UPS Battery

Every computer can benefit from being connected to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). It is commonly called a UPS power supply, which is a tautology but nobody really minds that. Essentially, it is portable case that contains a rechargeable battery, inverter, and a charger. It provides backup electrical power in the event of mains power failure. Large and expensive models are essential for data centers, but there are also small and inexpensive models for use in the home or office. Even the cheapest models costs several hundred dollars, so it pays to spend some time working out the minimum requirements.

Computers running critical operations need a UPS power supply to keep them going in the event of a mains power failure. Many data centers have diesel generators on site to provide backup electrical power, but they can take several seconds to get started when the power fails. This is too long a time for the computers to keep running, so a UPS power supply is used to fill in the gap. The batteries in the smaller models do not last very long, but they provide enough time for users to save their work and shutdown their computer normally.

A commercial UPS battery resembles a large locker cabinet but the desktop models are much smaller. Many resemble the small computers that were common before full tower cases were used. Their small size allows them to be placed under a desk without getting in the way. There are also models that resemble a bulky power board that are even smaller. The front panel of a UPS power supply will usually have a power button and several indicator lights, and maybe a small LCD display as well. The back panel has several power sockets for the input power and the computer power cords. Along the sides, there are ventilation holes to release the heat generated.

The most important features to look for when choosing a UPS battery are the backup times, power capacity, and nominal voltage. Both the full load and half backup times are usually given, along with the battery recharge rate. The times depend mostly on the size of the batteries and the output power usage. Some models can last more than one hour under half load, while others only last five minutes under full load. The general rule of thumb is that larger power supplies have longer backup times. Another feature to look for is automatic voltage regulation, which maintains a steady power supply under changing loads. Most of the models also have a surge protector to help prevent damage from lightning strikes.

Installing a UPS power supply is a simple exercise that only a few minutes. The computers and other devices are first turned off and disconnected from the mains power sockets. They are then plugged into the output sockets on the UPS power supply, which should already be plugged into a mains power socket. Portable power boards can be used if there are more plugs than output sockets. Some models are very complex, with a control panel and display that shows information about the battery charge level and current power usage, but other models simply have a few indicator lights and nothing else.

A UPS power supply will begin charging as soon as it is turned on and can provide power to the computers while it is charging. It takes several hours to fully charge the batteries, which means that the computers will stop after a short while if there is a power failure during this time. In places that have frequent power outages, it is wise to keep an eye on the charge level of a UPS power supply to avoid it running flat. The rechargeable battery should last for many years but will eventually need to be replaced. Apart from running the occasional self-test, no maintenance is required because sealed batteries are used.

This UPS Battery Review is Written/Updated on Jul 6th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed