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APC Back-UPS Pro 500 Lithium Ion Review Discussion

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The APC Back-UPS Pro 500 (BG500) is a UPS system designed for SMBs and home networks that provides 300W/500VA of battery backup for up to four outlets, and is unique in the market with APC's Lithium Ion battery implementation. At 300W, the device could potentially backup a workstation, but beyond that, APC envisions many end-customers utilizing the BG500 to support networking equipment which is easily within its range. The BG500 delivers battery backup power that APC quotes from 51 minutes at 25W to 6.7 minutes at 180W, which enables networking and other computing equipment to maintain continuous operation even during lengthier power outages. Of course, as a UPS it also provides protection from surges and spikes.

APC Back-UPS Pro 500 Lithium Ion Review

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Actual uptime testing would be a nice addition-- some devices, even modern power supplies with PFC, don't always get along well with UPS's when the UPS is near max load.

Also some o-scope pr0n of the output waveform would be nice. ;)

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Agreed, it'd be interesting to see if they've changed their inards back to the older style Back-UPS's. Older Back-UPS's run PFC power supplies just fine, but their newer units just drop the load. We switched over to the PFC friendly Cyberpower's because of that(and they're cheaper, added bonus), and even on the server side I'm now considering switching away from our Smart-UPS's.

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I'd be more than welcome to loading the UPS up with some gear to see how it handles PFC power supplies. Anything popular of note that I could use that is particularly picky?

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Many modern Antec power supplies seem to trip out the Back-UPS's. My Corsair HXsomething doesn't.

I dumped Antec because they abandoned the Sonata line, and because of the extremely high failure rate(close to 100%) on the SmartPower/TruePower units a few years ago.

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I'm not sure off the top of my head unfortunately, but sounds like you guys have enough equipment around that hooking some of that up might be a good start.

Xbitlabs or Jonnyguru, or SilentPCReview, might be a good place to start on equipment that is more or less picky, see what's in their forums? Xbitlabs in particular used to test all their power supplies on a UPS and note what maximum load they could get the PSU to while on UPS power.

Looks like you can grab a USB oscilloscope for $250 or so, then seeing waveforms at no load, low load, and near full load...

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I wonder how hot the lithium ion battery gets, discharging in 12 minutes or so! No fan?

I question the 'up to 8 year' life.. how much battery wear at say 6 years and more? If the battery is fully charged all the time, lithium ion batteries degrade faster with high temperature and SOC%. According to batteryuniversity, a typical lithium ion battery at full charge and at 25 celsius for 1 year gets it's capacity cut to 80% per year. After 4 years it'd be down to 41% capacity or so. But the batteries they tested might not be the best chemistry.

The Nissan Leaf has a newer 'lizard' battery that resists heat degradation compared to the first ones, via chemistry instead of cooling and the Chevy Volt battery so far has very little degradation after 4 years while not charging above 78%SOC or so and aggressive liquid cooling.

So the 20% loss in capacity I suppose is worst case, though, it seems about right for laptop batteries that stay at 95-100% charge all the time.

In year 7 of the UPS battery's life, I bet it is siginificantly degraded unless the UPS is stored in a fridge while being plugged in, though then the battery would have higher internal resistance so can't handle as much load.

Edited by danwat1234

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Battery life doesn't matter. They know they'll release something better in 6 months. Always better and more efficient, if not, at least newer!

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