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Another dreaded ask...


Darrenf
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Hi all,

So it is not without going down various rabbit holes of research throughout today and feel no closer to a resolution than when i started...

Hence why i have decided to plague you all with another dreaded newbie ask.

I looking for something decent that can power my Fiber router and perhaps a laptop if required. That's it for now, I have battery powered lighting etc so this will just be to ensure I am able to continue working from home online.

I am keen to buy into something larger like the Volton devices however am moving from JHB to CT in a month and would prefer to purchase that once I am settled.

For the next 2 months i just wanna keep on working and not have to trek into the office simple as that.

From my digging i found that something that can run for 4 hours will need to be at least 3000Va

Thanks in advance for all the help!

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6 hours ago, Darrenf said:

From my digging i found that something that can run for 4 hours will need to be at least 3000Va

3000VA is the instantaneous power output of the inverter, nothing directly to do with the level of battery storage available. Just for a modem and laptop you actually don't draw high power, probably somewhere around 100W in total (to be checked against manufacturer's power specs for both devices). One 100Ah deep cycle battery or similar should be roundabout enough.

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7 hours ago, GreenFields said:

3000VA is the instantaneous power output of the inverter, nothing directly to do with the level of battery storage available. Just for a modem and laptop you actually don't draw high power, probably somewhere around 100W in total (to be checked against manufacturer's power specs for both devices). One 100Ah deep cycle battery or similar should be roundabout enough.

thank you for the assistance!

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20 hours ago, Darrenf said:

So it is not without going down various rabbit holes of research throughout today and feel no closer to a resolution than when i started...

   

20 hours ago, Darrenf said:

From my digging i found that something that can run for 4 hours will need to be at least 3000Va

At the risk of appearing condescending (definitely not intended).

The basics:

During a power outage you (may) need a battery that provides power to an inverter, the inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) electricity (like what is in a car battery, or AA battery) to Alternating Current (AC) electricity (like what normally comes out of the house wall plug - roughly 230Volt in South Africa) which will power the laptop/router.

The battery capacity (often in Amp Hours or Ah) will be one factor that determines how long your backup power supply will last - it is sort of like a car's petrol tank (it will very much influence how far/how long you can drive).

The inverter "size" (often indicated as KVA or W) will sort of determine how many things (or how big a total thing) you can connect at one time and give it power - it is sort of like the car's engine size (a 1 liter engine is not as "strong" as a 5 liter engine).

How many things you connect at the same time will also influence how long the battery can provide power. Putting 14 people in a datsun Go will likely mean you use more petrol while you drive and empty the tank quicker. (the router is one person, the laptop another).

Putting one sumo wrestler in the dasun Go will also use more petrol than when it is just the average (??) 70Kg person. If you connected an electric kettle (many electric kettles use about 2000W...)  to the inverter it could be a sumo wrestler that drains the petrol tank too quickly or the datsun might not even be strong enough to move the sumo wrestler, so you could need a bigger engined car (in stead of 1000W inverter you get a 3000W inverter).

So you need to determine how big a load you need to power (how heavy is the router and laptop) for "size" of inverter and for how long you need to power it (size of tank) for battery capacity.

The router power supply and laptop power supply will likely indicate somewhere on it what their Watt ratings are (I have an ancient Dell which indicates it is a 90W power supply). If you add up the total wattages of the router and laptop power supplies you will know how "big" inverter you need. For JUST a router and laptop a 3000VA (which is sort of the same as 3000W) inverter is like likely waaayyyy more than you will need - but there is in essence nothing wrong with connecting a small load to a big inverter.

If you know the size of the total load that you need to power you can multiply it by time (in hours) to get an idea of how big the battery will need to be. Assume the router and laptop combined are 100W  and you use it 4 hours you will use 400 Wh. Then divide the W number by the battery voltage of the inverter system (it looks like the Voltons use 24V battery systems) to get the Ah needed  (400W/24V=16.67Ah) So to power the 100W load for 4 hours, using a 24 Volt battery system you will need at least a 16.67Ah battery . To be safe, now divide the Ah by 0.85 (this gives a bit extra breathing room because when converting DC to AC electricity some of it is wasted). 16.67Ah /0.85 = 19.6Ah. Last part that can now get the rabbit hole to completely diverge in a deserted forest where no one hears a tree fall  - it could help to know what type of battery is used in the inverter system because some batteries will last for a total shorter life time (the battery will "break" sooner) if you use more than 50% of their capacity at a time. In that case I would round up my 19.6 Ah to 20Ah and multiply by 2, which means I would get at least a 40Ah battery to power my 100W load for 4 hours with a 24V battery and not use more than 50% of it during that 4 hours..

If you knew all of this, my apologies, then I jump ahead  - I unfortunately have no knowledge or experience of the Volton systems so have no idea about good/bad/quality/price etc.

