Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units are critical to your business. So, when shopping for one, you want to ensure it will last as long as possible. This article will cover some of the best practices to keep in mind when buying an uninterruptible power supply unit, from battery technology to wattage capacity and everything in between.
When looking for a UPS unit, it’s important to remember the amount of backup time provided by a battery. This will determine how long your device can run on emergency power in case of a blackout or other power outage. The bigger the battery, the more backup time you’ll get.
For most applications, it is best to have batteries with at least 3 minutes of run time (or 2.5 times as long as your typical continuous operating run time). For example, if your UPS protects equipment for 90 seconds before shutting down and rebooting when AC power is restored, half its runtime would be spent powering down and starting back up.
Don’t forget about surge protection
Surge protection is a device that protects the electronics in your home from voltage spikes, which can happen during storms or other power fluctuations. These spikes can damage appliances and even start a fire—and your UPS should have sufficient surge protection to protect against them.
Checking how much surge protection you have: You will likely find this information on the packaging of your UPS or online if you’re shopping for one. If it is not clearly stated, look for a number between 700 and 2200 Joules. The higher this number is, the better protection from surges your appliances will have.
Choosing a battery type
When choosing a battery type, you must consider how long you want the unit to run and what load it will run. Sealed lead acid batteries are the most common batteries used in UPS systems and come in different sizes: Group 31/Group 27, which are 12-volt deep cycle batteries; Group 24/Group 22/Group 24B, which are 48-volt deep cycle batteries; and Group 33/Group 31H and Group 35/35M, which are 72-volt deep cycle automotive batteries. Valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) is another name for sealed lead acid (SLA), but it is sometimes used interchangeably with it.
The battery life of a UPS is a measure of how many times the battery can be charged and discharged before it begins to lose its capacity. It is measured in cycles, so a battery rated for 3,000 cycles could theoretically last for about two years if you used it more than 100 times per day.
Battery life can vary greatly depending on how much you use your uninterruptible power supply system and how you care for it. The average lifespan of a UPS unit’s batteries is around three to five years (though this will depend on the manufacturer).
Noise level is a measure of the power supply’s fan. It’s measured in decibels (dB), and the lower the number, the quieter your unit will be. In other words, you want to look for something with a noise level under 45 dB if you can—and if it’s over 60 dB, there may be problems down the line. Remember that noise level isn’t necessarily related to power supply efficiency. Some powerful units have high noise levels because they use large fans or multiple fans; others have low noise levels but don’t produce as much juice as others on your list might.
This article has given you the information you need to make a wise decision about your next UPS unit purchase.