IDEA Inverter based supplement to generator backup

A post by Wayne, which I at first disagreed with, made me think.
I already have a generator, my notorious Onan DJE
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/onan/Diesel/
I realized that also have two things:
1) a Ferrups FE series UPS with functioning inverter, but blown charging circuit. 1400 honest VA.
2) A heavy 12V battery charger pictured here:
http://igor.chudov.com/misc/ebay/tmp3/
(look at the orange colored item).
I suppose that I can buy a few marine 12V batteries, or forklift batteries, tie them in parallel, and use in the following manner: charge during generator runtime with the big charger, and when the generator is out, use the Ferrups FE inverter to supply (limited) power to the house. It should be enough to run fridges and furnace and a couple of lights or TV.
During normal periods when utility power is available, this big bank can be kept charged and in top shape with a automatic trickle charger.
Any thoughts on this? My cost will, pretty much, amount to buying new marine batteries or a 12V forklift battery or some such.
It's not really a far fetched project. I have a bunch of DC connect links and short heavy cables. The Ferrups FE is a proven working inverter, I used it as my house power backup before I bought the genset. All I need is put it all together on a shelf and properly tie into my electrical system at home. It will only power one leg of home 220V power, but that's fine. Good enuf for TVs and fridges and furnace, which I can put all on one leg.
I am not a newbie to making working things out of salvaged parts. As Rec.Crafts.Metalworking posters know, partly due to their help I built a 10 HP phase converter with $45 worth of stuff.
i
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Even though it should be pretty reliable, you are adding a lot of complexity for (probably) a very small gain. Stock up on diesel and stop beating yourself up on how to make an incremental improvement.
I looked at a Giant UPS for a new house I'm consulting on, and the float charge power requirements were astounding!
[If you are off-grid, batteries make sense, and you probably need some limited UPS if you have computers and such, but adding them to a fairly reliable grid will be a lot of expense and maintenance...]
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On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 21:29:53 -0400, William P N Smith <> wrote:

Maybe you are right... Stocking up on diesel is certainly easier!
i

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I don't think that Ferrups is very efficient. Hook it up with a light load and do an input/output power comparison before you commit yourself to this project. The good thing is that it is sine wave out. In that respect, it is perfect for running a 'frig.
Vaughn
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wrote:

You know, maybe it is not very efficient, but I already have it...
i
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 01:32:02 GMT, "Vaughn"

The Ferrups is perhaps the most innefficient UPS built - but before the days of switching power supplies, there was nothing that could provide cleaner, better regulated power. They did NOT like switch-mode power supplies - they got even more inefficient when running switch-mode loads. Today, a good PWM unit can provide power almost as clean, at about 10 times the efficiency (or 1/10 the power overhead).
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 01:00:15 GMT, Ignoramus25850

Ever hear of a UBS? Best power made them in years past - a big UPS, such as you are considering, with a reasonable battery pack, and a DC generator that looked after providing power when the bateries got low, and recharged them. Get an old reefer deisel (or a Kubota or Yanmar - or even an old Lister)and put a big bus or ambulance alternator on it and connect THAT to your UPS. If you get a 220 volt UPS - and they WERE made - you can run both legs, And the GOOD ups units of that size even had a built in transfer switch - which isn't required if you run a dual conversion UPS on a full-house basis.
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On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 22:30:19 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca

Well, my plans revolve around using what I already have, as opposed to buying more stuff.
i
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I too have 750 VA Ferrups in my basement. Even went to the trouble of bringing the battery connections out of the box using those nice Anderson connectors for a BIG external battery. But as others have stated, it is inefficient because it is a FERRO-RESONANT transformer. Notice that there is a cooling fan inside just to remove heat. I hooked it up to the AEMC Power Logger and found it eats 100W doing nothing. With no AC input, and no load at all on the output, about 8A flows from the 12V battery. Yes, it is virutally bullet-proof. But for my hobby application, I didn't want to pay 100W of energy 7 x 24 so it sits in the corner disconnected while I work on a switch mode inverter system. YMMV.
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I use a small inverter to run the blower on my coal stove (I heat with coal) and a few lights If the power goes out I can still have normal heat and not run my generator in the middle of the night. If I need to run the fridge, water pump or anything else with higher power demands I run my generator.
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Hey Ig, The FerroUps will do OK, for what you intend, with the understanding that it isn't very power efficent at low loadings. That just means that you will be running your genset a bit more to make up for that lack of effcency. I just scored a 36Vdc Forklift Battery for my operations, that had a total of 200 hours of use. (the forklift died, and no parts available for that old of unit) I will be splitting the bank into two seperate systems, one 24Vdc for my Trace 4024, and one 12Vdc to run the 12V Buss in the Cabin. The Trace will be charging the 24Vdc bank, and I have a very nice 40 Amp Regulated PowerSupply to float across the 12Vdc bank. Nothing like a 1200Amp/Hr battery to keep things running while the gensets rests.
Bruce in alaska
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Very nice. I will check out forklift batteries in my area.
i
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 19:39:52 GMT, Ignoramus11916

If you want another idea on getting big batteries for cheap, call the local telephone companies, or big computer centers with big inverters, and see what they will have in their "Surplus" pile.
Those users have several strings of 1200AH, 2400AH, 4200AH and larger single cell lead calcium deep-cycle wet cells that you can assemble into any voltage you want, and the whole string of 26 is usually retired at the very first sign of aging of any one cell - meaning most of them have several years left in them.
Normally they just send them back for recycling, at several hundred pounds of lead per cell, and they are heavy enough that shipping them long distances to be recycled is an issue. But if you get there first and reserve the next batch they pull...
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Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 04:41:14 GMT, Bruce L Bergman

A nice idea. Thanks Bruce.
i
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This is approximately what I do. Why pile operating hours on the generator when, most of the time, the load is minimal?
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That does indeed make sense. Thanks.
i
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