Can a consumer-grade UPS be run on its side?

I have a Cyberpower UPS (, and I’m wondering if there’s any reason I couldn’t basically lay it flat (“desktop” style, not “tower” style). Can anybody think of any problems with batteries or anything else that would cause?

The ventilation holes on the side would be blocked if it were lying flat, and even if placed on blocks to keep them clear there could be issues with heat convection. Heat is the enemy of electronics.

Agree with @tomalmy, BUT I put little “feet” on mine
(same unit as you @webwalrus) to elevate and not block the ventilation.

in addition, the batteries inside the UPS are designed to be vertical. Athough most batteries are VRLA so not wet and flooded lead acid batteries. They still may leak if laid flat and the vent holes are meant to be on the top of the batteries in stand up position

Here’s the thing…

I have a small-ish (I think 8U) portable rack that - when I’m done - will contain a QNAP TR-004U DAS RAID 5 array, two Mac Minis, and possibly some other stuff (power panel, etc.) I would like this power supply to be part of said rack. But obviously tower cases don’t mount well in racks.

So I have three options…

(a) lay this on its side on a vented rack shelf. I could do feet and that sort of thing if that helps airflow.
(b) Use the UPS external to the rack.
(c) Purchase a new UPS to rackmount.

(c) looks to be an outlay of about $300 to do the job even remotely well, although I could stack it with (b) and have extra power protection - so it wouldn’t be a complete waste of money. (b) is an option, but would be less-than-ideal since if I moved the equipment I couldn’t easily move the UPS with it.

If I can do (a), I’d find a way to attach it to the rack shelf so it didn’t slip around and go crazy. And I have mounting rails on both front and back of the rack, so it would be trivial for me to install some secondary fans to increase airflow. And obviously I have more space than I need, so I could leave spacing between the UPS and any other hardware.

That’s my situation. What would you do?

Battery on its side isn’t a problem but ventilation, as mentioned, could be a problem. If you’re only using a small percentage of the UPS’s capacity there shouldn’t be too much heat. Will the cabinet have fans? That could help. I guess I’m lucky in that all my units are able to be mounted vertically.

If the cabinet is deep, consider putting the UPS across the back with a short shelf in front of it. Most of your equipment doesn’t need a full depth cabinet shelf.

this is correct when the power is on, a lot more heat could be generated when the mains is out and the invertor has to convert the battery reserve back into AC power.

I’d go with option (b), and keep it in tower orientation. At my former work, we had testers in manufacturing that had rack mount UPSes. They were ridiculously expensive and weren’t that reliable. I think the manufacturer knew that if you needed a rack mount UPS they had you as a captive customer.

What is the depth of the QNAP, compared with the rack?
Maybe there is room behind the installed QNAP, to place the UPS?

Simulated Sine Wave or Sine Wave…

Does anyone know which is better and why?

Waveform: Simulated Sine Wave

Waveform: Sine Wave

it comes down to cost and need. Pure sine wave is most expensive , if your need does not call for very smooth waveform (for most home user, I think it suffice, just my view though), then simulated version is almost half the price

also depends on how frequent that the UPS needs to be in regeneration mode , ie. During power outage or irregularities , in normal mode , both versions produce more or less the same waveform

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Thanks for the info!

There is, but then I can’t move the rack. And that’s the whole point. The UPS needs to be secure wherever it is in the enclosure.

Just strap it in!
If there is a structure to hold the blades, there is a structure to strap the UPS in, with velcro or something similar.

Yeah, I’d probably have to add some structure. It’s a sealed box with the rack ears bolted to the sides. But I suppose I could do that.

I just have a hard time trusting something like Velcro to keep a big and heavy unit like a UPS from crashing into all the cable connections of my computers.

We are using Velcro as a replacement for hand cuffs on my company, so it depends on the Velcro, but there is a wide variety of tension belt with different dimensions available, that could be used.

Someone should use this as the opening line to their next novel! :slightly_smiling_face:

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So what did you wind up doing @webwalrus?

Haven’t built it out yet - still have to come up with the mounting hardware for the Minis.

The rack enclosure doesn’t have any good attachment areas (the “ears” bolt to the sides of a box) so at this point I’m tempted to get a super-shallow rack shelf and use heavy-duty zip ties or something to hold the UPS into position on that shelf. And I’ll probably mount it vertically if I go that route.

That’s what I did, I put the “feet” on, and then
zip tied it to the shelf in my rack (that has slots in it)

The only thing I don’t like is that the slots are a little
more forward, so I can’t butt the UPS to the back lip.

Good conversation wrt batteries and venting etc, and
fwiw there are NO venting holes on the batteries.

(I was replacing them when this thread started)