UPS is working as power protector

Posted on 2011-05-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have few remote sites with individual ups power. Some cases we do not protect our equipment even we have connected via ups (printers and pc’s ).we need to get the high end ups or anything to  do with the main power . we have less control on the main power . Better to have the power test?
And also most of the time battery not fully charge due to power outage in the night. What is the best way to go on the Ups in my case? We do not work after 5.00 ? so that  I can switch off the ups after work or leave the ups to charge in the night.
How the ups battery charge normally ? only the power supply is needed to charge the battery ?

Thank you
Question by:cur
LVL 99

Accepted Solution

John Hurst earned 200 total points
ID: 35502010
You paint a picture of unlreliable power. A decent APC UPS (they come in many sizes, one of the smallest commercial units at under $500) will protect your gear for a few minutes and allow a shutdown if a lengthy outage is in the cards.

Then you can power off your equipment at 5:00pm and allow the UPS to charge.

If you imagine hour long or more daily outages, you need a fairly large UPS. APC make good units.

... Thinkpads_User
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

TomRScott earned 600 total points
ID: 35502054
If your computer operations are mission critical it sounds like you need a generator backup system.

I also use APC units. Some of my clients have unreliable power, but nothing like you are indicating.

For regulare workstations that do not have to run all the time, we have them setup to shut down if power is off for more than five minutes.

For mission critical areas, we use the UPSes with a run time capacity of at least 10 minutes (usually 20). In these areas, we also have generator backups with a one minute response time.

If your site is not really mission critical to your organization, I would just shut down all computers at night as you and ThinkPads suggested.

 - Tom
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

chakko earned 200 total points
ID: 35503219

I normally use APC UPS devices.  The Smart UPS models (or above) have good options in the software to control what happens.

For servers (for example) you can configure the PowerChute program (APC software to communicate with the UPS) to safely shutdown the server when there is a power outage.  In the setting for power restore you can have it wait until the battery is recharged before turning back on automatically (you can set what % charge you want).

For bad power areas I would not rely on just the UPS.  you need to check how much power surge (for example) the UPS can protect against (joules).  An additional (better or more heavy duty) power surge protector or Power line conditioner may be a good idea to supplement the UPS.

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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

TomRScott earned 600 total points
ID: 35506750
APC recommends against surge suppressors in-line with a UPS.  Depending on the units involved, they often detect with the other device clamps or responds to a surge and the two devices start "ratcheting". That is, each detects a power issue and clamps or responds, then they detect the clamping of the other device and respond to that...

Anyway, it has little benefit and shortens the life of the UPS by half. In a dirty power environment the life may be as little as a third of normal.

I learned this the hard way several years ago. Since then, I started using power strips with UPSes (when needed) and my client's UPSes have lasted considerably longer.

The reason I recommended the generator backup is the environment described and the need to replenish UPS batteries on really bad days. Yes APC/Powerchute has great configuration options, but if the battery is continually drained, the best configuration options will only go so far. Of course if the site does not have any servers or the need to run at night, AND if the power is not so dirty as to run out of battery during the day even starting with a full charge AND if this is not a mission critical facility then the generator backup system would be overkill.

 - Tom

Author Comment

ID: 35509205
we have genarator power in place .
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

TomRScott earned 600 total points
ID: 35509734
Given that you have a generator in place and you are having all the issues you mention it sounds like it does not automatically come on after a period of a brown out or no power. There is automation available that would turn on the generator after a specified period to relieve some of your issues.

I have a number of mission critical client sites that are setup in that manner. However, the generators they have were purchased with that in mind.

 - Tom

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