The term ‘power protection’ is one that has become part of the uninterruptible power supplies lexicon. When we discuss power protection we are really referring to the protection of critical loads from anomalies and breaks in the electrical power supply; mains power or a locally generated supply.
The products used to provide this protection are known as power protection systems. These can be grouped into the level of power protection they provide when mains power is present and whether they provide battery back-up when the mains power fails.
Nearly every data centre client in the UK installs an uninterruptible power supply as a power protection system. This is because they primarily they want to provide a source of uninterruptible power when the mains power fails, to cover the switch-on period of a standby power generator or to provide a longer source of power from a local battery set.
Outside the UK in more remote areas and countries with a less sophisticated and more unstable power supply, the UPS may also be installed with a voltage stabiliser. Whilst a power protecting UPS system may have a wide input voltage window, a transformer-based voltage stabiliser can widen this further to reduce battery usage whilst also protecting the sensitive components within the UPS rectifier charger (input stage).
Voltage stabilisers also have a role to play in UK industrial applications. Here they provide power protection to industrial manufacturing systems and process control applications. Industrial facilities may also suffer from a poor power factor on their mains supplies leading to higher electricity costs. Where this is the case the power protection system of choice maybe power factor correction.
Transient voltage and local lighting strikes can also be a problem for sensitive electronic systems. Surge arrestors capable of high-energy absorption and reduction become the power protection system of choice when this is required.
There are many types of power protection system available. Uninterruptible power supplies do dominate the power protection market but may not always be the most suitable choice for every application.
For help selecting the right power protection system for your application, please contact our power and energy consultants. We also offer a range of site visits and audits including a Free Power Protection Survey to help identify the right power solution.