What happens to your office in the event of a power outage? Have you thought of how to protect your electrical equipment? Business BVI got the lowdown from Fresh Mango on the best way to prevent computer damage during power shortages, through an Uninterruptible Power Supply.
What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source, typically mains power, fails. A UPS differs from a standby generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries. The on-battery runtime of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short (only a few minutes) but sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment.
A UPS is typically used to protect hardware such as computers, data centers, telecommunication equipment or other electrical equipment where an unexpected power disruption could cause injuries, fatalities, serious business disruption or data loss. UPS units range in size from units designed to protect a single computer without a video monitor (around 200 VA rating) to large units powering entire data centers or buildings. The world's largest UPS, the 46-megawatt, Battery Electric Storage System (BESS), in Fairbanks, AK, powers the entire city and nearby rural communities during outages.
Why do I need an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
In general, a UPS protects IT equipment and other electrical loads from problems that plague our electrical supply, performing the following three basic functions:
1. Preventing hardware damage typically caused by surges, brown outs and spikes. Many UPS models continually condition incoming power as well.
2. Preventing data loss and corruption. Without a UPS, devices that are subjected to a hard system shutdown can lose data completely or have it corrupted. In conjunction with power management software, a UPS can facilitate a graceful system shutdown.
3. Providing availability for networks and other applications while preventing downtime. In some cases, they provide enough battery runtime to ride through brief outages; in other cases, they provide hours of runtime to ride through extended power outages. UPS’s can also be paired with generators to provide uninterrupted power whilst the generator comes online.
When it comes to backup power, here are some basic questions to ask yourself.