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We all use many devices and equipments that run on electricity. For all these to function properly they need uniform power supply (constant flow of electricity). As the electric supply in many countries is not uniform there is a need for a device to correct it. There are many such devices available in the market today. For example UPS (Uninterrupted power supply), Voltage Stabilizer, Constant Voltage Transformer are such devices available today.<br />
<b><u>Why buy a UPS?</u></b><br />We can never guarantee that we will get constant power. The power supply always has fluctuations. Surges, Spikes, Brownouts, Blackouts and Noise can damage your electrical appliances especially your computer. To prevent this from happening you need a device that does power conditioning. Electricity has to be uninterrupted. If the voltage is higher than the specified level then it is 'Over Voltage'. If the voltage is lower than the specified level then it is 'Under Voltage'. Both Spike and Surge come under 'Over Voltage' category. But there is a small difference between spike and surge. If there is very high voltage for an instant but comes back to normal immediately then it is called 'Spike'. If there is very high voltage for a slightly longer period then it is called 'Surge'. If the voltage is dangerously reduced to very low within a short period of time then it is called 'Brownout'. When this happens, the computer can be seriously damaged. If the power supply is totally cut then it is called 'Blackout'. Noise can mix with electromagnetic or radio waves or any signals. This is called 'Line Noise'. This may also reduce the voltage level to very low within a short period of time.<br />
<b><u>How can the UPS provide power when the main electrical supply is cut?<br /></u></b>A UPS has an internal battery. With this battery charger, an Inverter is also present. The inverter converts the 'Direct current' supplied by the battery to 'Alternatinc current' as required by the computer. When there is electrical supply the charger in the UPS charges the internal battery. When there is a power cut, the battery kicks in to supply the DC which is converted to AC by the inverter and power is supplied to computer.<br />
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<b><u>What if the battery loses its power?</u></b><br />When there is power cut, the required power is taken from the battery. Therefore the battery keeps losing its capacity. If the power supply comes back before the battery is depleted then the battery charger will start recharging, but if the power supply doesn't come back then the battery keeps supplying until it totally drains out. When the battery drains below a certain level the UPS sounds an alarm for your to shut down your computer and turn off the UPS. Some UPS' even have a built in system that shuts your computer down for you after a certain amount of UPS uptime.<br />
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<b><u>How long can the UPS provide power when there is a blackout?</u></b><br />This all depends on the specifications of the UPS and the requirement of the computer. A 600vA UPS for example can supply power to a computer with a 550W power supply for about 10 minutes or more.<br />
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<b><u>Tips for buying an UPS</u></b><br />The backup time of your UPS is the most important you need to consider. Other than that, you should know how many KVA (Kilo Volt Ampere) your UPS has. A computer needs atleast 0.5 KVA (500VA) to function. If you are planning to connect more than one computer to a single UPS then you need to get one with a higher KVA.<br />
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<b><u>What type of battery does a UPS use?</u></b><br />UPS uses <b>SMF</b> batteries (Sealed Maintenance Free). These type of batteries can be used for 5 to 7 years continuously.
UPS – UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY Uninterruptible power supplies provide protection against mains power faults to computer equipment. These faults include voltage spikes/interference, over voltage and under voltage, mains supply interruptions and surge protection etc. These faults can cause computer and electronic equipment that are connected to an unprotected mains supply to malfunction and/or sometimes fail. A common problem, when burning Cds, DVDs etc. any slight power interruptions to the burning process will halt the recording process and rendered the disc useless. There two type of Uninterruptible Power Supplies The lower powered and cheaper type UPS are switch-over types, when the mains supply fails, the UPS switches over to the batteries and inverter in milli-seconds which then supplies mains power to the computer and peripherals. A faulty inverter circuit and or flat batteries won’t deliver standby power when the mains supply fails. NOTE : The mains waveform from these UPS is a pseudo sine wave (i.e. not a true sine wave). The true UPS types are usually the higher KVA units (over 1500 VA) that supply continuous mains power. The mains power is connected to a charger which charges the batteries and then the inverter draws power from these batteries and converts it to true sine wave mains power to the computer equipment, therefore there is no switch over time lag when the mains supply fails.
Most surge protection power boards will protect computer equipment from mains spikes and surges. A better and more expensive solution is to use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). These units provide surge and spike protection and also provide power in the event of mains power failure. Make sure you select an UPS model that meet the power requirements of all your computer equipment that is connected to the UPS with a mains down time of say 1/2 hour to give you time to shut down your computer in an orderly manner.
With your UPS turned off, unplug your PC and all other devices from the unit. Then turn the UPS on. If it still beeps and shuts off your UPS internal battery may need to be replaced or you have an internal UPS failure. Look for a red "battery alarm" light on the front of your UPS.
If the UPS does not shut down with all devices disconnected from it, Power off your monitor and look on the back of the monitor for a label which will tell you the amount of power it requires (probably 100 watts or less). Plug the monitor's AC power cord into your UPS and turn on your PC and monitor. With the UPS plugged into the AC line you are not using the internal battery and the UPS should remain on and your monitor should be working. If it shuts down you have an internal problem with the UPS.
Now unplug your UPS from the AC line (simulating a power failure) Your UPS is rated at 350 watts. Accordingly it should easily support the 100 watt load of your monitor. If the UPS continues to provide power to the monitor for 1 or 2 minutes down it's an indication that it's working properly and the COMBINED LOAD of your monitor. PC etc. when plugged into the UPS is exceeding the 350 watt capacity of the UPS. You will have to disconnect 1 or more devices from the UPS.
NOTE: Never plug a laser printer into an UPS.
If the UPS immeadiately shuts down after disconnecting it from the AC line with only the monitor plugged into it you have a bad battery.
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Batteries in the UPS typically last 3 to 5 years and it depends upon several factors. including the number of times the unit must go on battery power and environmental conditions. There are usually several batteries in the UPS and while the battery voltage may show 13 volts, this may only be a float charge/voltage and a true indication of the battery voltage and condition requires the batteries to be tested under a load. There maybe one battery in a set of batteries that is faulty and causes the whole battery system to fail and indicate a battery fault. These lower powered and cheaper KVA type UPS are switch over types, when the mains supply fail, the UPS switches over to the inverter in milli-seconds which then supplies mains power but the power waveform is a pseudo sine wave (ie not a true sinewave. A faulty inverter circuit won’t deliver power when the mains supply fails.
The UPS has a fauly/problem.
If your UPS is approx. 600VA, then it is not a true UPS unit but a switch over type. When the mains power fails the UPS switches over to the battery and inverter in milli-secs to provide mains power.
If you turn off the mains supply and shut down your UPS, but you are still getting mains power, then there is a fault with the switch over circuit.
You need to get this unit serviced.
The UPS can temporarily provide power to IT hardware in the event of a disruption to the Mains power supply. The UPS should stay powered up for long enough to enable the hardware it is protecting to be powered down in a controlled manner, before shutting off itself. The 5 minute period seems reasonable for such a task (although significantly less than the rated time), and if at any point within that period the Mains power supply comes back online, the hardware could continue to work.
I note that this particular model is supposed to provide battery power for 85 - 95 minutes. The amount of time it can supply regulated voltage for will depend upon the load placed upon it. The greater the load (in terms of current drawing devices), the shorter the amount of time that the UPS will be able to provide power.
There may be a Manufacturer Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years for this model, although labour charges will probably be made.
The battery will have to be changed if you want to keep the old one.
What i've seen mostly here in south africa. When the battery life has ended they customer opens the ups and takes out the battery and then connects a car battery to the terminals. The then close the ups and let the car battery stand outside the ups.