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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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