When you think of UPS systems for homes/small-businesses, you are reminded of the tower UPS models. But when every other IT equipment can be rack-mounted, why not the UPS? Rack-mounted UPS can save a lot of space and add to the uncluttered ambiance of your IT setup. A Line-Interactive UPS can provide automatic voltage regulation (when on the direct power mode), without always having to switch over to the battery mode, thereby saving a lot of power. Also, imagine your UPS being able to automatically save all your unsaved files and then switching off the computer safely, once it is out of battery power!
These are some attractive features of the Rack-mountable Line-interactive UPS models from CyberPower for home/small business. Have a look at the Amazon pages of a few entry-level models in this category for price and reviews (If you are in US, you can buy it from there) –
- CyberPower Smart App LCD OR500LCDRM1U (500 VA/300 W), 6 Sockets (4 UPS Sockets)
- CyberPower Smart App LCD OR700LCDRM1U (700 VA/400 W), 6 Sockets (4 UPS Sockets)
- CyberPower Smart App LCD OR1000LCDRM1U (1000 VA/600 W), 6 Sockets (4 UPS Sockets)
- CyberPower Smart App LCD OR1500LCDRM1U (1500 VA/900 W), 6 Sockets (4 UPS Sockets)
- CyberPower Smart App LCD OR1500LCDRM2U (1500 VA/900 W), 8 UPS Sockets
To size the capacity/to select the right model of the UPS, you need to determine how many devices you are going to connect to it and their cumulative Wattage/VA capacity. If you have the wattage capacity, you can calculate its VA capacity by dividing the wattage by the device’s power factor. If you don’t have the power factor, you can assume it to be 0.7 for most electronic devices.
Also, while buying a UPS, try to provide some room for future expansion. If your total UPS capacity requirement today is 300 W (for example), you could buy the model that supports at least 25% more than that capacity. You might always want to connect a switch or an access point to it, later on.
If you want to determine the time period over which the UPS will function after the power-cut, you need to look at the ‘run-time at half load/full load’ ratings for the model you have in mind. Generally, a UPS can provide power for more time than what is specified because the devices connected to it may not always be utilizing their full rated power. As you can see, the UPS backup time depends on the load and hence lesser the load, more the back-up time. In other words, if you want your devices to be powered long after power-cut, buy a much higher rated UPS. Of course, with increased UPS capacity, price also increases.
Make sure that the UPS beeps while it is functioning (so that you can know) and the transition between power and UPS mode happens seamlessly. It’s good if the UPS has LCD indicators for instant verification of parameters like voltage, battery capacity and run-time left, etc. The CyberPower UPS also have a cover over the power button, so that they are not accidentally switched off!
A UPS may have many power outlets, but it may not support UPS mode in all of them. In the CyberPower models mentioned above, the first four UPS models have 6 outlets, but support UPS mode only in four. The remaining two can be used only for connecting equipment to direct power (mains), but the UPS will provide surge suppression in those outlets. The fifth model provides 8 outlets and UPS power is available for all eight of them. This is the reason you should know before-hand the number of equipment you’ll be connecting to the UPS, today and in the future.
If a UPS is Energy Star certified, you can be sure that it doesn’t consume a lot of power and it confirms to most recent power-efficiency norms. UPS systems generally have some kind of overload protection (in the form of internal circuit breakers, for example).
Do check what kind of (and how many) batteries are contained in the UPS. The CyberPower UPS models come with sealed lead-acid batteries. The first two models have 2 batteries and the next three models have 4 batteries. All these are user-replaceable. It takes around 8 hours to fully recharge the batteries.
These CyberPower Smart App LCD UPS models come with Power Panel Business Edition software using which it will save open files and safely switch off the computer during power-cuts, in the absence of any user. In addition to this, through the USB connectivity, you can view/monitor the battery backup info, manage scheduled power shutdown, perform diagnostics, etc. This software is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac systems.
However, please note the following:
- Long solid beep indicates that you are overloading the UPS. You should not connect devices that have more power rating, higher than the rated admissible power for the UPS model. In such a situation, disconnect a few devices from the UPS socket. Generally, try to connect only critical systems like computers, monitors, NAS devices, etc. to the UPS ports. Connect non-critical systems like printers, scanners to the Non-UPS ports.
- Sinusoidal voltage (Sine Wave) is required for equipment using Active PFC power supplies. For such equipment, separate UPS models are available.
- Do not connect equipment like laser printers, copiers, shredders, vacuum cleaners, curling irons and other high-power devices to a UPS.
- Switch to the generator mode if you are using the UPS in conjunction with a generator in your premises.
- Connect the UPS to a direct power outlet (for power input), and not to a surge strip. Also, do not connect the UPS power output to surge strips to expand the number of power sockets. If you want more length, just use a single socket extension unit/cord to cover more distance.
Have a look at the CyberPower web-page for more information on their Rack-mount Smart App LCD models.
You can follow the latest Computer Networking/IT Products released for homes/small businesses & reviews by subscribing to this blog with your email address in the top right-hand sidebar box: ‘Follow by E-mail’. You can expect one mail per week (max).