What to do about Power Protection
There a number of options when considering optional power protection devices and systems. Your first choice is to provide the best protection you can reasonably afford after you have determined your device or systems requirements.
The best protection will not be the most expensive, nor will it be the least expensive. It should be proper and adequate for your needs. If you do not make a logical and informed choice it could prove very costly in the future.
When you make a choice you must take into account all factors affecting both your equipment and how it serves you. A small, off-line personal computer can be a critical part of your operation or it can be a minor part of your operation. The use of equipment sometimes has a larger part to play when considering the level of power protection you should provide.
If you are a business owner or using your personal computer equipment to keep your companies records, it must be considered critical. If a brief power interruption could cost you a great deal of time (money) you should give a great deal of weight to the factor of time (money), when you make your decision on power protection.
For the purpose of our power protection consideration we will assume you are going to provide TVSS protection for your equipment. We will also assume you have a good bonded ground system.
Follow this list to determine your needs.
1. How critical is the protected equipment to my operation?
2. What are the manufacturers recommendations?
3. Do you have problems with power sags?
4. Do you have problems with short term blackouts?
5. Do you have long term black outs?
6. Must your equipment always operate (no power loss)?
7. Do you need to monitor equipment operation off premise?
8. Do you need to control your equipment off premise?
9. Is the load linear or non-linear?
10. How long do you need to conduct an orderly shutdown?
11. Do you need an automatic orderly shutdown with files saved?
12. Do you need your equipment to restart automatically?
13. Do you need data files or programs to be automatically restored?
14. Do you need to monitor your power for quality?
15. Do you need to be notified if the AC power goes off?
16. Do you need off site notification if the AC power goes off?
17. Do you need environmental information about your site?
18. Do you need environmental control for your site?
This may seem like a long list, but if you think about it, you can add to this list to meet your own needs and requirements. When you make the choice to provide optional power protection, you have to consider not just todays needs. Your future plans and equipment additions will make your choice today more important. Your system must be able to handle your needs today and also grow with your device and systems expansion.
The most expensive optional power protection equipment you can purchase is the system that does not meet your needs. You will learn the hard way that by not planning properly, you normally spend twice. This sum is normally equal to more than 150% of the investment you would have made if the proper equipment was purchased the first time. Without consideration to the cost you incurred "learning", your choice was wrong and you are still out of pocket much more than you should be.
You cannot be over informed when selecting optional power protection equipment. If you cannot make a choice after careful evaluation, contact a respected professional in this field and take his or her advice. Check carefully the credentials of anyone who claim to be a power quality of system protection professional. Contact the firms customers and ask questions about their satisfaction with the recommendations and results.
© PSI 1995
This information in Microsoft Word 97 format is availiable for download (22.5kb)