just a tad over seven grand. The machine next to it was done a couple of years ago. The replacements are staggered deliberately so we don't have two machines with old batteries at the same time.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 9:22:07 PM on 31 December 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

One would of course ask the obvious question as to how stuff like this gets under the radar and who's still asleep at the wheel?

Really the purveyors of this stuff should suffer the indignity of having it recalled and suffer the cost of either replacing it with something better as its not fit for purpose, or handing back real money not a store credit note that will expire, so you can go vote with your feet.

One is not encouraged when they can build a primitive "No Break" in the 1990's albeit for 12V only. Its battery is 1998 and whilst it has two fuses in it, the barretter and voltage regulator will actually handle a shorted, or dead flat battery without it all cooking.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 9:28:25 PM on 31 December 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

the obvious question as to how stuff like this gets under the radar

Simply because there is no radar.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 9:40:07 PM on 31 December 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

I believe the ACCC is in charge of recalls & the number of times the Senate & Royal Commissions have caught them out is a national disgrace. However, Like fire, water, mental heath roads etc. It fits the Australian Bureaucratic psyche to a tee.

As I have noted many times; If it does not work, or has no hope of working, and wastes billions of dollars in achieving nothing, its a winner to be adopted ASAP.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 11:43:59 AM on 1 January 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 399

The reason a lot of this stuff gets in under the supposed radar is Ebay.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 11:59:01 AM on 1 January 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

Partly, but it is mostly due to a very modern malady - too many laws and not enough people enforcing them. Companies self-assess their own products instead of having them independently tested. As a result of the self-assessment, they then suggest that their product meets a required standard and then they slap a standards mark on it to 'prove' it meets the standard.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
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