Creating Tiers Of Power Support For Computer Systems
If your computer systems need 99% up-time--even during adverse weather and disasters--you'll need a power backup system that can last for days or even weeks. If you're willing to make the investment, there are multiple tiers of protection that can be used in the event of a complete power loss situation. Take a look at the options from the lowest cost to the most powerful options to create a standby power plan.
First Tier: UPS
The Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a mainstay of computer-based businesses, government entities and military groups who need a base of operations to stay online long enough to prepare for power failure. The purpose of a UPS is to give enough time to save important information and give just enough time to safely shut down systems.
A UPS is basically a battery inside a power management system, but the features become much more sophisticated depending on your investment. At its basic level, the battery allows a certain amount of extra operating power depending on the battery capacity and the number of devices connected.
Most UPS units have a power strip-like interface. The interface can connect a computer, monitor and other important features, but keep in mind that power reserves may be depleted faster depending on how much power is being pulled by each device. You'll need to test the power consumption by leaving the all desired computer system devices attached to the battery, and the battery not connected to anything else.
More sophisticated UPS units feature surge protection features in case of electrical storms or similar surge dangers. Some units can even give an estimate of how long the battery power should last with all connected devices, although it's still a good idea to perform your own testing.
Second Tier: Solar Power
Solar power has grown up from its theoretical and expensive history to become a more manageable, realistic source of power. Photovoltaics has become an industry dedicated to efficient conversion of solar power to usable energy and then storage in connected batteries or energy cells.
The solar power storage cells can serve a similar purpose as the UPS, but on a larger scale. The power lasts as long as your battery supply can support the computer systems, but while a UPS usually needs a wall socket to charge its battery again, a solar power system just needs sunlight. The length of battery power depends on how much you invest in storage, and the speed of charging depends on how many efficient solar panels are installed.
To assist the first tier, you could use any excess power to charge your UPS units.
Third Tier: Fueled Standby Generators
Solar power still has a way to go before it can provide large scale, long-term and on-demand power. When disaster strikes and you're not able to connect to a power company's infrastructure, you need to become your own power company with the aid of fuel-powered generators.
By using diesel, gasoline or other fuel types, generators can deliver a powerful delivery of energy to keep entire buildings powered--or just a computer department, if that's your investment level. Generators are available in a variety of hybrid types, such as relying on magnetic turbines to reduce fuel consumption or sharing the workload with solar systems.
To assist the second tier of power support, standby generators can divert some of the power usage to solar systems. As long as the standby generators can last through the night, your solar batteries can be spared until day operations.
Contact a standby generator professional, such as Original Donnelly Heating Cooling & Electric, to discuss generator types and support strategy.