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Problems with Power Loss: Tips for Workplace Computer Battery Backups


It’s inevitable: employees working hard on a time-consuming project and then out of nowhere, the lights start to flicker and the power goes out. Suddenly, those workers express their frustration by pulling out their hair because they’ve just lost hours’ worth of work. In addition to being portable, laptop computers have a major advantage over their desktop counterparts: they can still work when the power goes out. Fortunately, battery backup devices also referred to as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), keep desktop computers running even when the power isn’t working like their more portable counterparts.

What is a UPS?

A UPS is a battery-powered device that resembles a large surge protector designed to provide a continuous flow of electricity to any devices it plugs into. This provides protection from changes in the power flow including surges where too much power comes through, complete power loss when no power comes through, and fluctuations where the amount of provided power is insufficient to keep everything running. In short, UPS devices provide short-term disaster recovery.

Why You Need Protection from the Unpredictable

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to predict when the power is going to fail. Occasionally, a powerful storm might blow through your area which increases the risk that the power will fail, but it’s no guarantee. Your office could experience 100 intense storms and never lose power, but then lose power for hours on a sunny, bright day because a strong wind gust knocked down a power line.

Installing a UPS device between a desktop computer and a power outlet can minimize power loss risk.

UPS Features

  • Types: There are two types of UPS devices: “standby” and “online.” Standby devices will switch on as soon as a power interruption is detected; however, there will be a several millisecond lag so that the computer may or may not avoid shutting down. Online UPS devices run the power to charge the battery and then continuously power the computer from the battery itself. Online UPS devices will not interrupt power until the battery is depleted.
  • Capacity: When selecting a UPS, you need to make sure the UPS is powerful enough to run your computer. Battery life can vary greatly depending on the UPS device capacity and how much wattage the computer will draw. Some devices can keep the computer running for hours, while others only a few minutes. Depending on the capacity, the UPS may serve as a “save now, shut down” backup or provide the ability to continue working.
  • Slots: The UPS has a specific amount of power outlets built in, so make sure it has enough to run the bare minimum. Do not be afraid to let non-essential devices like a second monitor or printers lose power.

Note: While laptop devices don’t need a UPS to keep running during a power outage, they still should be connected to a surge protector when charging to prevent device damage from power flow irregularity.

The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help your business find strategies like adding UPS devices to desktop computers in order to increase productivity and avoid potential disasters. Contact us today to learn more!

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