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Opinions on UPS brands
3

Opinions on UPS brands

Opinions on UPS brands

(OP)
I am looking for input on UPS units.  

We have purchased only APC units for the past 10 years.  They have a great web site, lots of models and good pricing.  They also have easy to replace batteries, take back your old batteries and have trade in discounts.

Recently someone requested a new ups, specifically not APC.  He mentioned Toshiba and Liebert as better options.

Any feedback or suggestions would be great.


RE: Opinions on UPS brands

Stick with APC. Experience, service and proven support are things that come highly valued in this industry.

We have used APC products exclusively for many years. We ventured out into 2 other brands at different times looking for alternatives and were sorely disappointed with the results.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

I wouldn't trust my equipment to anything other than APC brand.....  Just my 2 cents

david e
*end users are just like computers, some you can work with...others just need a simple reBOOTing to fix their problems.*

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

APC uses standby mode or line-interactive and plays primarily in the small to mid-size range markets. These are less expensive technologies than the "big boys" such as Liebert, Powerware and Toshiba who all use double-conversion technology.

APC's technology depends on high speed transfer switches and by design briefly interrupts the load when transferring to battery. The key to their system is to make the load interruption short enough that it doesn't disrupt the computers.

The advantage of double-conversion is that the load is always running on the inverter and completely isolated from the incomming line. With double-conversion the load never sees a loss of power and you don't have to be concerned if the transfer switch is going to work when the power goes away.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

I purchased a very inexpensive Cyberpower UPS from Fry's a year ago, and have been very happy with it. As others have helpfully noted, APC is the very best you can get. But, you've got to match the right UPS to your needs. If you've got an expensive server or a mission critical app, then get the best. In my case, I've got a Celeron 300 running a web server and a mail server. It's backed up every night, so if a surge does get through it's not a big loss. My primary concern was just to keep the thing running through short power outages.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

APC's are excellent, and their new rack-mount, modular expandable series are superb. The only other ones I'd consider (other than Liebert for data centers) are Best Power - often used for Emergency Communications centers and such. They have a large range of sizes - I used two of their Ferrups models - 3KW and 5KW, in one of my previous jobs - they use a ferro-resonant transformer - great filtering, very serviceable. Check their current models, but also see APC's new lines.

Fred Wagner
frwagne@longbeach.gov
 

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

There are alot of UPS "resellers" out there, the main problem is that most resellers are just selling other peoples products rebadged and you don't get the support that most people want. The supplier you choose depends on the type of technology you require. Power conditioning is a big issue that people dont think about. I have worked on just about every manufactures systems as a service engineer. I now work for Chloride, who also own Oneac as a service engineer. Have a look at what they have and see if it's what your after.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

APC has many good products. If you use the correct model I'm sure you are going to obtain a good protection.
On the other hand, Toshiba UPSs are very good. And Liebert UPSs are good too. Any of those brands could give you the kind of support you wish, BUT you MUST CHOOSE the APPROPIATE MODEL.

Regards,
Jose.-

_________________
Pablo Mir
pm@pablomir.com

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

I too have been using APC products for many years.  The problem I have with APC is their UPS units will cut off power to the "protected" equipment when testing the battery.  I've seen too many times where the UPS runs its self test and switches to battery power.  The battery happens to be bad (unknown to me) and the power shuts off on the unit.  This is not acceptable to something that is supposed to keep the power on.

I've also seen more than a dozen times where the battery packs will balloon requiring the entire UPS to be disassembled to remove the battery.  Again, not something you want to have with critical devices.

Due to these issues, I now purchase all equipment with redundant power supplies and running each power supply off separate UPS units with the UPS units on separate circuits.

Has anyone else had these same problems?

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

defiantly APC! stick with them! have you seen a belkin or this other white box one blow up? I have! It made a really loud crackling sound and the smell lated for days! hehehehe. this happened at my house once and at school twice! the teacher was all freaking out so were the students, I thought it was kinda funny since we did not have to do our assignment! Our teacher did not save her work and the UPS just blew up!!!

