Updated: May 13, 2020
It’s 2019, and as technology continues its rapid pace advancement, businesses are facing greater threats, especially in terms of protecting their data. Phishing and malware not only make your data vulnerable, but also disrupt your business processes.
However, hacking isn’t the only problem here. Sometimes, something as simple as a voltage fluctuation can prove detrimental. And this is where Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can help you.
If you’re wondering what UPS is, or whether you need to invest in it or not, you have come to the right place.
The Issue of Power Interruptions
According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, computer damage and data loss from lightning result in a $2 billion annual loss. That’s just staggering! But natural occurrences aside, even human error can cause power outages spanning hours. Businesses especially need to prepare for such unforeseen events.
Common power issues are:
These occur when the power grid crashes completely because electricity consumption is greater than the generation. However, in other cases, power to a specific area is deliberately shut off to avoid a complete blackout.
Brownouts refer to drops in voltage. So you will still have power in the grid, but it will not be enough to power all devices and appliances. Brownouts can last for a few minutes up to a few hours. But regardless of time, they can damage your electronic devices, even beyond repair.
These are the opposite of a brownout; i.e. they cause the voltage to increase. Power surges are also short-lived, but they can still ruin electronics, especially larger appliances like your fridge and AC.
A spike is also an increase in voltage, but this is specifically caused by lightning. Lightning causes brief flare-ups in the electric current, but spikes also occur when power is restored after a blackout. This is because the current takes time to normalize. In any case, spikes can seriously damage any electronics that are left plugged in.
This is caused by interference between lightning and generators. Noise has been known to malfunction computer operating systems and cause file corruption.
Statistics show that power outages have become more frequent than ever, and they are becoming more expensive for customers and utilities. Speaking in numbers, there were around 2850 outage events in 2009 that affected more than 13 million people. However, in 2017, there were more than 3500 of these events that affected nearly 37 million people.
Stats from the S&C Electric Company show that 18% of companies they talked to experienced a loss of $100,000 or more because of an extreme power outage.
What is UPS?
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is hardware that provides backup when the main power shuts off for any reason. A UPS also detects changes in electric current and stabilizes it.
Smaller UPS units work fine for small computers, whereas larger ones can power multiple devices and entire offices. Small businesses have both choices, depending on the number of devices they need to backup.
There are two types of UPS that you can choose from:
1. Standby UPS
Perfect for a single computer hub, a Standby UPS monitors voltage-current to detect imbalance. If it recognizes an outage or a surge, it will immediately switch to battery power so your system continues to run. However, you cannot use a Standby UPS to support various computers at once.
2. Line Interactive UPS
This UPS comes with a regulator that automatically boosts or lowers the voltage coming from the main power source. This makes a Line Interactive UPS perfect for long-term data and device protection, as It constantly stabilizes the voltage-current coming from your main power supply.
Benefits of a UPS
UPS benefits your business in more than one way:
Continuous Power Flow During a Surge
The UPS stabilizes the voltage from the main electrical lines to your devices so that no damage occurs even during a spike or surge.
Normalized Power Levels
A UPS protects your computers from dips and spikes caused by lightning, or when power restores after a blackout.
Unlike generators, a UPS gives you instant power the moment your electricity goes off. This keeps operations running, at least until you can switch to a generator.
Now that you have considered the benefits, you can think about whether a UPS is right for your small business. Although this is an additional business cost, in the long run, a UPS pays for itself by protecting your data and your devices from damage.
Do you have questions about the best UPS for your business? Contact Cleartech Group today at (978) 466-1938 or reach out online. One of our knowledgeable techs would be happy to help!