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CyberPower Releases Updates to Business Class Power Management Software

CyberPower has updated its PowerPanel® Business Edition (PPBE) software to version 3.2. It provides advanced power management for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and network connected power distribution units (PDU). With this release, the new features make PowerPanel Business Edition even more helpful for power users. PPBE Agent now has SNMP support, allowing users to monitor USB or serial port connected UPS systems via SNMP, and to receive SNMP trap notifications. PPBE Client can now manage redundant power configurations, monitoring the status of separate CyberPower UPS systems simultaneously.

Read the full press release.

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CyberPower Launches Channel Partner Program

The Channel Partner Alliance program is designed to maximize partner profitability and create new sales opportunities for resellers to help power their businesses. The program offers exclusive partner discounts, one-hour response times to sales inquiries, training and an incentive program that rewards sales representatives for selling CyberPower.

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Computer Talk Radio with Benjamin Rockwell

Computer Talk Radio discusses power protection and CyberPower (At 57:30 of the show) with Marty Winston, tech trend watch and editor of Newstips Bulletin. Marty discusses the benefits of power protection and the brands to watch. Computer Talk Radio is a nationally syndicated broadcast radio program on computers, technology, and your life. Benjamin Rockwell, the show host and a computer nerd, leads the team as the expert guide through the technical jungle of jargon, and the valleys of viruses, to reach the pinnacle of power of your computer problems.

Listen to the show.

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Silver Bullets and Surge Protectors

Vampire Power

An Invisible Villain

If you’re like most people, you have an invisible villain hiding in your television set, slowly sucking away your electricity and your money. This silent monster is called standby power, also known as vampire power. But you can get rid of it.

Vampire Power

Television sets and electronic devices often include a standby power feature. They draw a small amount of electric current even when they are switched off, so that they can be fully powered up and ready to use sooner when you turn them on. That small amount adds up, especially when you have multiple devices.

Chargers can also be vampires. A small transformer that converts AC utility power to DC to recharge a mobile phone, tablet, media player, or other small device will keep drawing power even if the device is fully charged or no longer connected.

In fact, according to a 2015 study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, idle load electricity accounts for nearly one-fourth of electric power consumption in the United States—enough to keep 50 major power plants running all year. That’s a considerable amount to pay just for electronics to start up a little faster.

Wooden Stakes and Garlic

To get rid of the power vampires in your house and office, you don’t need holy water or sunlight—just a few changes to your daily habits and maybe a few devices. Here are some proven tactics for reducing idle loads and unnecessary costs:

Measure your electric power consumption. You can find a smart meter at any home improvement store, and use it to find out how much electricity your devices really use. This will also help you decide where to concentrate your efforts.

Use a surge protector or power strip with energy saving technology. These let you turn off power to connected devices without having to unplug them. Some surge protectors have smart outlets that switch off power automatically when a “master” outlet is no longer in use.

Use a timer for devices you only use at certain hours. For example, if you only use your coffee maker in the morning, put it on a timer that switches it off for the rest of the time. Your computer operating system probably has energy saving settings built in, too.

Change the settings on your home entertainment devices. Your television, gaming console, digital video recorder, streaming device, or cable box may let you switch off its quick-start feature.

Unplug electronics that aren’t in use. If you’re not going to use a device for a while, pull the plug. This keeps it from drawing power while it’s not doing anything for you.

Save and shut down instead of using sleep mode. Computers and gaming consoles will generally let you pick up where you left off if you save your current status. You wouldn’t leave your car running for hours while you’re not using it; park it and switch it off.

Check ENERGY STAR ratings when you buy. Many electronic devices have an ENERGY STAR energy efficiency rating, showing how much electricity it consumes, and how that compares to similar products. The differences can be significant.

A New Dawn

Power utility companies understand the importance of energy conservation, and would rather help you reduce waste than build more power generation facilities. For that matter, some government agencies have proposed rules that limit how much electricity a device can draw while it’s in standby mode. But you bear the cost, so you have the most to gain. A few simple changes to your equipment and routine can make a big difference in how much you spend.

If you have more questions or a story to tell about vampire power, write to us at pr@cpsww.com. And please tell us whether you think this post is useful or entertaining. Thanks!

