The importance of acquiring proper UPS surge protector devices should no longer be considered an option. In many applications, SPDs have become a NEC requirement.
Today, Uninterruptible Power Supply equipment (UPS)
have become commonplace for business, military and homes.
In general, this equipment converts AC power to DC power. When power interruptions occur, the UPS switches on to provide temporary "backup" power to the connected devices.
The most common UPS systems available today:
Standby units are often found in small business's and homes and are the most affordable. They have small battery capacity and short battery-duration.
Line-Interactive units have an auto-transformer and are a step up from Standby models. These units provide an increased ability to tolerate brown outs while not tapping into the batteries reserve.
Double Conversion units are the most expensive and most advanced of the three. With these units the backup power is on/running continuously.
Contrary to popular claims and apparent uses, a UPS is NOT a surge protector.
However, some, including the occasional professional, seem to think they are or at least appear to use them for that purpose. We don't recommend this.
A UPS may provide some form of partial or limited transient voltage protection through it's design. However, a properly designed surge protective device (SPD) that does not make.
ANSI/IEEE specified test results, the NEC and real world experience discourage the idea that a UPS provides quality surge protection.
Today, claiming an Uninterruptible Power Supply has "built-in" surge protection has become quite common.
The questions then become:
UPS/SPD combination designs are readily available today. However, the surge protection should be carefully evaluated. Most likely, the surge protection is for down-line equipment only. Protection can also be limited to a few select receptacles, leaving other equipment unprotected.
In our opinion, that's not the best UPS surge protector option.
It's important to be aware of what the definition of the claimed surge protection actually is for down-line equipment.
Reminder... a UPS is a UPS... Not a Surge Protector.
Relying on a UPS to provide true surge protection for down-line equipment is not the best option. Honestly, its not a very good option to begin with. Plus, the UPS itself can be at risk from the same surge activity its supposedly preventing.
From experience, following recommendations from IEEE and FIPS provides the best UPS surge protector options. Installing a surge protector upstream of the UPS is strongly recommended. Apply multiple layers of SPDs upstream when possible. This approach protects the entire UPS system electronics, power supply, battery backup and down-line equipment.
SPDs that provide Full Spectrum ProtectionTM are High Quality and High Performance. These SPDs are critical for the proper protection of sensitive electronics. Remember: A damaged UPS = No UPS = No Backup Power Supply.
Not many SPDs provide protection against both Impulse and RingWave type surges. Even fewer do it in all modes. Our SPDs do both.
When it comes to properly protecting Uninterruptible Power Supply systems from transient voltage, install Full Spectrum ProtectionTM from the leader in UPS surge protector design.
Our gear is... often imitated... but rarely duplicated...
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