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FEATURE POWER


CAREFUL NOT TO TRIP THE CASE FOR UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLIES


So, as established in the previous article, companies’ information technology (IT) infrastructure relies on a strong, constant power supply to prevent loss of production time and revenue. It was hinted that UPS systems could well provide the solution in the article prior – but what problems do they target most effectively? Rich Miron at Digi-Key Electronics elaborates, using Tripp Lite as case support


I


t has become more and more important to protect electronic systems from power line transients, and to keep them operating without interruption. This has become especially crucial in the business and industrial sectors, where any downtime caused by power problems could result in the loss of production time and revenue. This non-disruptive quality is best and most commonly sustained by uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. The most notable use for a UPS is providing short-term battery backup power when the primary power source fails. However, most UPS systems are able to compensate for a range of problems associated with power, such as: • Complete loss of line power – As mentioned above, providing backup power is the primary function of a UPS. A good UPS system should provide enough power to support normal network operations for a short period of time, giving servers and operators time to save and back up critical data. For long-term outages, a supplementary power source, such as a diesel generator, is required.





Power line surge – Described as short-duration, high-voltage transients, power surges can result from power transitions on a shared power line, circuit breakers tripping, or lightning strikes. If severe enough, power surges can damage unprotected equipment on the power line. Most UPS


22 MARCH 2020 | ELECTRONICS


systems are designed to suppress power line surges.





Brownout – This is a momentary, or perhaps prolonged line voltage drop that typically causes incandescent lighting to dim. A UPS will maintain a constant output voltage throughout a typical brownout, allowing equipment to operate normally, despite the situation.





Single point of failure – Where it is important to maintain power system reliability, such as in hospitals or large business enterprises, a single, very large UPS can be a single point of failure, bringing down the entire site if there’s a problem. For more reliability, integration of many smaller UPS systems can provide power protection redundancy equivalent to one very large UPS.


WHAT IS A UPS? Simply put, a UPS is a device that provides emergency power when the line power fails. It does this by using one or more batteries, and control circuitry. Unlike standby generators, UPS systems provide nearly instantaneous backup power to downstream devices, virtually eliminating any input power interruptions. However, the UPS batteries can only provide backup power for a limited time - typically five to fifteen minutes. This runtime allows secondary power sources to be brought online, or protected devices to be shut


down properly. Therefore, a UPS is not intended to provide power for continuous operation while waiting for line power to be restored.


WHERE TO GET A UPS


When looking for a UPS, Digi-Key Electronics offers a great place to start, where a wide variety of power protection devices can be found from various suppliers, including Tripp Lite. Tripp Lite offers UPS systems rated from 180W to 3750W. Many units include both UPS- protected outlets, for critical equipment, and surge-protection-only outlets, for non-critical equipment. There are even units with protected data/media line connections, such as RJ11, RJ45, and Type F coax.


If only surge protection is needed, Tripp Lite has that covered with a range of surge protectors that are available in both rackmount and desktop/ floor/wall versions, for both business/industrial and home/ office use.


surge protect


In summary, power protection has become essential to maintain data integrity, production uptime and efficiency. Therefore, an investment in UPS systems and/or surge protectors for critical devices, like the ones provided by Tripp Lite, has become a must.


Digi-Key Electronics www.digikey.co.uk


/ ELECTRONICS


The TLP606


- Tripp Lite’s six port surge protector, suited to domestic and industrial use


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