December 16, 2009
In the case of 277/480volt power, the problem is the same, the solution a bit different.
Taking the 277volt line and powering a 208volt UPS with it will cause the UPS to immediately start shedding the power. Yes the specs say it can take 189-294volts, but it is not designed to do this continuously.
Option 1 is to transform the entire load from 3phase 277/480volt down to 120/208. This is expensive and requires a 300lb transformer (assuming a 10kva ups). With the transformer, freight, and electrical work, this can cost over $3000.
Our recommendation, is to use a buck transformer and step down from 277 to 240volt. Since, you cant simply buck all the way down to 208volt, you need a 240volt UPS. This smaller transformer fits in a 3U rack cabinet and costs under $400. Call us for the exact price based on your size
Either way, these are much cheaper solutions than trying to buy a 480volt UPS.
Fun fact... go to the APC Selector by load and ask for a 5000va UPS with 277/480volt power, put in 10mins and 10% expansion... and the selector spits out a $99,600 UPS solution
December 15, 2009
December 6, 2009
We learned the limits of high voltage systems and surge protection. We gave you advice on types of 3phase UPSes, home network upses, and whether to repair or replace smaller units. Finally, we announced our partnership with nuBarter.
December 5, 2009
In this occasional blog, I will address a complaint or disappointment that has come up and explain my position.
Complaint #1 - Slow Shipping
Your order a unit, but may not arrive for 14 days.
Absolutely true and I am truly sorry for the delay. but here are the facts.
When we receive an order it goes through these steps.
- Invoices & work ticket printed
- Shipping arrangements researched & booked
- Unit is pulled from inventory
- Batteries are loaded, unit is charged
- Unit is tested, Unit is cleaned, Unit is recharged
- Unit is packed on a palleted and freight company is contacted
- Freight is picked up and shipped to a local freight terminal
- Freight company delivers freight
We wish we were a large outfit that had Amazon.com efficiency, but we aren't. One of our goals in 2010 is to streamline the process and get orders out faster.
For those that have been disappointed with the fulfillment times, we are sorry... mea culpa, Dixi
December 4, 2009
Actually, those strange science monks at Underwriter's Laboratory have renamed our gadgets and they are no longer called Surge Suppressors, or Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors, but Surge Protection Devices.
Plus as an added bonus, UL and ANSI have changed many of the requirements and guidelines for SPDs.
What does this mean to the rest of us that put our pants on 1 leg at a time?
All panel mount surge gizmos are going to cost alot more.
Our lines of UL 2nd Edition Eaton Protectors(R), Sycom's SP, and CHSP Micro surge gizmos are no longer approved for new installations. They obviously still work fine and you dont need to rip out your old ones. And unless you or your company keeps up with ISO900x, ROHS, ANSI/IEEE, GLBA 501(b), or the 2007/2 EC INSPIRE directives.... these less expensive models are fine.
But if you do need the latest, we still have our premium quality 3rd Ed Eaton Protector starting at $800 for a simple home mount.
I dont really understand whats better in the 3rd edition anyway.
December 3, 2009
APC actually makes a special UPS for home theatres. The APC AV collection is impressive, but is very similar to an APC SmartUPS 1500.
Both AV & SmartUPS have:
- power conditioning features
- battery backup
- IEEE EMI filtering
- True sine wave power
- Surge protection (3360 joules versus 500) [but these are both too low to act as real protection IMHO]
- Noise (AV has a silent fan, the APC Smartups have a fan)
December 1, 2009
Why? 3 reasons:
1) In the 1kva to 5kva market,(where GreenlightUPS specializes) it has a well over a 50% market share*.
2) It has the greatest brand recognition among consumers and small businesses
and 3) It has poor service & support* meaning many units are scrapped because of minor issues and end up at my door to be restored instead of being repaired.
For my business and for my customers, this arrangement is fine. You pay a reduced price for a product you are familiar with.
November 30, 2009
A cheap power strip selling for $7 offers nearly the same amount of surge arresting protection as the $1700 APC Smart UPS 3000va UPS.
In the mickey mouse world of plug in surge suppressors, the strip has 770 joules and APC ups has 880 joules. While you'll learn what all that means here, to me the main point is that whether you can trust your plug in strip for serious protection. If you dont then why would trust your UPS for surge protection.
If you are like me, a surge strip is an extension cord, and i wouldn't trust for anything critical or expensive.
Your solution... buy a hardwired, panel mount surge suppressor. We have good ones here at our store.
November 29, 2009
First is voltage. Do NOT use anything other than 120volt UPSes. Yes, there are ways to use high voltage in your home, but the costs are alot more.
Second is VA or volt amps. As previously mentioned this is the Power Capacity of the UPS or how much stuff you can plug into it. UPSes come in a range of VAs: 1500va, 2200, 3000, 5000, etc. Since if you only have a standard 15amp household plug, your maximum VA will be 1800 (120v x 15a), no matter if you buy a larger rated UPS.
