As business owners and managers, we like to think we’re the power behind our business. We
make the decisions, work with customers or clients, conduct the training, the hiring, the firing and
But the truth is, much of our business runs on electricity. It’s electricity that powers our equipment,
phones, computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, security system and more.
Electricity is a wonderful thing, but it can be dangerous, too. Voltage spikes and brownouts, caused
by power outages, lightning, tripped circuit breakers, short circuits, and power company
malfunctions, can temporarily increase the amount of voltage that travels through electrical lines.
When these spikes reach our telecom system and other equipment, they can do a lot of damage.
Spikes are fast, short duration oscillations that affect the amount of voltage running through power
lines. They can permanently damage any piece of equipment running on electricity, and that can be
A brownout is a drop in voltage to your electrical system. While you still have power, you have less of
it. An irregular power supply can be harmful to your computers and other electronics because they
are created to run at specific voltages. Additionally, when the power restores, the voltage surges
while it regulates which can also harm your electronic devices.
The solution is the installation of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) between the source of power
and the equipment using that power.
A UPS is a battery that provides backup power when your regular power source fails or your voltage
drops to a dangerous level. UPS’ are used to protect computers, data centers, telecommunications
equipment and other electrical equipment where an unexpected loss of power could cause harm to
Find the UPS that suits your operation.
If your business is small or has minimal office equipment, smaller standby UPS systems are probably
sufficient. If your business is mid-sized or larger, or if you have server-based computer networks or
manufacturing equipment, you may require more sophisticated protection.
Here are the basic elements you’ll want to consider when choosing a UPS system:
- Power: The system you choose must have enough power to protect and support all of the
devices you have in your business. Power is usually calculated in Volt-Amps (VA). By
adding up the watts required by each piece of equipment, you will be able to determine the
total amount of power your UPS system will need to protect.
- Protection Runtime: Secondly, you will need to consider how long you want the system to
stay powered if there is an extended outage. Many UPS devices keep equipment operating
only a few minutes, giving users enough time to safely shut them down. If there’s a chance
that power will be off for an extended period, this could interfere with your ability to conduct
business. Having no power can result in missed communications, unhappy customers and
lost revenue. Selecting a UPS with extended runtime is an important consideration.
- Activation: Different systems use different triggers to initiate their operation. More basic
systems have battery power that kicks in when the voltage drops below a certain level.
More powerful systems have a transformer. Transformer-based systems have more
sophisticated technology that keeps the voltage within an acceptable range and only relies
on the battery in low- or no-power situations.
- Incoming Power: It’s important to know about the quality of your incoming power source
when choosing a solution. If power fluctuations are common in your area, a UPS with
Automatic Voltage Regulation is the answer. This can protect your equipment by correcting
` the incoming power from over-voltages and under-voltages.
UPS systems should not be chosen based on price alone. Select one that fits the systems and
equipment you use in your business and the quality of the power source you receive.
As you run your business, make sure it’s able to run even when the electrical power is less than
reliable. Adding an uninterruptible power supply can help your business save its sensitive electronics,
equipment, and other systems and increase the reliability of your business for your customers —
even if the power company can’t.