One of the most often asked questions about power is, "What goes first using all of this power stuff?" I am sometimes amazed that there isn't clarity from company to company on what goes first and so on in the power chain. The line of power defence and control is pretty simple when you break it down by these parameters: Surge, Uninterruptible Power, Remote Power On/Off Control, and connected Power Outlets.
Surge - Close The Front Door Without Contaminating Ground
Note: The Surge Eliminator Always Goes First in the power chain! There are two kinds of Surge devices out there... Surge Protectors and Surge Eliminators. Only one brand makes Surge Elimination devices -
. Their patented system [
ASM - Advanced Series Mode
] completely eliminates the possibility of electrical surges. Their unique UL rating stating that they can take 1000 surges of 6000 volts/3000 amperes in a row proves their worth as the first line of defence from electrical surges. Their extra value becomes known when symptomatic issues from MOV based ground contaminating devices are replaced with an elimination of all ground contamination and they are used deeper into the system past the point of entry for surge activity.
When the ground contamination is eliminated, the constant need for re-boots goes away and so do the other lock-ups that plague control systems, microprocessor based sources and other devices.
Uninterruptible Power - UPS
The UPS plugs into the surge eliminator. Many UPS devices are available but knowledge about how they work makes some inadequate for many integrator system designs. There are two basic kinds - Line Interactive and On Line. Line Interactive models respond to a power outage by switching on when the power goes out. These models create issues when used in our type of power requirements since devices respond so quickly to power issues. As an example a projector depends on power to light but also to fan cool the sensitive lamp inside. When the power glitches off, the projector shuts off before a line interactive UPS can respond and the lamp is sacrificed by not cooling properly at shutdown. An Online UPS is always running on battery so it would already be running in this example and save the projector. A well designed control system might employ features that would sense the power going out and in a specified amount of time shut down the projector and do so within the runtime range of the UPS. The
SurgeX OL UPS
units range from 1000 VA to
assuring you have one for every need you might encounter.
Note: A popular UPS Myth
is that they are surge protectors because you are running on batteries. Sorry - not true. You need to plug the UPS into a Surge Eliminator to prevent surges from harming them or devices connected to them. You can read more
Power Distribution and Power Control
Note: The Power Distribution and Power Control plug into the Surge Elimination Devices unless you are using the
SEQ's by SurgeX
. There are a variety of devices to distribute power. These range from the outlets on Surge devices to the strips you may use to place power where you need it. These range from as simple as the ones found at the local hardware store to ones specifically designed for rack use typically $40 and up.
A few nice features are available for use in these system designs.
COUVS, ICE, and power sequencing are several that are available from SurgeX. Fortunately - they are all Surge Eliminators and can be placed at the beginning of the Power Chain and provide both their functions and Surge Eliminate as well.
Other Power Devices
- COUVS is an acronym for "Catastrophic over/under Voltage Shutdown". COUVS is reliable fast-acting circuitry that turns off within a half-cycle of an over-voltage event. It will not false trigger on transients and automatically restores power when line voltage has returned to normal. With its factory settings it will shut off the power at 140 volts and restore it at 130 and also at a sag below 80 volts and restore it at 90 volts. Sensitive equipment are protected from harmful over voltage situations as well as brownout power.
- ICE is an acronym for "Inrush Current Elimination" and solves problems typically encountered when powering-up large power amplifiers and multicomponent systems. It smoothes out inrush current spikes to prevent blown circuits, and eliminates the need for expensive time-delay circuit breakers. ICE allows a perfect solution for power glitches in racks where a sequencer might normally power up items in a sequence but when a power glitch happens the sequencing doesn't take place. The full load of the rack might trip the breaker during this event, but ICE would fully prevent this from happening and prevent difficult power situations such as a tripped breaker from making you roll a truck to a client's house.
- Power Sequencing - SurgeX SEQ models give the ability to control and deliver sequencing parameters, conditioning, shutdown thresholds, and surge protection needed to safeguard audio, video, distribution, and control systems. These units have enhanced management features and are extremely easy to install, program, and use.
- Many other devices play into the power requirements of good system designs. Obviously requirements rebooting devices are significantly reduced with SurgeX as the surge eliminator and eliminating the ground contamination however, on occasion, reboots are necessary for many devices to remain connected to networks and the like. Often ISP's are the culprit - sometimes - the devices themselves.
Access Elite by SurgeX
is one solution that is very powerful. Others are available from suppliers like Snap or Panamax/Furman and with SurgeX at the head end of the system, they will not be able to contaminate ground so they can be safely used.
Preventing Brown Out
One very cool product from SurgeX is their
They can power up an entire rack and handle the browning of the power when it is the kind of sag that doesn't require the UPS. They work using a bank of charged capacitors that gate power as needed to assure 120V at the rated amperage. The
is a 20 amp version. Also - no battery required for preventing the sags!