[Beowulf] power usage, Intel 5160 vs. AMD 2216

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Jul 13 14:02:00 PDT 2007

At 07:31 AM 7/13/2007, Robert G. Brown wrote:

>For small/personal clusters I change my mind again.  I tend to buy cheap
>UPS's for my house because our power bobbles for 1-5 seconds nearly
>every heavy rain/windstorm we have, which is why I know from direct
>experience that the batteries in these UPSs are lucky to last two whole
>years.  I've got something like three of them where I'm plugged into the
>surge side because the UPS side is dead (no power at all) or goes down
>anyway when power bobbles, to the tune of system crash AND the maddening
>beeping.  I'd love to find a 10 second PDU/conditioner that used a
>really large capacitor instead of a battery to buffer short outages,

Tough.. the energy density of lead acid is really high.

Here's an example using one of those big 1 Farad 12V caps the auto 
sound people use.. say the UPS can take voltage drop of 2V on the 
"battery".  At 12V it stores 72 Joules. At 10V, you've recovered 22J. 
That's about 1/10th second, assuming the UPS is 100% efficient, which it isn't.

For 10 seconds, you need 100 Farad.. that's a BIG cap.

The battery life *should* be a whole lot longer (Lead Acid batteries 
can have 10-20 year lives, as can NiCd), however, the run of the mill 
UPS doesn't treat the battery very well.

>especially at mass market prices.

That's the problem.. mass market means race to the bottom for quality 
and life, to reduce initial price.  You can get a PC UPS which 
provides 10 minutes or so at 200-300VA for $50-70 at the local big 
box store.  If you were willing to pay, say, $300-400, you could 
probably get 20 year life.

(you could cobble one together cheaper.. a high quality charger is 
probably $50-100, good quality battery is around $20, a high quality 
inverter is $200 or so, and then you'd need some sort of transfer switch.

Take a look at products aimed at the sailboat/solar power market, 
which are definitely aimed at longevity.

>Does anybody know of such a beast?  No battery, no toxins, just a big
>cap and small price?
>    rgb
>Robert G. Brown                        http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
>Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
>Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
>Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu
>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
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James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875 

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