To survive as human beings we need air, water, food and shelter. In this modern age you may certainly add electric power to that short list. Without adequate power all but the basic agrarian societies would collapse.
Have you experienced a power outage lately? If you were in South Australia recently you would have experienced a major inconvenience at the very least when everything went dark. And even when the power goes back on the dramas are not over yet for many businesses where computers did not shut down properly when the power tripped.
Enter the Domain of the Uninterruptible Power Supply.
How can a UPS benefit not only businesses but also households?
We will have a look at why UPS units are lifelines for electronic equipment.
Specifically, we are looking at the 2200VA unit from CyberPower.
We had a localised power outage recently in Western Australia where we live. It lasted nearly a full day but fortunately we still had access to the Internet. My main laptop has an endurance of about four hours but, being plugged in to the CyberPower unit meant that, with judicious use, I was able to use my computer during the whole power outage and was also able to keep my mobile phones charged up.
So what does an Uninterruptible Power Supply do?
In an earlier review I observed:
A UPS unit will do two things for you: provide you with precious minutes to save your computer work or even help you finish the task but typically when the power goes out the reality is that you don't know how long you have before the backup battery system is out of juice as well.
However, you can gracefully shut your computer down without any damage to your files or system.
The other thing a UPS will do for you 24/7 is provide you with clean power without peaks or brownouts. No surges to damage sensitive electronics and that is really the biggest benefit.
Case in point: this CyberPower unit always provides a pure sinus wave and kicks in automatically and increases the output voltage when the input voltage drops below the normal value.
Similarly when the input voltage rises much above the nominal value the Automatic Voltage Regulator decreases the output voltage to normal levels. Here in Australia voltage can range quite a bit around the 240V mark. Just watch the display on the system for a few minutes and you'll see that it never ever is just 240.
Most of our equipment can handle some deviation from the norm but sudden peaks or troughs can play havoc with our electronic devices.
As you might expect this CyberPower unit is heavy, tipping the scales at just over 23 kg.
The interface on the front consists of a display which tells you the status of the battery, the load, input voltage, output and other parameters including estimated runtime left.
There is a dedicated button for the setup, for scrolling around the various screens and, most importantly a mute button. Why is this important? All of the UPS units we have reviewed so far have extremely loud warning beeps. For a unit that is going to be used most likely close to where you work, rather than in a server room, I think it is important that you can straightaway silence the machine. Other than that, in operation this unit is absolutely quiet.
The back panel of the PR2200ELCDSL shows we can connect eight devices to the battery and surge protected outlets. Keep in mind that high-power appliances such as a laser printer or copier can easily overload the system. Talking about possible overloads: it is important to calculate the power requirements of the equipment you want to connect to the UPS and to make sure that, in this case, they will not exceed 2200VA. There is also an EPO port which allows you to switch of the unit in an area away from the UPS via the Emergency Power Off cable.
Other ports you may find handy is a serial and USB port to allow connection and communication to your computer. Software and cabling for this is included.
There is also an option for what they call an SNMP/HTTP Network Slot to be able to remotely monitor and manage this UPS over a network.
Still talking about hardware features: what we particularly like is that the battery is user replaceable. When you talk about a unit that costs just shy of 1000 bucks it is imperative that batteries that often fail can be replaced easily. That would have saved a company like Samsung countless billions of dollars if they had a user replaceable battery in the latest Note 7 handsets rather than putting dumping all the devices as landfill! But I digress....
If you are a serious computer user or certainly when you run a business, you need this sort of protective backup power. No ifs or buts. It may not be this particular unit as for some people it might be overkill and for some businesses it may not be big enough.
That’s why I’m including the link to the CyberPower website so that you can find out which UPS suits your needs best.
Overall, we are very impressed with the capability and performance of this CyberPower PR2200ELCDSL unit and rate it very highly.