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Help figuring out my requirements for a standalone UPS for gaming pc and monitor


yoless

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First time poster. 

I'm getting really tired of not being able to game during loadshedding at night. We have a mini DC UPS for our wifi which allows us to watch stuff on mobile devices but I want to be able to still play. Getting an Invertor and battery backup for the entire flat isn't really an option at the moment.

How do I go about figuring what my power requirements are and what products I should look into? My pc has a 550W PSU and I have an oldish Samsung 24ich monitor.

thanks

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It's difficult to tell with gaming PCs how much is actually being used as it depends on the demand of the game etc. I think the easiest and possibly cheapest route would be to get a kill-a-watt wall plug meter to measure exactly what you are pulling. It's a handy gadget to have and will give you a much better idea of how much you need to cater for.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks @jumper I bought a smart plug over the weekend so will be monitoring from here on out. I think I'll need something like the ecoflow 720wh river unit but my impression is that you're paying a premium for the "portability" of that item. I understand that Lithium batteries are ideal, are you aware of any alternative (cheaper) options?

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2 minutes ago, yoless said:

Thanks @jumper I bought a smart plug over the weekend so will be monitoring from here on out. I think I'll need something like the ecoflow 720wh river unit but my impression is that you're paying a premium for the "portability" of that item. I understand that Lithium batteries are ideal, are you aware of any alternative (cheaper) options?

Hi there mate,

I am also a gamer (sim racing) and if I look at what gamers pay for GPU's then there should be no problem going for a LiFePO4 based backup system 🙂

What are the specs on your PC - PSU and GPU?  That way we we can maybe start working out a spec for a backup system for you.  Also post the results form your smart plug after running some 3DMark benchmarks for say 15-20 min continious.

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20 hours ago, yoless said:

Thanks @jumper I bought a smart plug over the weekend so will be monitoring from here on out. I think I'll need something like the ecoflow 720wh river unit but my impression is that you're paying a premium for the "portability" of that item. I understand that Lithium batteries are ideal, are you aware of any alternative (cheaper) options?

I must admit that I have zero experience with portable units, so I can't comment too much here, but yeah you will be paying extra for the portability and the size of it, but you do save on installation, COC, switches, fuses etc.. The one thing on that ecoflow unit is the battery lifespan "Cycle Life: 800 cycles to 80%+ capacity", which is not very long with our loadshedding. I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a replacement battery and have it installed and how much that would cost. I do see the expandable batttery is like R8k which is quite steep for less than 1kWh. I suggest going through the reviews on takeloat, I usually find that very helpful. Someone mentions there that it only lasts 2hrs for a router and gaming PC,but maybe that is all you need.

As @Douw G. Gerbersays, get some data from your usage and post it here and we'll see if we can help out.

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I can recommend looking at the inverter trolley options on Geewiz, making sure to pick a lithium battery option and not lead-acid.  Less portable but you'll typically get double the capacity of a similarly priced ecoflow unit.

A single 100A battery trolley will probably last you just over 2 hours if you're gaming (more if you're just using it for web browsing, documents, etc).

A 2 x 100A battery trolley will most likely last you fine through a 4.5hr loadshedding slot.

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Don't even consider lead acid batteries.  In 2 months time you will be very sorry, when your game stops 70 minutes into load shedding.

You will need at least a 100Ah 12V Lithium battery that will cost you 6K +.

Many small inverters don't have a build-in battery charger and those that do, will likely only have lead acid chargers.  Buying a separate inverter and lithium battery charger will be way too expensive.  Whatever you buy, make sure you have a proper lithium charger that can charge at least at 10A or you will take forever charging your batteries.  A inverter-only will also not be usable as a UPS.

Trolley inverters are handy but often have proprietary hardware with batteries of unknown form-factor.  The hardware might be "hard-coded" for some weird battery size/chemistry, making battery replacements or additions difficult.  This is especially true for the cheaper units.

Buy a trolley inverter that uses a standard 1000VA 12V Axpert inverter, or buy such an inverter separately and wire it up yourself. 

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Converted my mother to get a decent trolley system.

Her specs:

3.5kw, 3000w inverter - Check

24v 100ah Lithium battery (2400wh) - Check

 

Your requirements against above:

Total demand 550W + 100W monitor - 650wh - Check

Uptime required - Stage 6 loadshedding - 650wh x 4 = 2600wh - NOT Check

So you would need for a Stage 6 loadshedding to get a larger capacity.

The trolley system was R25k and you can add another single 24V 100ah in parallel, for an added R12k

So total investment would be R37k, which in effect would give you:

24V x 200ah = 4800wh

Your requirement was 650wh, thus with 37k you are good in effect for staying up for a max of roughly 7.3hrs, make it 7 to include uptime and losses.

BUT then you take the battery from 100% right down to 0% and even though lithiums can do this, you are reducing cycle count. Best to keep the battery between 90% and 40% ish.

90-40 = 50%, in other words on a double lithium battery setup as per the 37k solution above, it means 2400wh usable without major reducing the battery life that much.

2400/650 = 3.5hrs of uptime, easy. Can go to 4.5 hrs using 3000wh or 62% of battery, which is still fine.

My suggestion to you if this is the ONLY thing you want to drive from the system is to get a 3-3.5kw, trolley system with 200ah LiFePO4 battery.

Obviously when not gaming you have plenty power for some lamps etc.

You can even spend a little more and get the trolley directly fed to your plug and light circuits on your DB, but this is a very nice to have.

3.5kw is not a lot when starting to upgrade your requirements, but it is plenty except for Heating appliances (Geyser, oven, kettle, iron etc), so keep these always off battery, unless you get like a 30kw battery bank etc and a big 8kva inverter. Sky is the limit.

Yes 3kw might seem overkill, but making an inverter idle is better than getting a 1kw inverter and the thing runs 80-100%.

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