Proper power sources are critical to IT reliability. Through our partnerships with industry leading vendors, ConnectingBlox offers a complete line of UPS, surge protection and power management products.
One of the most common mistakes IT personnel make is incorrectly sizing or specifying power systems for servers and network equipment. Understanding the differences in UPS and power distribution systems is key to avoiding these mistakes.
Certainly sizing your power equipment is critical to providing the best uptime and most reliable power sources. To properly size a UPS, you need to know to what devices it will provide power, the exact power draw (volts and amps) and how long those devices need to remain online in the event of a power failure. The power draw will determine the UPS output value, but specs impacting runtime can vary greatly by UPS manufacturer and product line. Sizing a UPS for desired runtime requires knowledge of power factors and the actual batteries used by a specific UPS. ConnectingBlox has extensive experience working with power systems sized for single servers all the way up to entire data centers. We can help make sense of your complex power requirements so you can be sure your UPS is the right size for your needs.
Power quality describes the output power provided to devices. There are 3 basic types of power qualities - square wave, modified sine-wave and pure sine-wave. Computers, servers and most network equipment use something called a "switched mode power supply" which introduce power quality issues of their own, so filter and regulators in their power supply can compensate for lower power quality provided by a modified sine-wave UPS, making them suitable for most desktop computers and network closets. However, servers and equipment with higher draws can use "Active Power Factor Correction" which can cause even a modified sine-wave UPS to intermittently overload and shutdown, making a pure sine-wave UPS the best choice for those environments.
UPS topology relates to the internal design of the UPS. There are five main topologies in use today:
- A Standby UPS is a simple design that powers devices from the utility power (wall outlet) and switches to battery only when utility power drops off. Switch time can be slow enough to cause a power loss before the UPS can enable battery power, making these less desirable for computer and network use. Size of these devices is typically limited to less than 1000VA.
- Line-Interactive designs eliminate the transfer switch completely. In these systems utility power is used to simultaneously maintain the battery's charge and power devices. The advantage of line-interactive over standby is that in line-interactive systems there is no switch time when going from utility to battery power. This prevents momentary brown-outs and reduces potentially damaging surges. Line-Interactive is our preferred UPS type for workstations, desktops and non-critical network equipment.
- A Standby-Ferro (ferroresonant) UPS is an improvement on standby which employs a different switching technology to prevent a power loss before the UPS can enable battery power Most vendors have abandoned these designs as over 1000VA they are highly inefficient as compared to other technologies.
- True Online Double-Conversion
- Our preferred choice for most servers and critical equipment, a true online double-conversion UPS powers devices through the batteries and only uses utility power for charging. The double-conversion component refers to a complete isolation of output power from input power. This protects equipment as it prevents any drops or surges in utility power from ever reaching your devices.
- True Online Delta-Conversion
- Delta-conversion is a new design for very similar to double-conversion. Delta-conversion improves upon the input power filtering and conditioning of double-conversion and as a result provides a more efficient use of power. These systems are currently only available in size of 5000kVA and above.