So why buy anything larger than a 1800va? Because of the Third feature... Battery capacity
Battery Capacity, expressed in VAH is the amount of battery juice that allows the ups to run without power. Typically, the larger the UPS's VA the larger the VAH. So while your UPS may be limited to 1800va, you can still get the benefits of the units, larger VAH.
220va 5U XL ups. It offers a compact frame that can be put in a A frame rack or turned on its side for a tower. Plus it offers the XL feature, which allows for more runtime. Plus the standard 30amp plug can be changed at no charge to accommodate your 15amp plug. However, any of the 2200va units can work best.
November 26, 2009
Yes, Powersonic makes two lines of SLA batteries: the regular (PS) and hi rate batteries (PSH). And Yes, WeBob uses the less expensive PS line of batteries, even though the PSH would be better.
However, in my defense, my competitors wouldnt even think of using the high rate batteries. They are much more expensive. My competitors use mostly private label batteries that they would say are specially designed for UPS units. And some even say High Rate.
As a purchasing agent and manufacturer's sourcer in previous lives, I can tell you its about price and competition.
Having a battery manufacturer special make your battery to specs that exceed their own product lines would be very expensive. Having them make them in regular fresh stock cycles would be impossible. However putting your sticker (aka private labeling) on a low cost battery is much more feasible and likely.
APC sells millions of batteries... and they do the sticker trick. Do you really think UPSunitsCheapontheWeb.com makes a special hi rate UPS battery for their units....
Bottomline, we are proud to use Powersonic brand, even if it is their cheaper line. Our distributor gets them fresh, sells them cheap and moves thousands fast.
new for $37. If you need a replacement battery, its $29 plus shipping. In that case, probably buy the new one.
new for $85. The APC replacement battery pack is $79. ElcheapoStore.com sells mystery batteries for $55 delivered. Thats not cut and dry, either... I would probably choose the new one as well.
However, there are a few that wont leave you in that Buridian perplexity... the BE750 sells on the street for $82. When it goes bad, the RBC2 pack costs only $29 to replace.
As I told a customer this weekend, replacing the batteries on small APC upses usually isnt worth it, but there are few exceptions.
While it my hurt my business, check the replacement and total life cycle cost when buying UPSes
And remember, feel free to email me if you are stuck with one of these and staring at those two bushels of hay
November 25, 2009
As a member for several months, GreenlightUPS, has been doing work for members like Dental Excellence, South Florida Computer Specialists, and Gold Coast T Shirts on 100% or 50% barter. In exchange, yours truly has been bartering back at restaurants, like Oceans234, and Saba Sushi.
Since the "barter bucks" that are traded can be spent anywhere in the network, your barter opportunities are nearly unlimited.
Nubarter isnt everywhere yet, but it may be coming to your corner of the world soon.
As a skeptic, stingy, anti social, curmudgeon... i strongly support it... and thats as good as a referrals go.
November 24, 2009
BUT,unless it says otherwise, its still a 208volt system, and really likes 208volt.
If you get some crazy voltages, the UPS will handle it. But DO NOT hookup up a 208volt UPS to your home's 240volt power.
If you do, the UPS will trim the voltage from 240+ down to 208volt. If its doing this all the time, the batteries, system and everything will fail prematurely.
Then what do I do for home systems that need a 5000va and have 240volt?
Either a 230volt system OR a step down transformer from 240v to 224v.
But the best idea is to stay away from the high voltage and get two 3000va systems... its cheaper
November 23, 2009
What does Webob think about:
208volt versus 120volt systems
UPS versus generators and again here
XLT high voltage models versus XLI models
Modular versus Non Modular UPSes
November 21, 2009
You would think that APC like most businesses would make any differences in product lines clear. Yet, a quick compare between the 20k PX and 20k VT shows only a few differences.
The PX offers better power factor (100 v 80%), a larger frame, more BTU burned, a louder operation and oddly a better operating elevation. Power capacity, modular flexibility, runtime, extended runtime options, electrical specs are virtually the same.
So for these minor differences why does APC charge almost twice the price ($28.5K versus the VT's 17.1k)?
Looking over the two units... one factor is upgrade-ability. The 20k PX model can be upgraded with the addition of more power suitcases to 40k. Also on the PX, if one of the power suitcases fails, you can configure a N+1 redundancy.
So is that worth $11,000.00?
I dont think so.... but at least if you buy it from us refurbished the difference is only about $5000.
October 26, 2009
A quick export from QBooks and some Excel ifthen and concatenates and presto a map of where I have UPS sales.
Not a bad spread. But why no sales in Wisconson and Missouri? Does the power never go out? Do they have too much money? Is there a cheddar chese web filter that prevents the GreenlightUPS.com for getting through....
Anyway... GET $40 off if you order a UPS for those states not showing up.
October 25, 2009
Since I come from a family of lawyers, I know how best to deal with that advice. How's a'bout this:
October 24, 2009
Big whoop.... thanks RW
But... at $100 more per ups, it still doesnt pay to go to 208volt.
October 23, 2009
I always recommend 120volt. But....
Choose 208volt for dense server racks that need a lot of power. 208volt provides more Uumph per outlet. (U/o) The main disadvantages are that 208volt units are more money and not all computer equipment can run on 208volt .
However, APC disagrees. Their white paper makes an argument for increased efficiency by going to 208volt . While it is true that units draw less current (amps) when you increased voltage (from 120v to 208) and hence cause less heat... its a paltry amount.
I told a customer recently, that I bet him leaving the light on in the server room causes more heat loss than the savings from 208volt to 120v. I suspect I will get an email from someone shortly proving me wrong.
APC and other tech people approach it as a technical decision. Yes, one flawless unit that never fails that is supplied by two power inputs like this 30kva unit recently sold is great. One central unit simplifies design, management and looks cool.
I approach the decision as a small business owner and a guy that signs the checks.
Price – Two 5000va units cost $2200. One 10,000va costs $2600. (actually I need to raise that price more to make my point clearer)
Flexibility and Growth – Having two offers more configuration options. Further as you grow, you can upgrade in stages … like buying another 5000va unit.
When you consider our low prices on UPS battery cabinets and our high prices on electrical service and generators... I would go with the cabinets.
My final point is that one of our Caribbean customers wanted a ups instead of a generator and promptly bought a Symmetra system but then added an array of 32 car batteries.
Learn more about the frog or the ups
August 11, 2009
Like everything today, I think thats impossible. But in light of the economic climate, I owe it to my customers to find out. This will be an ongoing post:
<> APC - all new units - made in Philippines?
<> APC - SU* models - made in Rhode Island
<> Powersonic - made in china
<> Yuasa - made in china
August 7, 2009
APC's high voltage products come in 2 types. The first is the 208volt standard. The other is the international 230volt standard. Most 208v units are designated with a "T" in the part #... SURTD5000XLT. Most 230v units are designated with a "I" such as SURT5000XLI.
The problem is that high voltage in the US is not always 208v. Homeowners wanting highvoltage UPSes need 240volt. Some businesses also only have 240volt.
The good news is that in most cases, these units can be set to accept any voltage from 190 to 260. Further, most high voltage equipment can take 200-250v without a problem.
So while most people in the states should take the "T" version, its not a problem choosing the "I" version.
CAUTION: The only problem is if you need a stepdown transformer. 208volts units step down to 120. 230volt units step down to 126volt.
The guy started out telling me that he had to have a several SUA3000RM2U units. I told him that I didnt recommend this unit and asked him some questions on why he would choose that unit.
Instead of listening to me, he kept telling me that it had to be this unit or else. Finally, I gave up and told him to buy from somewhere else.
I really hate the SUA3000RM2U unit. IMO its poorly made, overheats, provides minimal runtime time, and since its private labelled as a Dell DL3000RM2U, it was made to last just as long as the servers.
However, since I am tired of arguing with people on this, I will shut up and take these orders. But, for those wanting a good system, choose the DL3000RM3U instead of the SUA/DL3000RM2U.
June 14, 2009
After a couple of installations, I have fallen in love with the APC Symmetra PX system. This UPS is for large server centers (20-40kva).
Besides the normal specs on a $40,000 UPS, APC seems to have designed the Symmetra PX with electricians in mine. It includes a very large accessible input and output connection section designed for Burndy hypress connections. The breakers are sized responsibly (input 175amp on 40kva). Finally with built in power factor correction, the UPS achieves 40kw and 40kva. The only drawback is that the cant handle 3phase HiLeg systems that are prevalent down here.
Anyway, take a peak at our Room UPSes for Symmetra PXs.
June 11, 2009
As I returned from a nice long vacation sailing in BVI (its great to have friends that are doctors), I found several APC modular UPS systems waiting for me.
The SUM3000RMXL2U units have two trays inside them for batteries and power management. Ideally, you can replace the power module as easily as batteries.
Is this feature necessary?
So I started googling... and a few people mentioned the ability to replace the module would prevent having to disconnect all the cables, network managers, etc if the unit fails. Having personally gone through the hassle of a new deployment of UPSes every week in our service business, maybe it is worth it.
But then the let down... APC replacement power modules are only available from APC. One guy lamented that they were at 1 point 2 months in backorder... yikes.
Anyway, for most people, I still wouldnt recommend the SUM..2U. The SU3000RMXL3U is cheaper and has longer battery life, but the SUM is on sale for those that demand it.
