Uninterruptible Power Supply - consider it as insurance...
Uninterruptible Power Supply
(UPS) will supply critical power when you need it.
Most UPS use maintenance free lead-acid batteries.
Need a back up power for anything from a PC to an a rack of
servers? A UPS will also safeguard your equipment from damaging power surges and
spikes that travel along your utility and phone lines.
A UPS is made up of Transformers, power conversion circuit, an inverter and batteries. There is a power
converter that is dual purpose, the transformer is also dual purpose. The only
thing that is one way is the inverter (it converts the battery 24v dc to 110 or
220v AC). Commercial power is provided to the power
converter that trickle charges the
batteries. The power supply and transformer also provide protection from power
spikes and the batteries provide the necessary additional power in brownout
There are three main types of protection by a Uninterruptible Power Supply:
Low supplied power - Brownout
Power Surge - Increase in supplied power
In normal conditions the Uninterruptible Power Supply will just set there trickle charging the batteries.
(Trickle charge means that the batteries are supplied a small amount of current
over a long period of time, this induces less wear and tear on the batteries
than giving them a full charge all the time.)
When you lose power the
UPS will supply power to your systems that are
connected for a period of time, the time will depend on factors unique to your
- How many computers (workstations or servers) you have connected to the UPS.
- How many monitors you have plugged into the UPS.
- How much power from the batteries the UPS can supply over a given period measured in Amps per Hour
Brownouts are when you commercial power has too much draw on the grid, say on a
real hot summer day, everyone is running their air conditioning at max, this may
cause a brownout, a reduction of the available amperage to your location. The
UPS will pickup the loss and supply the correct amperage to the systems
The 5 Steps to high quality and cheap
DIY Computer Repairs
Get It Today...
Power Surge, a power surge usually occurs when the power has been off and then
comes back on. Because the power supplier can not control how much amperage is
release down a power line the surge happens.
Think of a power surge as a flash
flood. Once the head of the flood has passed the water levels off. The surge is
the head of the power supply when the power company returns service. A
Uninterruptible Power Supply will
absorb this surge in the Transformer (Surge Arrestor), it will not pass it on to any systems
A UPS is expensive, the reason it is expensive is the transformer (five to ten
pounds of copper) and the batteries. The more ApH (Ampere
Hours) supplied the more expensive
the UPS, higher ApH means more batteries. All this copper and lead (in the
batteries) also translates in to weight. The bigger the UPS the more it will
Power strips and Surge protectors.
Power strips normally (be careful of what
you buy!) will not have surge protection built in
to them. Most will have a label telling you how much power will cause the
circuit breaker to trip.
This really is not surge protection
it is circuit protection to keep excessive power (amperage) draw from causing a
Surge protection in a power strip will cost more than your normal run of the
mill cheap power strip. Upwards of ten to twenty dollars and will have the surge
protection factor either on the package or on the underside of the surge
protector. They also serve as power strips. Most have a led (not
the power off/on switch!) that will tell you if the surge
protection circuit is functional or some may use a circuit breaker. When a power
surge comes down the power line the surge protection in the device heats up and
disconnects, it is fast enough to stop the surge from going to any devices
connected to it.
IT WILL NOT
help with a brownout situation.
As with all products you get what you pay for, but I do believe your computer
equipment is worth more than a $5 power strip made in some far off place of
dubious materials and quality.