We like to think of battery backup power or uninterruptible power supply (UPS systems) as a simple thing. The utility power goes out; the battery reserves provide enough runtime to power connected equipment through a short outage or complete a shutdown safely. Simple, right? Not quite.
Not all battery backup power is created equal
With the growing demands of our digitally-based workload and the advancing sophistication of electronics, battery backup power is fundamental to fully protect our devices, data, and technology from the impact of power events of all kinds, which are happening more often. But, understanding the different quality levels of that backup power is essential to ensuring you have the right type of battery backup power for all your devices:
How we got here
While the energy-efficient devices listed above are commonplace today, that wasn’t always the case. By the 1990s, large desktop computers, home printers, and big screen TVs drove additional power demand. This helped launch the era of energy efficiency, and the ENERGY STAR® program brought new standards of energy efficiency to appliances and all types of electrical devices. This was especially true for the growing number of computers at work and at home. Like computers have undergone a technology makeover to increase their functionality and more efficiently utilize space and energy, power protection has followed suit and evolved at a similar pace.
Advancing levels of star-power
The 2000s brought the evolution of ENERGY STAR® standards to new levels. Each computer’s energy efficiency is now measured against ENERGY STAR® 6.0 requirements.
To help these ENERGY STAR® 6.0 electronics run more effectively and efficiently, more sophisticated power supplies are needed. The requirements for these power supplies are designed to meet the energy efficiency standards with a feature known as Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) with switching power supplies. During an outage, these Active PFC-enabled computers are much more sensitive to the type or quality of backup power and perform best with a waveform called sine wave.
What is Sine Wave Output?
An output waveform (see below) is a way to describe the type of electric power being generated. Utility power is delivered with a smooth continuous transition between positive and negative polarity. It is considered sine wave output.
In a power outage, UPS units provide backup power. However, some UPS units only deliver a simulated sine wave or its sometimes called stepped or approximation sine wave (see above). This type of manufactured wave form is good for most situations, but its design includes a zero point when changing phase or transitioning polarity. And that can affect certain computer, workstations, and servers that use switching power supplies with Active PFC.
It’s all about making smooth waves
Computers and equipment using Active PFC circuitry may see that zero point as a power failure, and the equipment’s power supply unit may shut down without warning. This can translate to equipment damage, data loss, or both.
Don’t second-guess it
For best protection, you want sine wave output technology coming from your UPS battery backup. This assures that smooth power will be matching the needs of your ENERGY STAR® certified computers.
CyberPower’s PFC Sinewave product line offers sine wave output along with a range of capabilities and various price points. These units answer the backup needs of your high-end equipment and ENERGY STAR® 6.0 computers requiring Active PFC power source compatibility. It’s also good to know these PFC Sinewave units use Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) to help correct minor power fluctuations without having to switch to battery mode, which can help ensure peak battery performance when an extended power event does occur.
The rising star of PFC Sinewave units
Advanced home users and small businesses will find top value and peace of mind in the CP1500PFCLCD model which offers an output of 1000 watts and 1500VA, with a full-load runtime of 2.5 minutes and half-load runtime of 10 minutes.
What can you do now?
Take a look at your critical points of power connection in your home, office or business. Consider the devices and appliances that are running daily and may be vulnerable to surges, sags and especially outages. And remember, if any of your computers are ENERGY STAR© 6.0 certified, it’s best to consider PFC Sinewave units as your UPS backup power. Coverage will vary, and there are specific options available to help you match the right UPS for your needs and budget.
Face it, your data and devices are invaluable to you, so don’t let them become vulnerable. Proactively protect them with an Active PFC Sinewave UPS.
Find the right PFC Sinewave UPS system for your home or business. Our Power Specialists can size the backup power solution you need to protect your data and devices.
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