UPS systems to be disrupted by an open hardware design
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.