UPS sys­tems to be dis­rupted by an open hard­ware de­sign

OpenSource For You - - Foss Bytes -

In a re­cent blog post, open source de­vel­oper Eric Raymond wrote that the UPS sys­tem falls in a painful prod­uct cat­e­gory. He sug­gested that this whole prod­uct cat­e­gory needs to be dis­rupted by an open hard­ware de­sign that will ad­dress the many de­fi­cien­cies of ex­ist­ing hard­ware.

As the un­in­ter­rupt­ible power sup­ply (UPS) mar­ket is due for open source dis­rup­tion, Raymond opened up about the Up­side Project, a work-in-progress on GitLab. The Up­side Project is cur­rently defin­ing re­quire­ments and de­vel­op­ing a spec­i­fi­ca­tion for a “…high qual­ity UPS sys­tem that can be built from off-the-shelf parts in any rea­son­ably well-equipped maker space or home elec­tron­ics shop,” he added.

In the orig­i­nal post called, ‘UPSs suck and need to be dis­rupted’, Raymond men­tioned a set of com­plaints about what’s sold to con­sumer/SOHO users. UPSs lack the kind of sen­sor in­for­ma­tion that pro­tects car bat­ter­ies. Raymond wrote that he wanted the UPS sys­tem to pro­vide text-based alarm mes­sages (rather than flash­ing lamps), and to pro­vide de­cent mon­i­tor­ing in­for­ma­tion over USB.

Raymond in­formed that Eric Baskin is lead­ing the hard­ware en­gi­neer­ing team for Up­side, Jay May­nard is de­vel­op­ing the firmware, and Jeremy Mitts is copy edit­ing the doc­u­ments. He also said that their fi­nal de­liv­er­able will be PCB de­signs, a full parts list, as­sem­bly in­struc­tions, and full man­u­als for the hard­ware and soft­ware.

The Up­side Project is work­ing to­wards build­ing UPS sys­tems with open hard­ware, and with smart charg­ing to pre­serve the bat­tery. In­stead of leadacid, LiFePO (lithium iron phos­phate) bat­ter­ies are be­ing sug­gested. The open hard­ware UPS sys­tem should be able to de­liver 300W for 15 min­utes.

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