By the way, something that could be useful especially if you do not want to go overboard initially before you move, and if needing to externally power only the router - many routers   operate on DC (5V, 12V etc.) - you may be able to get away with only using some version of a power bank (without any inverter) to power the router and do your best to have the laptop battery charged when load shedding starts, and turn down screen brightness/use the power saving features when running the laptop on the built-in battery to make it last as long as possible.

 

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2 minutes ago, introverter said:

   

At the risk of appearing condescending (definitely not intended).

The basics:

During a power outage you (may) need a battery that provides power to an inverter, the inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) electricity (like what is in a car battery, or AA battery) to Alternating Current (AC) electricity (like what normally comes out of the house wall plug - roughly 230Volt in South Africa) which will power the laptop/router.

The battery capacity (often in Amp Hours or Ah) will be one factor that determines how long your backup power supply will last - it is sort of like a car's petrol tank (it will very much influence how far/how long you can drive).

The inverter "size" (often indicated as KVA or W) will sort of determine how many things (or how big a total thing) you can connect at one time and give it power - it is sort of like the car's engine size (a 1 liter engine is not as "strong" as a 5 liter engine).

How many things you connect at the same time will also influence how long the battery can provide power. Putting 14 people in a datsun Go will likely mean you use more petrol while you drive and empty the tank quicker. (the router is one person, the laptop another).

Putting one sumo wrestler in the dasun Go will also use more petrol than when it is just the average (??) 70Kg person. If you connected an electric kettle (many electric kettles use about 2000W...)  to the inverter it could be a sumo wrestler that drains the petrol tank too quickly or the datsun might not even be strong enough to move the sumo wrestler, so you could need a bigger engined car (in stead of 1000W inverter you get a 3000W inverter).

So you need to determine how big a load you need to power (how heavy is the router and laptop) for "size" of inverter and for how long you need to power it (size of tank) for battery capacity.

The router power supply and laptop power supply will likely indicate somewhere on it what their Watt ratings are (I have an ancient Dell which indicates it is a 90W power supply). If you add up the total wattages of the router and laptop power supplies you will know how "big" inverter you need. For JUST a router and laptop a 3000VA (which is sort of the same as 3000W) inverter is like likely waaayyyy more than you will need - but there is in essence nothing wrong with connecting a small load to a big inverter.

If you know the size of the total load that you need to power you can multiply it by time (in hours) to get an idea of how big the battery will need to be. Assume the router and laptop combined are 100W  and you use it 4 hours you will use 400 Wh. Then divide the W number by the battery voltage of the inverter system (it looks like the Voltons use 24V battery systems) to get the Ah needed  (400W/24V=16.67Ah) So to power the 100W load for 4 hours, using a 24 Volt battery system you will need at least a 16.67Ah battery . To be safe, now divide the Ah by 0.85 (this gives a bit extra breathing room because when converting DC to AC electricity some of it is wasted). 16.67Ah /0.85 = 19.6Ah. Last part that can now get the rabbit hole to completely diverge in a deserted forest where no one hears a tree fall  - it could help to know what type of battery is used in the inverter system because some batteries will last for a total shorter life time (the battery will "break" sooner) if you use more than 50% of their capacity at a time. In that case I would round up my 19.6 Ah to 20Ah and multiply by 2, which means I would get at least a 40Ah battery to power my 100W load for 4 hours with a 24V battery and not use more than 50% of it during that 4 hours..

If you knew all of this, my apologies, then I jump ahead  - I unfortunately have no knowledge or experience of the Volton systems so have no idea about good/bad/quality/price etc.

By the way, something that could be useful especially if you do not want to go overboard initially before you move, and if needing to externally power only the router - many routers   operate on DC (5V, 12V etc.) - you may be able to get away with only using some version of a power bank (without any inverter) to power the router and do your best to have the laptop battery charged when load shedding starts, and turn down screen brightness/use the power saving features when running the laptop on the built-in battery to make it last as long as possible.

 

Thanks a lot, I will take the above into consideration.

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5 hours ago, introverter said:

By the way, something that could be useful especially if you do not want to go overboard initially before you move, and if needing to externally power only the router - many routers   operate on DC (5V, 12V etc.) - you may be able to get away with only using some version of a power bank (without any inverter) to power the router and do your best to have the laptop battery charged when load shedding starts, and turn down screen brightness/use the power saving features when running the laptop on the built-in battery to make it last as long as possible.

Agreed 100%!

It is far more efficient to power your routers etc. with your UPS battery than to use that battery to crank the voltage up to 220V only for the router power adapter to reduce that voltage back down to 5V or 12V.

And yes, laptops are pretty efficient at managing their loads so often provide a few hours of backup on their batteries. (So don't be tempted to buy a desktop PC!) If you require more backup time then invest in another battery pack for your laptop. They aren't too pricey..  

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