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Generator will not run UPS battery Backup

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Josh Van Cleave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Generator will not run UPS battery Backup
    Posted: Nov/21/2008 at 8:43am
Here is something I learned recently, your typical generator will not power a UPS.  the problem is with the HZ or frequency of the power the generator is producing.  Electric coming from the power company is nice and stable at 60HZ, but the power being produced by a generator is all over the board.
 
A UPS expects this frequency to be 60 HZ and thinks there is a power or wiring problem if it is not.
 
So if you are looking to buy a generator, and want it to power a UPS in case of a power failure, make sure you spend the extra bucks and get one that produces power at 60 HZ.


Edited by Josh Van Cleave - Nov/21/2008 at 8:43am
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arwendt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/21/2008 at 10:47am
Who would think that a generator would put out power that was so far from "normal" that a UPS could not even use it.
 
Thanks for the info.
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John Beagle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/26/2008 at 2:53pm
It me it doesn't make sense to try to get power to the battery. It is a waste of a precious resource, electric power.
 
By powering a surge rather than a UPS, you will have more power for other things such as lights.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 9:57am
Yes, but by having your UPS on the generator you can do things that involving turning the generators off, like checking oil, moving the generators if they are overheating Big%20smile.  Also if a generator goes down you have time to get it back up and running, all while the server / equipment on the generators / UPS keep running.

Edited by Josh Van Cleave - Dec/02/2008 at 10:01am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 10:06am
If an outage was to go long term you would of course have to add oil to the generators. This would of course require the generators and the servers to go down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 12:15pm
Hi,
 
 
It's not all UPSs that are not generator compatible, only the lower end of the spectrum.
 
The CS's, Back-UPSs and the like are not generator compatible. If you invest in an industrial grade UPS, like the Smart-UPS series of UPSs you will have no problem with the generator.
 
Any model of the Smart-UPS, even the small 700's will be generator compatible.
 
Also, it's always a good idea to have a battery backup to filter the generator power that's flowing to the equipment.
 
 
Also, if you have critical equipment powered, it might loose power in the few seconds to few minutes that the Generator takes to kick in. A UPS will protect your equipment during that brief power outage and protect your equipment from spikes, surges, brown outs and the like.
 
 
If anyone has any questions about that, I would be more than happy to answer.
 
 
 
Thank you,
 
Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 2:58pm
I cant believe how timely your answer is. I never thought about the device we were powering, just the generator itself.
 
What you say makes allot of sense. Thanks for your timely input.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 3:06pm
Tony, we are attempting to power "APC smart-UPS 3000 XL's" and they seem to be very picky, we have had no luck with them.  Whenever we hook them up to generated power the Site Wiring Fault indicator comes on and the APC believes it is on battery.
 
I definately agrre that it is a good idea to have the UPS's in between the generators and the servers, it also makes for a much easier transition to generator power.
 
We believe we have traced down the problem to our generator not putting out 60 HZ, what do you think of this theory?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 3:07pm
Hi,
 
No problem at all, I wanted to share that with everyone as a lot of people run into this problem when they purchase new APC UPSs. Some people get mislead into thinking that the really cheap APC UPSs that are sized big "1500VA" are actually good power protection units.
 
I've heard from a lot of companies who buy "fleets" of these little UPSs only to find out when their power goes out and the generator kicks in that the unit can not support the generator.
 
If UPS manufacturers would make that fact clear (NOT GENERATOR COMPATIBLE) I think you'd see a lot of people have less headache and money lost.
 
Unfortunately, they would never do it as it would probably lead to a slight decline in sales!
 
 
All the best,
 
 
Thank you,
Tony
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Tony-ExcessUPS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 3:12pm
Hi Josh,
 
 
The Smart-UPS 3000 XL's are great units, they're solid and reliable and are good for many miles!
 
Have you tried adjusting the voltage sensitivity at the back of the unit? Right near the site wiring fault light there should be a little grey button that can be pressed with a pen. The brighter it gets the more sensitive the UPS is, the dimmer, the less sensitive.
 
Try and cycle through the different sensitivity options and see if one of them will make the unit accept the generator power.
 
The APC SmartUPS 3000XL's are generator compatible, you should be able to set it up.
 
