Regardless of whether you run a healthcare centre, telecommunications business or data centre, one simple fact rings true: you need dependable power supply to function effectively. Powering key equipment, allowing customers to get in touch, and maintaining data protection are all business aspects that need power, as is the lighting and electricity within your business, site or facility. So what would you do if the power went out due to a power sag, power surge, undervoltage or another one of the common 9 power problems? Panic? Worry? Apologise profusely to your team, clients and customers? How about instead relying on an uninterruptible power supply system (UPS) to kick in, and be the backup power you need? Sounds much better right? To learn more about the 9 power problems and how we can help, we encourage you to read this blog.
What Are The 9 Power Problems?
In a perfect world, your wall socket would provide a continuous power supply, a constant voltage and cycling exactly the same number of times per second. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and there are 9 power problems that you should be aware of, and suitably prepare for. There power issues include:
- Power Failure: Also known as a blackout, this complete interruption of the electrical supply can be caused by a range of sources including utility equipment failures, storms, objects striking lines or poles, fire, grid over-demands and human error. Equipment damage and data loss are common consequences.
- Power Sag: This sudden drop in the normal voltage level often results in serious equipment malfunctions and is caused by faults on the transmission or distribution network, connection of heavy loads or start-up of large motors.
- Power Surge: These very fast voltage variations are triggered by lightning, line or capacitor switching and disconnection of heavy loads. They demolish electronic components and lead to data processing mistakes, data loss and electromagnetic interference.
- Undervoltage: Also known as a ‘’brownout’’, this voltage drop typically lasts from a few minutes to a few hours and is usually caused by overdemand or intentional “throttling” of electricity during peak demand. It can damage computers and other hardware.
- Overvoltage: Data loss, flickering of screens, and equipment damage are just some of the issues that overvoltage can cause and is typically due to starting/stopping of heavy loads, poorly dimensioned power sources, and poorly regulated transformers, as well as lightning strikes, which can send line voltages to levels in excess of 6,000 volts.
- Line Noise: Electromagnetic interference or irregular grounding produce these superimposed high frequency signals on the waveform, causing issues with sensitive electronic equipment, as well as data loss and data processing errors.
- Reduced line voltage for periods ranging from a few minutes to a few days can be caused by an intentional utility voltage reduction to conserve power during peak demand periods or other heavy loads that exceed supply capacity.
- Increased line voltage for periods ranging from a few minutes to a few days however is triggered by a rapid reduction in power loads, heavy equipment being turned off, or by utility switching.
- Frequency Variation: The loss of stability in a power supply’s normal frequency of 50 Hz or 60 Hz most often results from heavily loaded generators. The problem can cause motors to run faster or slower, leading to inefficiency, excess heat and degradation. Frequency variation can also cause erratic operation, data loss, system crashes and equipment damage.
- Switching Transient: These momentary changes in voltage or current that can damage equipment stem from lightning, switching of loads and capacitor banks, opening and closing of disconnects on energised lines, re-closure operations and tap changing on transformers.
- Harmonic Distortion: This distortion of the normal power wave is generally transmitted by unequal loads and can result in resonance, overload, and overheating of cables and equipment.
So what can you do about these 9 power problems? Well, having power equipment with the right level of power protection is a good place to start.
Preventing The 9 Power Problems
To determine the level of protection you need, and which UPS power supply system is most suitable for your site, facility or business, you need to firstly consider the following:
- How critical is the application you need to protect?
- Do you need complete or partial protection?
There are several types of UPS systems from which you can choose, and these include:
Standby UPS Power Supply Systems: These systems allow equipment to run off utility power until the UPS detects a problem, at which point it switches to battery power to protect against sags, surges or outages. Best suited for applications requiring simple backup power supply such as offices and point-of-sale equipment.
Line Interactive UPS Power Supply Systems: These systems actively regulate voltage by either boosting or reducing utility power as necessary before allowing it to pass to the protected equipment or resorting to battery power. Line interactive systems are great for applications where power protection from anomalies is required, but the utility power is clean. MDF and IDF communication closets, non-centralised servers and network rooms, and general IT enclosures are best suited for this technology.
Online UPS Power Supply Systems: These systems provide the highest level of power protection by isolating equipment from raw utility power – converting power from AC to DC and back to AC. Unlike other topologies, double conversion systems provide zero transfer time to battery for sensitive equipment, and these online systems are best suited to mission-critical equipment and locations where power isn’t as accessible.
At Dale Power Solutions, we have a great range of UPS power supply systems that can help mitigate the 9 power problems, and these include both modular UPS and monolithic UPS systems. These include:
The Dale E700 Series
A great aid to businesses wanting the ultimate in power protection, our Dale E700 Series can aid with power supply issues too.
Our Dale E700 Series Includes:
The Dale E73340 Range
The Dale E73340 is a 40kVA three phase UPS system offering online double conversion technology and an overload capacity of variable: <110% 60min/<125% 10min/<150% 1min dependent on version.
Key Features Of The Dale E73340
- High frequency, double conversion online technology
- Wide input voltage range (184-276VAC)
- Cold start and programmable auto restart functions
- Selectable ECO mode for high efficiency operation
- Lightning and surge protection
- Short circuit and overload protection
- Automatic fan speed control with load variation
- Emergency Power Off facility
- Smart RS232 and USB comms with monitoring software
- Optional relay or SNMP communications card
- Up to 4 units can be operated in parallel
Along with choosing the correct UPS system, incorporating the right UPS maintenance programme into your operations is imperative to success. Carried out by system specialists, our UPS maintenance can include everything from call outs, visits, fault fixes and maintenance information reports through to the provision of UPS spare parts, remote monitoring, load bank testing and control system management. Together, we can prepare your critical power equipment for power issues that come your way, and reduce the damage caused considerably. With UPS service options too, we have everything you need for efficient power supply, and effective business continuity.
Don’t let those power problems be your problems. For more information on how on our UPS power supply systems and UPS maintenance contracts can help your business, please contact us today on 0330 999 3000. We help businesses across the UK, in areas including London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and with a team of 100+ strong technical experts, we’re never too far away to help resolve any power issues.