UPS: APC SUA1500 replace battery or new unit?

msh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
The battery on the old APC SUA 1500 is dead. Just wondering whether to replace the battery ($153) or consider a new UPS. Is there any new tech in current UPS’ that improve upon the SUA1500? This would be the third battery for the APC so wondering how long the electrical components might last.
 

adam9c1

macrumors 68000
May 2, 2012
1,749
277
Chicagoland
The SUA 1500 is a true sine wave model.

While I don't know how efficient it is, some of the newer small UPS devices cut corners and make them as modified sine wave.
Reading this forum, the cMP want's a pure sine wave.

I have 3 such UPS towers active now.
 

msh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
The SUA 1500 is a true sine wave model.

While I don't know how efficient it is, some of the newer small UPS devices cut corners and make them as modified sine wave.
Reading this forum, the cMP want's a pure sine wave.

I have 3 such UPS towers active now.
Yes, indeed it does; it is why I bought it many years ago. I was just wondering if there was anything new in UPS technology such as lithium ion battery based UPS' for example?
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,211
701
APC Smart-UPS is quality kit. Definitely buy replacement batteries for it.

If I was buying today I'd buy one of the CyberPower PFCLCD models (which are also pure sine wave). Avoid Tripp-Lite at all costs.
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
299
156
New Orleans, USA
The 'pack' is two 12v 18Ah batteries stuck together with foam tape. I nearly always rebuild my APC packs. If you're a little handy with tools, it's not difficult. Reuse the wires, fuse(if present it's usually between the batteries), and terminal covers.
 

Forbidden Era

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2018
45
3
My UPS's are powered by two spare car batteries. I figure better to keep the batteries inside on a trickle charge than outside dying in cars that aren't being driven.
 

msh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
APC Smart-UPS is quality kit. Definitely buy replacement batteries for it.

If I was buying today I'd buy one of the CyberPower PFCLCD models (which are also pure sine wave). Avoid Tripp-Lite at all costs.
Yes, agree. I have two of the CyberPower 1000PFCLCD units - one for each of two mac minis being used as server and client HTPC machines. They have worked very well for a little less than two years now.
 

msh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
They exist, but an APC 1500VA lithium costs about $1700.
It looks like the only new tech in UPS’ are display panels. No advances in efficiency, size, performance or cost. I would guess the lithium batteries increase efficiency and reduce size but the cost is high. On the other hand I bet those lithium batteries last 2-3 times longer than lead acid so maybe not as expensive as it seems. Sort of like led vs incandescent light bulbs.
 
Last edited:

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
299
156
New Orleans, USA
It looks like the only new tech in UPS’ are display panels. No advances in efficiency, size, performance or cost. I would guess the lithium batteries increase efficiency and reduce size but the cost is high. On the other hand I bet those lithium batteries last 2-3 times longer than lead acid so maybe not as expensive as it seems. Sort of like led vs incandescent light bulbs.
Assuming 10-year life out of the lithium pack if a poorly-designed charging circuit doesn’t murder the cells in <4 years, you’re loooking at around $200 in new batteries in a lead-acid model even if bought from APC over that time frame.

Lithium does require less standby current. Typical for a 24v/9Ah SLA is 24v @ 75mA. This is less when new and increases as the cell’s age. After charger inefficiencies, something like 3 watts constant. Let’s use the same 10-year life cycle. 87,660 hours using 365.25-day years is 263KWh. Add in for increased cooling demand, maybe 350KWh over a decade. Even at an unrealistically high 20¢ per KWh, that’s $70.

Spend $1500 extra now to save $270 over a decade. No thanks.

Recycle your dead lead batteries and it’s a very green process. Mining that much lithium is arguably worse.

LED bulbs, on the other hand, have a great return on investment.
 

msh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
You can use a third party battery. My APC unit uses two batteries bought from these folks:

https://www.atbatt.com/atbatt-replacement-ups-battery-for-apc-sua1500/?gclid=CjwKCAiAz7TfBRAKEiwAz8fKOP8TAKHyY1-G7weRapgztocO4NTlBQMZFBMjLn3Py6ZhN-dficfgUxoCwK4QAvD_BwE

They are a quality house.

Lou
Lou,

I just got my new battery from atbatt and it works great. Turns out they are practically in my backyard here in LA. Nice to have my old reliable APC 1500 in service again.

Thank you.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
Also, depending on your model you can open the battery pack and just change out the batteries inside which are industry standard.

For example my APC's battery pack looks like this:

But when I open it up, inside are four common 12v 9ah sealed lead acid batteries like below. These run about $20 each at my local battery store (getting some credit for trading in the old ones):
 

msh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
Assuming 10-year life out of the lithium pack if a poorly-designed charging circuit doesn’t murder the cells in <4 years, you’re loooking at around $200 in new batteries in a lead-acid model even if bought from APC over that time frame.

Lithium does require less standby current. Typical for a 24v/9Ah SLA is 24v @ 75mA. This is less when new and increases as the cell’s age. After charger inefficiencies, something like 3 watts constant. Let’s use the same 10-year life cycle. 87,660 hours using 365.25-day years is 263KWh. Add in for increased cooling demand, maybe 350KWh over a decade. Even at an unrealistically high 20¢ per KWh, that’s $70.

Spend $1500 extra now to save $270 over a decade. No thanks.

Recycle your dead lead batteries and it’s a very green process. Mining that much lithium is arguably worse.

LED bulbs, on the other hand, have a great return on investment.
Points well taken.