DC Power, batteries, UPS Systems, PDU, even power strips are considered some of the most confusing products for IT and Networking professionals. It’s not unusual for customers to need help understanding the difference between a 15AMP plug and a 20AMP plug, or help determining load levels, watt requirements, or runtime. To assist with the process of selecting a UPS we’ve gathered 7 basic questions to get you on the right path to selecting the right gear.
Do you need a Desktop UPS System or a Network / Server UPS System?
Desktop UPS systems are typically found in smaller environments such as work stations, small file servers, AV equipment, or in your typical home / office space. Network / Server UPS systems are built to support critical systems in data centers.
Capacity – How much wattage is necessary for your UPS?
This is easily determined. Simply look at the equipment documentation to determine the watts of each of the equipment planned to be connected to this UPS. Should you not be able to find the watts for all of the equipment a rough estimate can be taken by multiplying the AMPS x AC Voltage. Your UPS system should only take on an 80% load capacity to protect against fluctuations and overload.
Connections – Which input and output connections does your UPS need?
Start by confirming the plug of the UPS can connect with your existing structure. Even if you need to implement 3-Phase power, this can be handled relatively easily by an electrician. The output connections need to match that of your equipment. Compare the plug types to make sure everything is compatible.
How can you determine the proper amount of backup run-time?
Consider load shedding which allows you to turn off nonessential equipment during a longer outage. By saving these valuable watts, run-time can increase from a few minutes to nearly half an hour. Another option is purchasing additional external battery packs to extend the run-time on this UPS. DC Power battery backup or a standby generator are also options, depending on the maintenance you wish to handle.
How much space do you have available for your UPS System?
From width and depth, to the available U Space in your rack, it’s not uncommon to focus on all of the power requirements and forget to make sure the UPS will actually fit where you need it to. Also consider the cable management and routing necessary for the connections.
How can I save more energy with an updated UPS?
The easiest way to pick a more energy efficient UPS is by looking for an Energy Star Certification. These units will reduce power consumption, which in turn helps with your cooling and infrastructure requirements, lowering expenses and save money on operation costs. An alternative to Energy Star Rated equipment would be UPS Systems that feature an Economy mode.
How long will my batteries last and when should I replace them?
Standard UPS system batteries last between three and five years with normal use. UPS systems commonly have a battery testing feature. Testing routinely is always encouraged. If the test fails, switching the batteries is essential. Many UPS systems also feature hot-swap replacement preventing any maintenance downtime. While the UPS can last much longer with new batteries, a new UPS with higher efficiency can save a great amount of money in the long run.
Need help finding a UPS for your environment? From Tripp Lite to Minuteman to Server Technology, Rackmount Solutions has UPS Systems that can meet your needs. Call today and ask for a power specialist 1-800-352-6631