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Productivity at the Point of Sale: Every Minute Counts

Every minute counts in today’s retail environment. Devices at the point of sale–such as scanners, scales, registers, printers, and credit card terminals-all rely on consistent power. Even the latest equipment can be stopped in an instant by a power failure. That’s where an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system can make all the difference.

Research from The Standish Group shows that each minute a point-of-sale system is down, it costs a retailer $4,700. This past January, the market research firm E Source confirmed that finding when it reported that power outages cost U.S. businesses more than $27 billion last year. To keep registers ringing and protect financial transactions, retailers must ensure they have the right power protection and battery backup in place.

According to RetailCustomerExperience.com, customers become impatient when the line doesn’t move for two or three minutes, and one-third of retail shoppers abandon their carts after five minutes. The store loses a sale, and the brand loses face. By eliminating delays caused by power failure, retailers can reduce the risk of damage to their profits and reputation.

When you consider of all the factors (Wall Street Journal) that cause shopper aggravation for customers, power interruptions don’t have to be one. A battery backup for POS equipment helps ensure vital equipment stays fully operational with clean, consistent power. It allows retailers to keep employee productivity high, customers satisfied, and data secure.

At CyberPower we’ve recently launched the RT650 UPS system specifically designed for retail applications. Where space is limited, such as register counters, point of sale terminals, service desks, kiosks, ATMs, and gaming environments, its compact size, industry-leading power protection specifications, and 5-year warranty helps keep customers satisfied.

To learn more about UPS systems for retail applications on our website.

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The Wirecutter Recommends CP685AVR as Best UPS

A review just published in The Wirecutter ranks one of our most popular uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units as the best choice for power backup of a home network. Product reviewer Mark Smirniotis singled out the CyberPower CP685AVR: “It’s easy to set up, it has some of the most positive user reviews in its class, and it’s the most affordable unit we found.”

This battery backup model has an extensive record of success that caught the attention of reviewers at The Wirecutter. In their words: “To find the best UPS for most people, we looked at the power output, battery capacity, and user comments on 28 of the highest-rated and most-popular UPS options on Amazon.”

Also, the article provides a primer on power protection, how they picked and tested the models, care and maintenance of a UPS, and feature explanations. If don’t you know much about power protection for electronic equipment, it’s well worth your time.

The CP685AVR provides battery backup and surge protection for desktop computers, workstations, networking devices, and home entertainment systems. It features Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) to correct minor power fluctuations without switching to battery power. The CP685AVR comes with a three-year warranty (including coverage of batteries) and a $125,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee.

Read the full review over at The Wirecutter.

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Preventing Common Power Problems

Solutions for Spikes, Surges, and More

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units (also known as battery backups) and surge protectors guard computers and other sensitive electronics against sudden changes in utility power. They provide a form of insurance for important equipment, preventing component damage and keeping the electric current flowing.

Depending on the location and season, power problems can be both serious and likely. The most common power problems are too much voltage, known as power spikes and surges, and too little voltage, called brownouts and blackouts.

Power Spikes or Surges

A power spike is a burst of high voltage that lasts a few milliseconds. A power surge lasts longer–from 15 milliseconds to several minutes. Surges often happen when large electrical devices switch on and off, or because of faulty wiring or utility problems. Spikes are less frequent, and often result from lightning strikes near connected power lines.

Surge protectors guard against excess voltage. CyberPower surge protectors offer data line protection, noise filters for electromagnetic interference/radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), and impact-resistant casings for long service life. To protect computers and electronics after a major spike or surge, the metal oxide varistor (MOV) in a surge protector will shut off all power to the equipment. This prevents devices from operating without protection.

voltage 1
 

Sags, Brownouts, and Blackouts

Sags and brownouts occur when voltage drops below the normal range. In the United States, for example, nominal household current is 120 VAC. A sag can be as short as one cycle (1/60 of a second), while a brownout may last several minutes. A blackout (complete loss of utility power) can result in equipment damage, service interruption, and data loss.

A UPS system will protect against over voltages, like a surge protector, and provide continuous power during a brownout or blackout. Models with automatic voltage regulation (AVR) correct minor variations in input voltage. When utility power drops below acceptable levels, the UPS will supply power from its battery so you can keep working or playing. In case of a blackout, a UPS unit will provide power long enough to safely shut down your equipment and prevent data loss or equipment damage.

voltage 2
 

Staying Protected During Power Season

Severe summer weather such as lightning storms can often disrupt utility power. At the same time, heavy use of air conditioning drives up demand for electric power. This makes summer a smart time to add or upgrade power protection.