Want 360 degrees of web design, maintenance, hosting, and advertising solutions for your buisness? check us out at www.spot360.com for details!!!

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

I try and stick with Liebert and Powerware 'online' UPS only. Do a search and read about online vs line-interactive.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

We have an MGE UPS for our large datacenter UPS, and small APC units for the wiring closets.  They both seem to operate fine, but APC wins hands down for ease of everything else: software, manuals, customer support, etc.  If I had my choice I'd go with them every time

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

Much a I love the APC units, the units I have -SmartUPS in general, do have the glaring fault that JFrantz mentioned - if you go to hit the Test button, to run the load on the battery, and the battery happens to be bad, then you just dumped the server, because it doesn't test the battery to see if it will hold the load. NOT a good situation. Avoidable if you use the cable and the server runs the UPS monitoring software and can run scheduled tests weekly, but if that isn't happening, and you do a manual test now and then, it's bad news. The best UPS's I ever ran were FerrUps from Best Power - I had 3kw and 5kw models to run servers and phone systems.

Fred Wagner
frwagne@longbeach.gov
 

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

The problem Mr. Wagner mentions is real. But unfortunately the solution of testing with the "scheduled test" using the PowerChute software is not always as good as it sounds.
One problem very common in the small sealed lead acid batteries is a fast temperature-dependent aging. If the UPS is hot, the batteries tend to loose charge. The charger "sees" that and charge them again; the cycle start itself over and over again, and in a very short time the batteries are damaged. But this damage doesn't kill the battery voltage, only its ability to retain charge. So, when test-time arrives the UPS switch to battery mode and $#@%@$$$@!!!.

The solution, in medium- size scenarios and up, is to install a maintenance by-pass switch. This device, usually a fast speed solid state relay (Thyristors or Triacs) with an associated mechanical relay (to avoid false triggering) puts the load on an alternative power path to allow test and diagnose (and, if necessary, repair) the UPS.
I don't know if the installations you handle are appropriated for this kind of device, but this is a very good solution for non-stop critical systems (don't forget to worry about what is in that alternative power path).

Regards,

Jose.-

_________________
Pablo Mir
www.pablomir.com
pm@pablomir.com

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

I was surprised to see only (1) mention of Oneacs. I've worked with Executone Phone switches for about 10 years with exclusive use of Oneacs because of it's conditioning abilities, Executone was easily damaged by surges. I've seen many failures of APC's on customers desktops and Phone Switches and was surprised of the unconditional love there is for them. But that's just me.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

Additional note, I'm working at a different office now that doesn't order ONEACS, (anyone familiar with ONEACs please respond) I had total confidence in their design as conditioners and Battery Back up. I don't believe they were "true" UPSs but they smoked APC (which we frequently scrapped) in protecting our switches. "My point?" you were wondering, is what similar technologies (AVR?) is available in these common brands, Minuteman, Tripplite etc.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

APC Smart-UPS are available in both traditional Line-Interative and Double Online, the double online version has a built in bypass.

RE: Opinions on UPS brands

I had always used Best Ferrups units until they sold to Powerware, who ultimately killed the brand.  Ferrups are not marketed anymore last I checked.  What a shame.

Last center I built we installed APC Symmetra units in their Infrastructure Cabinet system.  40 KVA system copmprised of 5 each 10 KvA units for complete redundancy.  Processor and all other criticals were N+1 redundant.

Batteries were 40 Lb. modular units that can be removed by hand and replaced while the unit is running without the need for bypass. Size and weight permits shipment via common parcel carrier.  No service contract needed as all normal servicable can be removed with a screwdirver (at the most) and replaced by a layperson - again while the unit is running.

Weekly diagnostic self-test and e-mail notification of problems still working fine after 2 years since installation.  NIC card connects to network for monitoring and remote access. Unit worked flawlessly during August '03 blackout in Northeast US.

One unsung advantage is the small foot print - useful where space is limited.  Server-rack sized cabinet is taller but smaller floor foot print than conventional UPS & battery cabinets.

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