Power interruptions can be disastrous and a loss to a business. However, the best thing is that it does not have to be; primarily if you invest in something simple as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
An uninterruptible power supply in the UK will most definitely protect your investment (electrical and electronic devices) against power issues. It offers many different kinds of protection, such as against power surges, spikes, noise, brownouts, and even blackouts. Remember, each of these electrical problems provides different challenges to a computer system. If the issue is ignored or left unresolved, it will definitely lead to huge problems.
Therefore, the million-dollar question is:
What Exactly Does a UPS Protect Your Electrical and Electronic Devices From?
- Blackouts – This is a well-known term when it comes to power problems. It occurs when a system experiences a total power crash related to power grip issues (often an imbalance between generation and consumption). Of course, sometimes it can be a controlled shutdown, whereas in other times it could be a total blackout.
- Brownouts – This is another common term that is well known and as destructive as blackouts. Brownout is a drop in voltage. In other words, you will still receive power, but not up to the recommended voltage. This problem can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours. Although brownouts seem to be safe or innocent, they are capable of destroying or damaging electronic devices within minutes.
- Noise – The interference between generators and lightening causes electric noise. Although electrical noises seem harmless, they are known to cause damage to a computer’s operating systems. They are primarily known to corrupt files.
- Voltage spikes – Sudden increase in voltage is often short-lived but known to destroy electrical and electronic devices. It is caused by lighting or when power has been restored after a blackout. In a nutshell, when power is restored, it will take a few seconds for it to normalise. As such, if an electronic device was plugged in when the spike occurred, it will most definitely suffer a negative effect.
- Voltage surge – Even though voltage or power surge sounds similar to voltage or power spike; the truth is that these are two different things. In fact, a power surge is directly opposite to a brownout. In a power surge, the voltage will increase. Just like in brownouts, power surges are short-lived and known to cause damage, especially to large appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators.
How Often Do These Problems Occur?
The US Department of Energy has provided this information from their Cost of Power Outage Report that has been collected for a period of 15 years. The report also includes the number of people affected. For example, the report showed that a severe thunderstorm in Illinois caused a serious power blackout for two days back in 2014. Within those two days, over 420,000 consumers were affected. The same year, severe weather in Pennsylvania caused power-related issues that affected 715,000 consumers.
Remember, any one of these affected consumers can be your business. Therefore, it would be wise to invest in protective tools to prevent computer damage and data loss. It is important to note that there are two types of UPS solutions, which are:
- Standby UPS – This type of UPS will protect you against power surges and outages. They are designed to monitor or detect voltage and current inconsistencies continually. If it detects power surge or outage, it will automatically switch to battery. By doing this, it allows your system to continue running without interruptions. This UPS type is best for businesses with only one computer hub because it cannot support several at once. They also cost between $200 – $500.
- Interactive UPS – This type of UPS is designed to protect your computer and data loss. Its primary function is to stabilise both voltage and current. This type of UPS is able to do this because they are fitted with a regulator that will either boost or reduce voltage and current to the devices, without even switching to battery. For this reason, the batteries often have a long life. They generally cost between $500 – $1,200.