Planning For Computer Power Outage Protection

Posted on: 30 July 2015

There are a lot of power protection and backup devices on the market for computers, which can make picking the right parts for a successful backup power plan difficult. Instead of searching for specific device brands or planning around a specific generator, think about your computer networks, department needs and how long it takes to make a safe stop and how certain standby generator and backup power devices can help.

Uninterruptible Power Supply At The Computer Level

Not all computer operations need 24/7 up-time. For some computers, you simply need the ability to save information in the event of an outage and shut down safely. Unfortunately, a computer can shut off completely and lose any unsaved data within a second if the power is lost. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can solve that problem.

The UPS unit is a battery inside a sophisticate enclosure that acts as an outlet and power management system. Modern UPS units can show how much power is available either through a numbered meter or a series of bars showing how empty or full the charge is. Multiple devices can be connected to the UPS in the same way they would connect to a power strip, and some models even come with a surge protector function to defend against dangerous spikes or surges of extra, dangerous electricity.

These units are meant to be connected to a computer, a monitor and any vital support systems that need to be used in the event of a power outage. Ideally, you would connect one surge protector per computer (or major network device, such as an internal business network router or switch) to give each unit a dedicated power source and organized connections.

It's possible to add extra devices to the UPS, but keep in mind that additional devices can cause the power to be consumed faster. Even though many UPS units have nearly-accurate meters, it's best to test the duration of the UPS with an actual computer and accessories first.

Standby Generators For Long-Term Computing

If your computer systems are part of an emergency management mission that needs to be operating at all times or simply profitable at all hours of the day, there are a few options that can be added to your main power grid. If necessary, you can use both liquid fuel generators and solar power for a flexible power backup plan.

Liquid fuel generators offers a quick, on-demand power generation to create a power supply that is enough to run an entire business or an emergency team. Fuels such as diesel can be burned, although there's an issue with storage and transportation.

Different fuels have varying shelf life, which determines how long the fuel will last until becoming less effective or even damaging the engine or generator using the fuel. If you go for too long without needing to use the fuel, you'll be buying and not using fuel until an emergency happens. To transport fuel in, you'll need to hope that fuel transport can make it to your location in time during a disaster.

Solar power offers a more steady, but sometimes slower power storage system for standby generators. If the generator simply needs a charge to start up, solar panels can store power in batteries that can be used on demand by the generators. With enough photovoltaic equipment, you could even use solar power to manage your non-essential electrical needs when the sun is shining in your area. 

Contact a standby generators professional to plan your backup power plan and to review systems that work with your computers.