UPS

UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

Overview

UPS

South Africa is currently experiencing a severe energy crisis with a shortage of sustainable electrical power. Power failures and load shedding are going to continue for any number of years and the situation will only improve once more power stations have been built to cope with the increasing energy demands of our developing country.

To assist South African's Eskom has implemented a load shedding schedule that allows business owners to plan ahead and re-schedule important business.

Inline UPS

The less costly alternative to a petrol or diesel generator is an inline UPS system. A UPS will be ideal for a small to medium sized business and can be accurately sized to bridge the load shedding period and supply sufficient continuous power to operate the business and prevent important operational equipment like computers, networks & PABX systems from shutting down. It is relatively easy to install and no special requirements are necessary.

During a power failure lighting will be lost but this should not present any major problem since there will be sufficient natural light during office hours to be able to operate without interruption and eyes are quickly accustomed to the lower light conditions.

How it works!

An INLINE UPS system consists of a bank of batteries and an inverter, "inline" meaning that it is permanently supplying power to the socket outlets/equipment that it is connected to, even when normal power is on.

A UPS system is more often packaged in an aesthetically pleasing cabinet with standard batteries housed within a matching battery cabinet. UPS systems are often installed in server rooms where most of the important operational equipment is housed. Another advantage is that it is noiseless during normal operation and can therefore be installed within the confines of an office space without annoying anyone.

Very little maintenance is required but it is advisable to give the unit a good blow-out every few months to prevent the build-up of dust around ventilation fans. Batteries will have to be replaced after a number of years. This will vary from brand to brand but 3 - 5 years is a good average.

Take note that a UPS system can weigh up to 1500Kg or more so it is of critical importance to know where you intend placing the unit. If the floor was designed with a 450Kg per square meter load bearing capability it will be dangerous to concentrate such a weight in one particular area and the result can be catastrophic. Contact the architect, landlord or designer first and get the correct information before you make a mistake.

Batteries form the core of a UPS system. The length in which the batteries will produce usable power will be directly proportional to the amount of current being drawn from them. The heavier the load the quicker the batteries will run flat so it makes sense to switch off non-operational equipment like fans, kettles, heaters, radios, television sets, etc.