How to choose an Uninterrupted Power Supply ( UPS )

Power protection is not something that’s typically discussed, but you’re going to find out why it’s essential to have.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it ( Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) ), look beneath your desk, the little black boxes that you see beneath your desk usually at your office or your home that all of your critical components are plugged into, why is that the case? Simple UPS’s will keep your equipment up and running when the electricity goes off.

One of the things we want to discuss is what it is that these UPS units do, what it is, how they work and how you can choose the correct UPS and find the one that’s right for your solution.

This article is intended for beginners but for those of you who are technologically advanced and have a really good understanding of UPS’s this is probably a refresher.

UPS’s units come in all sizes shapes and flavours but why don’t we start with some of the most basic needs.

Number one what is a UPS?

A UPS and it’s most simplistic definition is a gigantic battery that will keep your computers or equipment running. When your power goes off uninterruptible power supply is a device that maintains power to PCs, servers, network equipment, audio/video equipment and computer peripherals. During short power outages, UPS’s allows computer systems to shut down safely.

During prolonged blackouts, UPS systems are also minimising damaging power surges and filter disruptive line noise while select models, depending on what you choose, correct brownouts and overvoltages.

Now that you know what a UPS system is I think we need to talk about why you need one, I mean for the most part everyone’s familiar with
the proverbial blackouts ( load shedding ) and lightning.

It’s imperative to understand how a UPS can save your bacon.

Let’s say you’re at home or office and you’re working on an important spreadsheet for your boss, you’ve been at it for hours, and you’re about to save the worksheet, and the power goes out. You realise you’ve just lost most if not all of your work/data because your computer and or equipment was not hooked up to a UPS ( Uninterruptible Power Supply ).

If your system had been connected to a capable UPS, you would at least have had the opportunity to save and or backup your work safely.

Now that you know why you need a UPS let’s talk about how to choose the right one that suits your needs determined by the equipment/load you have at your home or business.

At a minimum, you need a UPS that will carry your load for x amount of time plus reserves. You need to decide how long you would like your equipment run after a power outage.

You will need to calculate the power your equipment using a power meter alternatively, look at the power consumption ratings on all connected hardware and ad it up.

Whether you’re using a precise or rough method for determining the load, use the following calculation to determine your minimum required UPS rating.

1.6 * Wattage Load = Minimum Volt-Amperes (VA), with a determined load of 600w means we will need a UPS unit rated minimum 960 VA.