CyberPower UPS units, such as the BRG Intelligent LCD Series, offer guaranteed power protection for desktop computers, workstations, routers, modems, gaming consoles, and home theater equipment. They provide surge protection and battery backup with automatic voltage regulation (AVR). Every BRG unit is now covered by a five year product warranty for added peace of mind.

To find the best power protection and management products for your needs, try our online Surge Selector and UPS Selector tools, or call one of our advisors at 952-403-9500.

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Best Practices for Power Season

Summer Means Heavy Demand for Power

For people in North America, summer is power season. That’s when demand for electric power is the highest, especially from homes and businesses that use air conditioning. As that demand puts strain on what a power utility can provide, power problems become more common. Utility power is also vulnerable to severe weather, such as lightning, thunder storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. These weather events can affect transmission lines, utility poles, transformers, and other power delivery equipment.

The most common power problems that result from heavy demand are temporary drops in voltage, called brownouts, and long term outages, called blackouts. These can be inconvenient if you’re using home and office equipment, and may even harm sensitive electronics.

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) will provide continuous power during brownouts. When utility power drops below acceptable levels, the UPS system will draw electric power from its battery so you can keep working or playing. When utility power returns to normal, the UPS will switch back to outputting utility power and go back to charging its battery. In case of a blackout, a UPS will provide power long enough to safely shut down your equipment and prevent data loss or equipment damage.

Find Your Requirements

To make sure you have the right kind and amount of power protection, determine three things: What level of UPS capacity you need, how much runtime the UPS should provide connected equipment, and what type of applications you need to support or maintain.

Capacity describes how much power a UPS system provides. The higher the capacity of the UPS, the larger quantity of connected equipment it can support, or equipment with a higher power draw. To find your required capacity, add up the total power consumption of all the devices you expect to connect to the UPS. This is called the total load, and it’s the minimum capacity your UPS system should have.

Runtime is the number of minutes a UPS system can support a given load during a blackout. The minimum runtime needed is how long it takes to shut down your equipment safely. For a computer with attached equipment, such as external hard drives, make sure the runtime is long enough for the slowest device to finish switching off.

Application refers to the voltage and frequency requirements of the devices that will be connected to the UPS. In the United States and Canada, most computers, gaming systems, monitors, and home theater components use 120V AC power at 60 Hz. Make sure the voltage and frequency of the UPS model you choose match your connected devices.

Choose Your UPS

CyberPower UPS systems are designed as one of three types, called topologies: standby, line interactive, and double conversion. Here are short descriptions of each.

Standby UPS models allow connected equipment to run using utility power until the UPS detects a power problem, then it switches to battery power.

 

Line interactive UPS models offer a higher level of protection with automatic voltage regulation (AVR). They use an autotransformer to regulate low voltages (e.g., brownouts) and over voltages (e.g., spikes) before allowing power to pass through to connected equipment. This preserves battery life of the UPS.

 

Double conversion UPS models deliver the highest levels of protection. They convert incoming utility power from AC to DC and back to AC. The output is clean, isolated sine wave power � ideal for critical equipment and applications.

 

The Bottom Line

For most of us, daily life runs on electric power. Brownouts and blackouts are inconvenient at best, keeping us from doing what we need or want. At worst, they cause irrecoverable data loss, equipment damage and critical downtime that cost you valuable time and money. Keep your cool during power season. Choose a UPS that will keep your equipment and devices running smoothly when utility power falters or fails.

For more information, contact CyberPower Systems at 952-403-9500.

Five-Year Warranty on BRG UPS Models

More than anything else, a UPS should provide peace of mind. That’s why every BRG model of Intelligent LCD UPS Series from CyberPower is now covered by a five year warranty–including the battery. Ideal for home and office equipment, these battery backup models correct minor power fluctuations (like those experienced during power season) without switching to battery power. They also feature a multifunction LCD panel that displays battery and power conditions, front panel USB charging ports, and PowerPanel® Personal Edition software to monitor and safely shutdown the UPS system.