Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Product Review: EcoTech VorTech Battery Backup

Item Code: EM1711

Specifications:
  • 18 Amp-Hour 12-volt sealed battery
  • Powder-coated white aluminum housing
  • Dimensions: 9" x 7" x 3.25"
Product Contents:
  • Battery Backup
  • One page instructions with warranty on back
  • Power Adapter
  • Two VorTech cables
Useful Information:
  • Up to 20 hours with MP60w, 36 hours with MP40w, and 72 hours with MP10w
  • Able to daisy chain battery backups to double runtimes
  • Battery backup and charger should be plugged into the wall at all times (12 hours charge time)
  • Driver automatically switches from normal 24V to 12V when unplugged or loss of power
  • Fully discharging and recharging is NOT beneficial to the battery.
  • EcoTech recommends discharging the battery completely for testing purposes every 6 months
  • Per EcoTech, overall life of the battery depends on the number of discharges the unit has been cycled through, the age of the battery, and if maintained around 68-70 degrees F. Every time the unit is cycled, the life of the battery and its capacity is reduced.
  • EcoTech recommends that pumps used on the battery backup system should be placed high in the tank as possible to disrupt the surface of the water and improve water diffusion.
Original packaging for EcoTech Marine VorTech Battery Backup
Unboxing the Battery Backup. The unit comes well packaged.
Package contents include battery backup, power supply, and two driver cables. Two cables are included to power two VorTech pumps or daisy chain batteries
Simple installation: Connect power supply, and at least one driver cable. It doesn't matter which Output port is used.
Normal usage at 100% Pulse mode
Power to VorTechs shut off. Left driver automatically switches to battery backup mode by pulsing green. Power is reduced by 50%. Right driver is not connected to the backup battery and remains off.
Final thoughts:

The EcoTech Marine Vortech Battery Backup works directly as advertised. Installation took only minutes with plugging in the power supply and cable to the VorTech EcoSmart Driver. Most of the time was spent organizing the cables. The battery backup is a small investment to protect your livestock incase of temporary outages or emergencies.

EcoTech's instruction sheet mentions "In an aquarium with no flow, fish and corals begin to die in 4 to 10 hours". Having this peace of mind, especially with all time and money invested into any aquarium, makes the battery backup worth every penny.