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Thread: Battery Back Up

  1. #21
    Supporting Member ATXacrofarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertP View Post
    On the generator subject two things that are very important for the life of your equipment and your generator. First of all NEVER run any generator more than 80% of it's running watt rating. That little guy says 1000 watts but the running watts are actually 900. That means 80% of it is only 720 watts. Check to see how many watts your system is running....yeah you could turn off some of the lights and only run the heater periodically but try to stay under. What happens if you go over? Depends on the generator. If it even will go over 80% most are not designed to do it for more than a few seconds to a minute. Think of the power drain on a power saw...it pulls it's max rating at startup and then settles back to use less power. That is why generators are rated like they are. Well many cheap generators SAY they will run X number of watts and just get nowhere close to that number. I have a cheap Harbor Freight 3500 watt genny that will barely push 2500 watts before it dies. But it will run power tools and works great out on the farm...and since it was $200 it is hard to get too mad. However, my Yamaha says 2900 and it will do 2900 before it overloads and shuts down. I use this in emergencies and based on my apex will easily run the tank and my refrig if the heaters done kick in while the refrig is running. The Yamaha lists for $1500 but you would be surprised how many used gennys are in the Gulf coast area! Keep those running watts below 80% and the generator will last a very long time.

    The other important thing is you CANNOT run sensitive equipment with a cheap non-inverter type generator. I cannot stress this enough. Lost a refrigerator during Ike to a non-inverter Generac genny and no way in hell I will hook up my Apex to one. The inverter cleans up the power so you can charge a phone or laptop or an Apex. You could use the old style to run a battery charger and then run off battery but there is some loss there as well. By the way I LOVED that Generac 4000 generator...was a real workhorse and started on the first pull as long as it didn't sit too long between uses.

    Sorry to get off topic. I could talk for a while about old gas...the crappy ethanol in our fuels...running the genny out of gas....
    Great info Robert! I bought an inverter generator... It was nice knowing I could plug my phone into it without blowing up my phone. Plus, it ran forever on 1 gallon of gas. It was way more expensive though than the regular generators but I figured I could use it for other purposes such as tailgating or camping one day.

  2. #22
    BOD MEMBER PorpoiseHork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATXacrofarmer View Post
    He mentioned living in an apartment and them not allowing generators I believe. Otherwise, I'd lean towards the generator too.

    The issue I see with solely relying on a generator is what happens in the event of a power failure when no one is at the house/apt? With a small battery backup unit it will provide power to one or more DC pumps for multiple hours until you can get the generator up and running. This would come into play if there is a temporary power outage during the day when you're at work, or if a bad storm is rolling through and may not be the ideal time to be outside fiddling with a generator. That's why having a small battery backup that will take over the instant a loss of power happens giving you time to act.
    Bret
    M.A.R.S.H. - Board Member
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  4. #23
    Supporting Member ATXacrofarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PorpoiseHork View Post
    The issue I see with solely relying on a generator is what happens in the event of a power failure when no one is at the house/apt? With a small battery backup unit it will provide power to one or more DC pumps for multiple hours until you can get the generator up and running. This would come into play if there is a temporary power outage during the day when you're at work, or if a bad storm is rolling through and may not be the ideal time to be outside fiddling with a generator. That's why having a small battery backup that will take over the instant a loss of power happens giving you time to act.
    My situation works well with a generator combined with several battery powered air pumps. The pumps will get me through the immediate until the weather gets better and I can run the generator.

    I do have a unique schedule of working from home and having a good reefing buddy down the street when I go on vacations that can watch the tank.

    The battery powered options are nice to have for the reasons you mentioned. My only knock on them is that they have a limited life span, like UPSs, and will have to be replaced periodically. $100 every 2-4 years is definitely good insurance but I'd rather put that money towards a generator that has a longer life span.

    To each their own but those are the reasons I went with a generator instead of a battery back up.

  5. #24
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    I really like battery backups as WELL as a generator! I have/had a UPS on the tank that will run it is short time and this will give me time to get the portable generator in place, fire it up, and run a power cord to the tank. There is no doubt that batteries have a relatively short life which is why I dont like to spend much money on them.


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