Shopping UPS Units - How do I calculate how long it will last?

Posted on 2012-09-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-09-25
I'm shopping a UPS unit for a generic device. Let's say the device pulls X amps. Is there a quick-and-dirty calculation that allows me to calculate how long a given UPS will supply my device?  

I'm seeing units associated with UPS units of "VA" (volt-amps) and Watts. I'm a little confused, isn't a Volt-Amp equal to a Watt?
Question by:jdana
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Scott C earned 728 total points
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btetlow-expert earned 364 total points
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There's a reasonably complete article here that I think will give you all the information you need to make the proper choices....


Also -- VOLT (times) AMP = WATTS  

An online calculator -- just leave the part you want to know blank, and it'll tell you the missing information...  

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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 728 total points
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andyalder earned 368 total points
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Volts * Amps equal watts with DC but it is more complicated with AC since peak current is not necessarily drawn at peak volts, there are some drawings explaining it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor

You probably have an 80+ PSU if it is a modern computer so power factor is greater than 0.9, and 1000VA=900W at 0.9 power factor. If you do have a modern computer or similar PSU you also have to avoid UPSs which have simulated sine wave outputs aince they just crash all the time on them, for example APC Back-UPS are no use but APC Smart-UPS are OK.

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ID: 38432507
Thanks for the great responses.

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