May 2, 2009
A combination of a APC 5000va SURT UPS for the rack + Generac portable 12kw generator + Manual transfer switch + surge suppressor + extended run battery pack
- $1800 - APC UPS w/XL pack powers your 3000watt rack and offers 30m of runtime
- $2400 - Generac 4582 Gas power generator offers upto10hrs of runtime at 7000watts allowing for 3000watts for your rack, and 4000watts for lights, fans, etc
- $300 - Reliance panel type manual transfer switch which routes normal power to your server room and then switches to generator power when you want.
- $80 - Basic surge suppressor to prevent spikes
- $180 - APC Smartslot card with relay controls to initiate shutdowns and turn off non critical loads
- $220 - Breakers, cabling, wiring and misc parts for sucessfull installation
The downside is that this is a manual system and means you have only an hour to roll out your generator, start it up and pull the transfer switch. But for $5k, its a good solution.
Add about another $5000 to make the process automatic.
May 1, 2009
This week, we have had lots of discussions with people needing a UPS in combination with a generator.
Many large companies used to buy very large UPS systems to survive power outages. However, with the high costs and limtations of these room UPSes many are now looking for a more affordable way.
Now the thinking is have a UPS that offers just enough runtime, until the generator can be activated.
If you are thinking of this design, remember generators provide "dirty power" so be sure to have:
- surge suppression on your panel feeding your UPS
- consider UPS units which use the Double Conversion ups technology, insuring clean power.
Other nice tidbits for our experience wtith generators for Hurricane Wilma:
- keep surge strips & extension cables handy... to reconfigure loads or reroute UPSes as needed.
- buy a led strip light for your server room... every watt is precious during generator runs
- keep several small desktop upses around... as replacements or casual offline use
- triage your loads as "important" and bare bones "essential" and make sure PDUs and UPSes contain only those loads.
- install an blue colored outlet that is connected to generator system, but not to the UPS for things like box fans and charging station.
April 21, 2009
While not normally asked that way, I do get requests about the best UPS. Here are some answers:
If I had to carry it: SURT6000XLi - lightest per kva but at least for 12mins the island would be kicking.
If I was buying: xSU2200RM3U - by far the most economical and who needs a cover plate on a desert island anyway?
Overall: SU2200rmxlt5u - offers 120v and 208v and I can hookup car batteries to it and run for days.
Mention this blog (coupon code: desertisland) and get 10% off anyone of these systems. Photo credit: Me, island off Rio's coast...
April 17, 2009
Classic question... Classic answer from the Chef in the movie The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
[Georgina] "When you make out a menu, how do you price each dish?
[Richard Borst, "The Cook"] I charge a lot for anything black... Grapes, olives, blackcurrants.
People like to remind themselves of death, eating black food is like consuming death, like saying, "Death, I'm eating you."
Black truffles are the most expensive. And caviar. Death and birth. The end and the beginning.
[Richard Borst, "The Cook"] We also charge for vanity.
UPS units have a power handling and battery module. In rackmount units, they combine these 2 modules into a various form factor or rackspace thickness, called U.
Most manufacturers make a 3000va unit in a 2U, 3U or 5U format.
While there is no difference* in a the power handling capacities of each form factor, there are big differences in the battery capacity.
A 3000va 2U UPS unit using 1500va like the SUA3000RM2U has a runtime of 10min. A 3000va 5U UPS unit using 1500va like the SU3000RMNET has a runtime of 19min.
This difference is because of the size of battery capacity.
Remember, while we express POWER capacity in VAs, we express BATTERY capacity in VAhs. And this battery capacity is limited by physical space of the form factor.
Notice the battery capacity of the various 3000 units.
April 14, 2009
The only direction you cant mount is upside down.
But surprising, according to NASA, your UPS's lead acid batteries will work will in space.
VA, or volt-ampere is the unit of measurement used to describe UPSes. Wikipedia has a great definition for it.
"While the volt-ampere (abbreviated VA) and the watt are dimensionally equivalent one may find products rated in both VAs and watts with different numbers. This is common practice on UPSs (Uninterrupted Power Supplies). The VA rating is the apparent power that a UPS is capable of producing, while the watt rating is the real power (or true power) it is capable of producing, as opposed to reactive power"
Remember, VA is not the amount of runtime for the UPS.
VA is the capacity of the transformers for the UPS.
More VA means more things you can plug into the unit.
In other words, given the standard 3U 120volt UPS and a 500watt light bulb…
A 3000va UPS will not last any longer than the 2200va UPS.
April 13, 2009
Let the record show that being asked to write a blog about used battery backup systems sounded very boring. But since there are several blogs about dryer lint, I guess I cant complain.
In the beginning, I'll just reformat many of the emails I have had with people about their UPS issues. Hopefully my posts wont be as dry as my dryer lint.