4 Considerations of a “Smart” UPS
A manufacturer of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) coined the term “smart” in reference to its UPS, which created only confusion for consumers. Smart does not denote whether the UPS was categorized as sine wave or square wave or if the UPS is Online Double Conversion or Line Interactive. Smart traditionally refers to a smart slot to communicate data remotely via an SNMP web card. Most UPSs available in the marketplace today have that capability.
So, when exploring what the smartest UPS choice is for your application there are four critical areas that need consideration:
- Topology: The misnomer on topology is that most believe it is what determines if you’re getting clean output power. Topology, however, actually determines the transfer time during a power outage. Information on the various topology technologies can be found here.
- Clean Power: A UPS alone normally provides only battery backup and catastrophic surge protection. To truly provide clean power a UPS requires additional internal hardware. The hardware should be a low impedance isolation transformer paired with surge protection and noise filtration. This combination eliminates high frequency electrical noise that causes system disruption, hardware degradation and catastrophic destruction.
- Wave Shape: AC power reaches modern equipment as a sine wave from the utility company. Some UPSs create a modified sine wave, which often times is referred to as a square wave. That can wreak havoc on microprocessor-based equipment and cause switch mode power supply problems. It is important to ensure your UPS choice is a true sine wave design.
- Remote Connectivity: It is important to understand all of the information required for a remote user such as centralized cloud reporting, power data, battery data and environmental data, including temperature, CO2 and humidity. Another consideration is whether the remote user needs to control the UPS or receive real-time alarm notifications.