With the recent news regarding the potential blackouts this winter, organising backup power for your business is vital.
Any downtime caused by power outages can be financially crippling for a business or organisation. The average power cut in the UK lasts for 50 minutes. This may not sound too long, but with one hour of downtime estimated to cost a small business around £800, it can be very damaging.
Understandably, bigger organisations and companies can see higher losses from a power cut, but it is also expected that they can recover quicker too. Google lost power back in 2013, and it experienced losses of £100,000 per minute. To avoid loss of output for your business, investing in a backup solution which includes a UPS System is a good idea. But what is a UPS system?
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) offers a continuous power supply and ensures there is no break in power when the main power source fails, or if the voltage drops to an insufficient level or surges and causes an outage.
In the event of a power outage, a UPS can provide power for a couple of minutes and up to 2 hours depending on the battery size and the electrical load it needs to support. This allows equipment to be shut down properly and safely and/or provides time for the standby generator to start up before taking the full electrical load.
UPS Power Protection for your business
From small businesses to large scale operations, uninterrupted power supplies can serve an important purpose. Power cuts can cause major issues for your equipment and productivity, but a UPS is like an insurance policy against this, keeping you online and connected, giving you time to respond to the issue before the lights go out.
To avoid the detrimental impact it can have on your business, safeguarding against outage issues with an uninterruptible power supply makes commercial sense, especially when used in tandem with a backup generator. A UPS is just one part of a reliable backup power solution. A UPS will provide a continuous power supply for a short amount of time and can bridge the gap whilst the generator starts up. Once the generator is ready and can take the full electrical load, the generator will be able to provide power for 72 hours or more.
For some businesses having 15 mins to 2 hours of UPS backup power is sufficient, however for businesses that cannot afford down time, a generator is a viable option. Click here to see more information on the difference between generators and UPS.
Uses of an Uninterruptible Power Supply
Manufacturing and production lines require power around the clock to ensure machinery can keep operating. Industrial UPS can be used at plants and factories to ensure normal operations can continue to take place with little-to-no interruption in the event of a power outage.
UPSs are also vital in the medical sector, where lab facilities cannot afford power outages and the effects on key devices used in patient care, including life support systems, could be life threatening.
In the modern world, Datacentres need consistent power as a power outage can lead to system malfunctions and could mean security risks. Telecommunications & Computer Systems are crucial, and they are heavily reliant on continuous power supply, so UPS plays a key role in their operation, keeping servers running and computers switched on.
Any organisation that needs a constant flow of high-quality electricity to keep the lights on, IT systems and electrical equipment operational, would rely on a UPS to prevent the severe consequences that can be caused by a blackout. The list of applications that UPS can be used in goes on, and examples can be found in almost any industry you can think of.
Three types of UPS systems
The simplest and most affordable UPS system is Standby, or offline. Standby UPS power supply is generally used for basic electronic equipment such as consumer electronics and security systems, ideal for use in a small office or at home and provides a power supply of up to 3kVA.
Standby UPS systems make use of stored battery backup power during an outage, or when the voltage levels dip or surge. Considered an entry-level UPS, standby systems will protect you and your equipment giving you that imperative battery backup.
Line-interactive UPSs protect you both on and offline. This type of uninterruptible power supply can correct power without switching to battery-based reserves. A Line-interactive UPS contains an auto transformer that regulates any over or under voltage. It can be used for consumer electronics, network equipment and entry-level servers.
This type of UPS is interactive as it automatically selects different power taps on the auto transformer and can maximise any limited battery backup reserves by correcting any power fluctuations and managing current levels in an outage or power surge.
On-Line Uninterrupted Power Supply
Online UPS are generally more expensive due to the equipment involved but offer a premium solution for critical electrical equipment and acts as an ‘electrical firewall’. It not only can protect you against a power outage but regulates the level of power delivered to your equipment.
Online uninterrupted power supplies provide consistent power converting AC power to DC, and then back to AC with zero transfer time using double conversion UPS system technology. It is ideal for the protection of essential IT and server equipment, data centres, telecoms systems and top-end electrical equipment. If a power loss happens to take place, the batteries, which are always connected to the inverter, keep the power supply consistent and cause no interruption at all.
Uninterrupted Power Supplies protect your Electrical Equipment.
UPS systems will look after you and your equipment, so when your power runs out, you can continue to operate but they also ensure you are protected against;
UPS systems will ensure that if there is a power outage, you are protected against:
- Power Failure. A UPS can ensure there is constant power to your all-important electrical equipment so it can continue to run preventing any downtime or data loss for anywhere up to 2 hours.
- Under Voltage. Uninterrupted power supplies ensure that your IT systems or electronic devices continue to receive the correct amount of voltage, and IT hardware remains switched on even when the power supplied from the mains is insufficient.
- Power Surges. Prevent electrical equipment from any damage during power surges caused by high voltage levels, which then suddenly drop off.
- Lightning or Power Supply Malfunction. Lightning and supply malfunctions can cause energy bursts and a spike in voltage, which can cause the overheating of your equipment; something that a UPS can prevent.
UPS Maintenance Contracts & Servicing
It is essential to maintain uninterrupted power supplies on a regular basis, as the core components can deteriorate with age. At Shenton Group we review organisations’ power demands and design backup power solutions suited to your unique needs.
The key part of a UPS is the batteries. However, they are consumable components as are other parts such as cooling fans, which can also suffer from wear and tear, so a regular health check is vital to prevent you from ever becoming unstuck at a time when you most need an uninterrupted power supply.
Shenton Group offers a range of UPS Maintenance plans based on your individual requirements so that your equipment can remain in shipshape. Speak to us about an uninterruptible power supply today.