Today, almost every business relies on computers, whether in the office to handle accounts and word processing, on the factory floor to schedule and monitor production, or in a retail environment to provide the checkout and stock control functions. And, every business that relies on computers needs an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
The reason is simple. Without a UPS, if there’s a problem with the mains supply, the computers stop working and the business stops operating. Even worse, supply problems can also lead to data loss, which can make it very difficult to get things back to normal even when the original problems have been dealt with.
It’s worth noting that a mains supply problem doesn’t have to mean a complete failure of the supply – undervoltages, overvoltages, spikes and surges, high levels of harmonic distortion and many other issues can also spell trouble for computer systems. The right UPS will take care of all of these problems and more, but what is the right UPS?
For many applications, line-interactive UPSs like those in the Eaton E Series NV range, which are available with ratings up to 2,000 VA, are an excellent choice. When the mains supply is normal, line interactive UPSs supply power to the load via a voltage compensation circuit, which ensures that the output voltage remains steady even if the mains voltage varies. They do this without drawing on battery power. If the mains fails, however, they instantly switch over to battery power, ensuring that the connected loads see no supply interruption and carry on working normally.
These line-interactive UPSs are very cost effective, and provide excellent protection against mains power failure, as well as short- and long-term overvoltage and undervoltage of the mains supply. And the Eaton E Series NV models incorporate a range of additional features that make them particularly attractive. These include a microprocessor-based control system for high reliability, user replaceable batteries for easy maintenance and integral surge protection for phone, modem and Internet data connections.
The NV models also have up to six outlet sockets making them easy to install, even when a single UPS is supporting multiple loads, such as a computer, printer, modem, etc. Eaton NV UPSs also offer a start-on-battery function which means that, provided the batteries are charged, they can operate as a portable power source, even when they are not connected to the mains supply.
While line-interactive UPSs are in many cases an effective and economical choice, for critical applications where the best possible power protection is required, on-line double-conversion UPSs, such as those in the Eaton E Series DX range are a better option. With units of this type, ac power from the mains is first of all converted to dc, and then converted back again from dc to ac to supply the loads. The UPS battery supports the dc part of the circuitry and instantly takes over supplying the loads in the event of a mains failure.
Because, with this type of UPS, the mains supply is fully regenerated by the process of ac to dc conversion followed by dc to ac conversion, the loads are always provided with a consistent, reliable and interference-free supply, irrespective of disturbances or interruptions to the mains supply.
While they cost a little more than their line-interactive counterparts, double-conversion UPSs provide additional protection against supply problems that include line noise, frequency variation, switching transients and harmonic distortion. This extra protection is particularly valuable for critical systems, and for systems that must operate in poor electrical environments, such as on a factory floor.
Available with ratings from 1 kVA to 20 kVA, Eaton E Series DX double conversion UPSs have been specifically designed to operate reliably over a wide input voltage range in the harshest electrical environments. They are fully compatible with generator-derived supplies as well as normal mains power and they incorporate an automatic bypass feature for added fault tolerance.
The DX models are equally suitable for both simple and complex applications, and they offer optional SNMP communications to facilitate remote network-based monitoring. Special XL versions are also available, which combine long customised runtime with fast battery recharging.
Irrespective of their size or configuration, all UPS systems have a finite runtime – that is, the period for which they can continue to support the load after the mains has failed. In many cases, the UPS will have been selected to provide a runtime that is long enough for there to be a high probability of the mains supply being restored before it has expired, but the possibility that this may not happen always remains.
Because of this, E Series NV and DX UPSs are supplied as standard with the Eaton’s WINPOWER software. This continuously monitors power conditions and the operation of the UPS, and can readily be configured to ensure that application programs on the computers supported by the UPS are shutdown gracefully, without data loss, before the runtime limit is reached.
There can be very few businesses that have no need for a UPS system to ensure continuity of operation and to guard against data loss. UPS systems in the Eaton E Series NV and DX ranges will dependably meet the requirements of all small and medium sized businesses, and they have the particular attractions of modest prices, easy installation, and of being backed by the expertise and experience of Eaton, one of world’s largest and most successful suppliers of UPS products and systems.
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