TSE Power

5 UPS features you must look for in your next UPS

Backup Battery Power Supply


Uninterruptible power supplies are ever more important for businesses, and for two reasons. The first is that data and digital communications are now indispensable for all aspects of modern life; the second is that our national power infrastructure has become frail: too dependent on unreliable imports, inconstant wind and turbulent world markets. Blackouts and brownouts are not far away. Before you consider your next UPS battery replacement, ask yourself if your current UPS is the best you can do.

Here we discuss just five of many desirable features:

1. New battery technologies

Some UPS now use Lithium-Ion batteries which offer a longer lifespan, more cycles and faster charging compared to traditional lead-acid solutions. Lead-acid are still cheaper, but there is a great deal of research directed at lithium and other battery formulations so they are worth another look before your next UPS battery replacement. Other recent improvements include eco-optimised UPS that use energy more efficiently, reducing those spiralling electricity bills.

2. Line interactive UPS

Traditional standby UPS only switch on after your mains supply has failed. Those designed for building systems can take a whole minute to build up to full power but even fast ones for computers do not always prevent data loss and the switch over often generates spikes and other current irregularities that may be harmful. A line interactive UPS is permanently powered up and switches instantly from battery charging to output. Interactive systems are quicker and smoother and can also play a role in smoothing your regular power supply. Double conversion and Delta conversion systems take a similar approach and you should explore the benefits they offer.

3. Individual UPS battery replacement

Rather than replace entire banks at a time, regular maintenance checks can identify weak batteries and even weak individual cells. In many cases, replacing individual batteries (or cells) is the most economical solution, but some UPS make this easier than others. Look out for systems that offer hot-swapping (or a ‘power disruption unit’) so that battery replacement can be performed without completely shutting down all the connected equipment.

4. Remote management

A UPS with a network card slot means you can easily monitor and manage it from your desk, your home or from a mobile phone. Depending on the card, you can monitor the temperature and humidity control, watch the energy consumption, detect open cabinet doors, reboot equipment or even detect deteriorating components. In an emergency, you can switch off your least important systems to conserve power for critical ones. Smart battery management can also extend battery lifespan.

5. Runtime extensibility

Some UPS systems have ports that allow additional external battery modules to be connected – extending the UPS runtime during an extended power failure. Other ports provided on many UPS allow you to connect additional loads (if the system has the power) or monitoring equipment. As well as the number and type of ports, also consider their location. In crowded server rooms and cabinets, being able to connect from the top or bottom, or from the front or back could be an important practical consideration.

For a full rundown of the many new benefits available, please call TSE Power today.