Let me know how it turns out.
 
 
 
Thanks,
Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 3:32pm
Thanks Tony!  I will give it a shot right now!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xmhoward Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 3:43pm
This is really good information thanks for all the input
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 3:46pm
Tony, we set the sensitivity to the lowest setting and we got a different result, now the UPS shows as on-line but the AVR Boost light is on and the Site Wiring Fault light is still on.
 
Any more advise?  Thanks for all your help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 4:17pm
AVR Boost increases voltage - So it looks like the generator is not producing enough electricity... 

Edited by Josh Van Cleave - Dec/02/2008 at 4:23pm
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Tony-ExcessUPS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/02/2008 at 5:24pm
Hi Josh,
 
 
That may be the case, but it's not the end of the world. Depending on the power supply of the appliance you're plugging into the UPS, it might be able to run safely at 90+ volts. Many power supplies have an operating range of 90-130V. Try and see if yours is one of them.
 
 
Also, good to hear that the unit reacted to the sensitivity setting. That's great!
 
 
Now, access the UPS through PowerChute and determine how much power it's getting from the generator. It could be that it's not getting so little, it could be just getting a little less than the acceptable settings on the UPS.
 
 
You can adjust the AVR voltage settings through PowerChute Business Edition basic. If you're noticing that you're getting 95V out of the generator, adjust the AVR settings to a little below that. If your power supply will operate it won't be a problem at all.
 
 
It could very well be that the 3000XL has to voltage set too high in the AVR section.
 
 
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
 
 
 
Thanks,
Tony


Edited by Tony-ExcessUPS - Dec/02/2008 at 5:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote .308 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/03/2008 at 10:41am
This is all very fascinating info on how a UPS really works and of course how to make it work with a generator.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Schiering Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/03/2008 at 11:29am
Tony,
 
We have a successful test!.  Thanks for the voltage sensitivity idea.  That put us on the right track!
 
The AVR Boost from the APC was not enough to overcome the lack of power from the generator, so the voltage sensitivity idea along with a more powerful generator was the answer!
 
Bill Schiering
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/03/2008 at 11:32am
Hi Bill,



Glad to hear you guys were able to get to the bottom of it. If anyone has any  questions I would be more than happy to answer them and try to help out anytime.


Thanks!
Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/05/2008 at 10:14am
Here is the latest, we bought a 7000 Watt Generator for $799, it was able to run 2 of our battery backups. Excellent!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/05/2008 at 10:58am
Hi,


That's great to hear. Shouldn't a 7000W generator be able to run more than two UPSs or was that the target for the unit?


Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adamwlewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/05/2008 at 11:49am

Each APC says it takes 26 AMPS/2700 Volts, and the generator is actually only a 6000 running watt generator with 2 phases. So two is really all it can power.

Thanks for all of your advice and support, you've been a life saver.


Edited by adamwlewis - Dec/05/2008 at 11:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikec3452 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/18/2008 at 5:59pm
Hi Tony,
 
I just saw this thread and I am having this problem with a SMART-UPS 1500.  We purchased two 3500 watt generators to run some networking equipment but the UPS will not come online with generator power.  I have adjusted the sensitivity as you stated w/o luck.  When I plug it into an 8000 watt unit it powers fine.  Powerchute sees all of my power flow within acceptable parameters but I still cannot get it to switch to the A/C generator power.  Any ideas ?
Mike-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony-ExcessUPS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/19/2008 at 8:04am
Hi Mike,


Your Smart-UPS 1500, it carries the part number SUA1500? What happens when you switch to generator power, does it automatically go to battery?

Have you looked at the power input settings through PowerChute? What voltage is coming in from the generator?


Let me know,



Thanks,
Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh Van Cleave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/19/2008 at 11:06am
Mike, the generator we used at first was not putting out 60HZ and it still will not power our Smart 3000's.  We had to purchase better quality generators, we went with Champions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toddy132 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/23/2009 at 11:55am

This problem is more common than you think when you use the low end generators which can produce out of tolerance power.

We always recommend using a Smart UPS or similar spec machine which start from 750VA and upwards which provides power line conditioning as standard and will tolerate large fluctuations in input voltage
 
 
John
 
 
 
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