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Emeka sent in this nice DIY battery backup for your computer, or any other device. The article is based on 220v, but could easily be adapted for 110v.

South Africans, as elsewhere in Africa are experiencing almost daily – “load-shedding”. The country cannot meet the demand for electricity resulting in daily scheduled power-outages nationwide.

Make your own battery backup

Related:
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DIY Solar power backup

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. Captain Obvious says:

    I am failing to see how a bought inverter, battery, and power strip are in any way a ‘Make’ article.

    Not only that, this is a manual system. The power goes out, you lose all power.

    A much better solution (and previously on Make) would be to take a ‘dead’ UPS that is fairly beefy (APC1500 or better) and connect a bog-standard SLA Battery to the charge terminals so that you would get hours of runtime out of the unit rather than minutes.

    Taking it one step further, a PV controller and a battery bank would let you charge your batteries from the mains, a PV array, or a generator.

    Also, replacing that monitor with a LCD would save a bunch too.

    Captain Obvious, away!

  2. Tom says:

    As a south african who experience load-shedding almost everyday, I can appreciate something like this. Although as the previous poster pointed out its not a perfect solution but it’s a start. It’s projects like these that get other makers thinking about improvements and other solutions. It’s already got me thinking about some ideas and btw, load-shedding sucks ;)

  3. computerwiz_222 says:

    I use a automotive booster pack with a 200 watt inverter plugged into the DC Jack. It works GREAT! I use my laptop with a 17ah SLA battery and it runs for a solid 8 hours with max battery on. Then the 8 hours of internal battery life.

    Although this is not a perfect system, it is still very cool.

    When I was working up north as a recreation leader, I used a system similar to this on a golf cart to run two strings of icicle Christmas lights for a Christmas parade. It ran for about 3 hours, but the strings were 50 watts each, so this put a big load on the batteries. I now have two booster packs and a few loose SLA batteries that were recovered from scooters and this is a cool way to keep something running for a while.

    (btw, this was not my golf cart and I didn’t want to go tapping into the battery system…)