What are the 9 common types of power problems, and what protection do I need against these?

Use this handy table to see at a glance the protection each of the three types of UPS provide:

Power Problem Standby Line Interactive Online
1. Power Failure Y Y Y
2. Power Sag Y Y Y
3. Power Surge Y Y Y
4. Undervoltage Y Y
5. Overvoltage Y Y
6. Switching Transient Y
7. Line Noise Y
8. Frequency Vibration Y
9. Harmonic Distortion Y
What are the known consequences of computer failure due to power outage?
  • Loss of business/customers
  • Loss of goodwill
  • Cash flow problems
  • Deterioration of customer service
  • Inability to pay staff
  • Backlog of work/loss of production
  • Loss of operational data
  • Financial Loss
  • Loss of customer account management
  • Loss of communications

Further to this, re-configuration of major networks can be a lengthy (and therefore costly) business. Also, data lost due to power failure can never be retrieved - you have to input all that information again.

You need UPS protection. Contact BAC-UPS for friendly, informative, honest advice.

A Technology for each Application

OFF-LINE: fair environments

The most frequent technology for protection of PCs in relatively undisturbed environments.

During normal operation, the UPS supplies the load with utility power that is simply filtered, not converted. Operation is sequential, i.e. the load is transferred from utility power to the battery and back. In the event of a power outage, a voltage sag or surge, the UPS draws on the battery to supply stabilised power.
This technology is not suitable for frequently disturbed installations.

Advantages: Low cost, often sufficient performance for commercial environments.

LINE-INTERACTIVE: integrated voltage regulation

Mid-range technology for the protection of file servers.

Operation is identical to that of a passive standby UPS. However, the UPS is managed by a microprocessor which monitors the quality of utility power and reacts to variations. A booster is activated to compensate for lasting voltage drops.

Advantages: Unlike the standby technology, it can handle prolonged voltage drops without using battery power.

ON-LINE DOUBLE CONVERSION: disturbed environments

High-end technology for centralised protection of file servers, guaranteeing constant power quality whatever the problems on the AC input.

Double-conversion UPSs eliminate all electrical disturbances that can damage computers. The input current is fully regenerated by continuous conversion from AC to DC, then back to AC. This technology is indispensable for the vital installations in a company and provides continuous protection. A double-conversion UPS calls on battery power only when a power outage occurs.

Advantages: High-performance technology, continuous power for applications, continuous regulation of the output voltage.

If you are a computer user, there are a few things YOU should know...

Firstly, your system is at risk from data loss and hardware damage caused by cuts in the mains electricity supply.

Fact: A power loss lasting longer than the blink of an eye is enough to erase all the data in your random access memory (RAM).

...and that's not all.

Fluctuations in the power supply expose you to the dangers of processing errors, software crashes, keyboard lockups and file server malfunctions. They can even damage your hardware.

Fact: You are constantly at risk from mains-borne ‘spikes', surges and electrical ‘noise'. These effects are produced by interference from other electrical equipment such as photocopiers, lifts and fluorescent lights, and also by adverse weather conditions such as thunderstorms. You simply can't prevent them.

That's the bad news, but the good news is you can do something to avoid the risks.

In fact, it's easy to protect your computer system or even your telephone switch against almost every kind of power-related problem – all you need is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (or UPS for short).