Tripp-Lite SmartOnline UPS Battery Testing
Testing of a new Tripp-Lite SmartOnline UPS was preformed to calculate the length of time it’s battery backup would power the hardware at a CODAR site. The testing was conducted inside the loading bay at Rutgers IMCS.
Hardware powered by Tripp-Lite UPS battery:
1 Apple Mac Mini (with keyboard and optical mouse)
1 Viewsonic 15” LCD monitor VA503b
1 Codar Ocean Sensors SeaSonde Receiver SSRX100
The testing started with a fully charged Tripp-Lite battery. The battery had been charging by itself for about 20 hours. The Mac Mini was set to never go into sleep mode, never put the display to sleep, and to not put the hard drive to sleep when possible (System Preferences, Energy Saver). These settings were chosen to maximize the amount of energy drawn from the battery, so our testing reflects the shortest duration the battery will last while powering the attached hardware.
It should be noted that a complete Codar system also includes a COS SeaSonde Transmitter, air-conditioner, and sometimes a cable or DSL modem- all of which draw power when ON. Had these additional pieces of hardware been utilized during the testing, the UPS battery would certainly have a greatly shortened duration.
The testing was recorded using an externally-powered laptop computer and a Logitech camera. The camera was setup to record the front panel lights on the Tripp-Lite UPS, which indicate the approximate percentage of power remaining when the UPS battery is being utilized. After the Mac Mini, monitor, and receiver unit had been plugged into the UPS and setup for the testing, the UPS was unplugged from the wall, causing it to activate it’s battery to power the attached hardware. The system was left to run and drain the UPS battery.
After six hours, the battery was dead and all the hardware powered through the Tripp-Lite was off. Review of the test video indicated that after 2 hours of operation, the Tripp-Lite battery was down to about 50% power. Unfortunately, the video recording playback ended after two hours, even though I did not enter the “Stop Recording” command until it had been recording for close to 6 hours.
The hardware was all unplugged from the Tripp-Lite and it was plugged back in for over 36 hours to let it’s battery recharge fully.
A repeat of the first test was then conducted. For the second test, the setup was exactly the same, except the computer was via USB (as well as power) to the Tripp-Lite. The computer-Tripp-Lite USB connection allows for you to control the scheduling of how long the computer stays on while the UPS is on battery-backup. For the Mac, these setting appear in a new tab under System Preferences> Energy Saver. No software was needed to communicate between the computer and the Tripp-Lite; only the USB cable.
It should be noted that twice, after the computer was connected to the Tripp-Lite, the UPS tab in Energy Saver disappeared. It may be that after settings are set and the UPS is providing power from its battery, you cannot change them until external power is again available to the UPS.
The second test lasted about six hours. The UPS battery died sometime within before those hours had expired. Unfortunately, the video recording playback again cut out after only about 1 hour, even though I didn’t stop the recording until after the 6 hours had transpired. It could be that the Logitech software is written to stop recording any file that is 1 GB or bigger- all the videos we have tried to record during testing cut out between 932-934 MB…
It should also be noted that after we had began the second test, while the computer was still communicating with the UPS, the UPS battery life indicated on the computer screen was over 16 hours. The UPS battery obviously did not even last 8 hours, so it is unclear how that estimate was generated.
Based on the data we were able to collect, it is estimated that the Tripp-Lite SmartOnline UPS battery lasts between 4-6 hours, when powering the Mac Mini, ViewSonic VA503b monitor, and COS SSRX100 receiver.