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Power Basics

Clean power is one of the most important foundations to building a reliable business. UPS Systems, Surge Protectors, and Power Filters help assure clean power and protect vital equipment from power problems like blackouts, brownouts, electrical noise, and surges. To select the appropriate ups for your situation, you must know the power basics.

Typical power problems - Electrical power is supposed to be free of noise and posses a sinusoidal shape. The most common problems that occur are blackouts, brownouts, surges, and noise.

  • Blackouts - A total lack of power.

  • Brownouts - Voltage dips and the lights dim. This can cause hard drive failures in computers.

  • Surges - Often caused by lightening storms or switching by the utility company

  • Noise - This is a subtle power problem that there are usually no visible signs of a problem, but can cause random hardware failures.

UPS Systems - UPS systems is a general term used to describe battery backup systems for computers and other sensitive electronic equipment. However, there are many different types of UPS systems suited for a variety of applications.

  • Stand-by UPS systems are typically used for desktop or home computers. It has some power filtering, surge protection, and a battery backup. When the power goes out or there is a brownout, it simply switches over to battery.

  • Line Interactive UPS Systems are similar to stand-by systems except they offer more advanced voltage regulation to handle sags and over-voltages without going to battery. This type is used mostly for computer equipment.

  • True Online UPS Systems provide complete power protection and are constantly cleaning and filtering the incoming power. They provide extremely clean power regardless of the incoming power source. This type of UPS is used for computers, lab equipment, and industrial applications.

Surge Protectors and Power Filters - Often overlooked when planning the environment for your computer or sensitive equipment, these devices can offer a large amount of protection for very little money. Panel mount surge protectors can protect all downstream loads from surges for a very low cost per device. These surge protectors are mounted next to the electrical panel and divert surge energy to ground. In many situations very sensitive lab equipment requires noise free power to provide accurate results. Isolation transformers can also be used with lab equipment to remove unwanted noise and ensure correct operation.