How to choose the right UPS for your office

Pretty much every business today is reliant on a smooth, uninterrupted power supply for the day-to-day running of their business. Many of us take electrical power for granted and the chances are we’d suffer greatly if a sudden blackout were to occur. The fact of the matter is that actually, 90% of businesses will suffer an outage at some point, so ensuring you have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) ready to let you save your work and safely close down your computers is essential.

As well as letting you save your data and safely close down your machines, UPSs can give you the power you need to maintain critical services throughout until your regular power supply returns. No matter the size of your business, you’ll be able to find a UPS that’s manufactured in the size and shape you need, as well being within your budget.

You’ll also find a lot of UPSs have in-built surge protectors, giving you an extra layer of protection against power fluctuations that are common with main power supplies. If you’re not already protecting your vital equipment with surge protectors, you can easily find a UPS that can do both.

Uninterruptible power supplies – not just another IT purchase

You will need to find a UPS that specifically meets the needs of your business – after all, you’ll be relying on it when you have no mains electricity supply. You may want to get a survey carried out before investing in your UPS so you can be assured that it’ll protect your business and your IT systems when you need it to.

 

Considerations before you buy your UPS

There are a number of different things you’ll have to think about when buying a UPS for your business, and it’s wise to spend time thinking about what you want and need from your UPS in the event of a power outage.

The load

How many computers and other devices will you be attaching to your UPS? This is something you need to carefully think about as UPSs will only deliver a specific and relatively small amount of power. It’s very easy to attach too many devices and overwhelm the UPS.

 

How long?

Do you know how long you can expect your UPS to provide your power? The majority of small to medium offices will have a UPS that allows them to save their data, safely shut down their computers and prevent damage to hardware. By writing a crisis management plan, all your employees will know what to do in the event of a power outage.

 

How many UPSs will you need?

You will most likely need different UPSs for your servers, for your PCs and for any other devices in your office. Despite this, it’s considered good practice to keep the number of UPSs in any room to a minimum. You should consider if you’ll keep your UPSs inside or out, as this is another factor in how many UPSs you can purchase.

 

Consider the power rating of your UPS

UPSs measure their load limits in both watts and volt amps. To make sure your UPS can support your devices, add up the power use in watts of every device you plan to plug into a single UPS. You will then need to find a UPS that not only meets this figure, but has roughly an additional 25% wattage capacity. In order to make sure your UPS is as reliable as possible, however, try to avoid a model with more than 80% wattage capacity.

 

What will you be attaching to your UPS?

If you need the ability to upload data to the internet prior to shutting down your systems, you’ll need to attach routers and modems to your UPS in order to maintain your network.

 

Types of power problems

The main reason you’ll need a UPS is a power blackout, but there are a number of other circumstances where you will need a UPS to keep your systems healthy and safe.

 

Brownout

Brownouts occur when your electrical circuits have been overloaded with too much equipment in-use at the same time, which causes a short loss of power. Brownouts generally don’t last very long, but they have the potential to damage your devices all the same.

 

Noise

Noise is unclean power entering your devices and caused by interference from lightning and generators. Noise often leads to your applications and operating systems to malfunction and may sometimes lead to your files becoming corrupted.

Spikes

As the name suggests, a spike is a short and sudden increase in voltage and is caused by a number of things, including power restorations after outages and lightning. Depending on your electricity, you may be given notice of any planned outages, so you will have chance to unplug your devices and wait a bit after power returns.

 

Power surges

Power surges are very short but very dramatic increases in voltage and are usually caused by large electronic devices. Whilst power surges are very short, they have the potential to cause lots of damage.

 

Is there anything I shouldn’t plug into a UPS?

One type of device you should never plug into your UPSs are your printers. UPSs will burn up the printer motors and break the device. In the case of a power loss, your printers will simply queue up any printing jobs they have yet to complete and will generally resume printing once stable power is restored. If you do want to protect your printer, however, all you really need is a simple surge protector.

 

For more information about finding the right uninterruptible power supply for your business, don’t hesitate to speak to the experts at Cetronic Power Solutions Ltd. Simply call us directly on +44 (0)1920 871077 or email sales@cetronicpower.com.

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