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Buying a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) in Nigeria – What you Should Know

Posted By: Sorchima Uzowulu In: Tips & Guides On: Comment: 0 Hit: 973

Faced with the challenges of the huge power shortage and quality problems in Nigeria, supporting equipment with a UPS is imperative. Choosing the right UPS to use is, however, not that easy. To lessen that problem for you, here is a selection guide that you should find handy.

You could be surprised to learn that even in advanced economies where power supply is considered regular and steady, UPS is still widely used.

The reason is simple. Even when power supply is steady, the risk of disruption of work, loss of data and corruption of systems that could result from an occasional power supply break is too high to be ignored. UPS is needed to cushion the possibility of substantial damage from an occasional blink in supply.

Still, there’s another reason. The presence of power does not guarantee that the supply is clean. There are many power quality issues that can affect critical equipment. Potential power quality problems include voltage sag (or dip), power interruptions, voltage spike, voltage swell, harmonic distortion, voltage fluctuation, brownouts, blackouts, noise, etc. There are many names, but the simple indication is that the power is not the ideal quality for equipment use, at the point of their occurrence. With the right UPS, however, some of those quality problems can be mitigated.

As it is, you can see why using a UPS is imperative in the Nigerian environment, where the power supply and quality issues are gargantuan.

What a UPS is

Most people have used a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for a PC or other purpose. A UPS is a power backup device that stores energy in its battery system and uses that to supply to the connected equipment, when the power source fails. With that function of the UPS, work that is not saved is not suddenly lost, just as any other activity on a supported equipment is not disrupted. The user is able to change the power source or at least have enough time to tidy up and properly shut down the PC or other equipment, before the UPS runs out of power.

UPS comes in different sizes and capacities to meet different user requirements. There are also different types of UPS, offering different functions to the user.

Why You Need UPS for Office and Home Equipment

UPS takes a budget to acquire. Some could be quite expensive. So, do you really need one? The short answer will be a straight “yes”, but here is why:

UPS Provides Power Backup
This simply means that when the mains or other power supply goes off, you still have power supply to the connected load. That way, you are able to keep working without disruption. If you have unsaved work, you are able to save it without losing it. If it’s other activity like watching a TV at home, you are also able to continue without interference. If people are accessing a server, they are not thrown off. And if there is alternative power source like a generator, you have enough time to change over to it. This basic function of sustaining supply is what UPS is best known for.

UPS Provides Power Regulation
Whether it’s power spikes, surges, brownouts, etc, good quality UPS is able to deal with power fluctuations and myriad power issues, ensuring stable and sustained supply. Of course, not every UPS can tackle all the problems, which is why you need to understand the individual products and what the offer, before you buy.

UPS Protects Equipment
Besides tackling the power problems mentioned above and ensuring sustained availability of supply, the UPS protects equipment from damages that can result from such problems like overvoltage, brownouts, spikes, etc. Without quality UPS, massive equipment loss can occur if expensive and sensitive equipment is not protected with a UPS.

UPS Prevents Loss of Work or Data
Sudden power outage could mean that unsaved work is lost and that could translate to hours of labour gone down the drain. Also erratic power and other power problems can corrupt stored data and that could be a huge problem for some organisations. Having the power backup offered by a UPS mitigates a host of such problems and gives everybody some peace of mind.

Overall, not having a UPS is unthinkable in many circumstances of equipment usage in today’s world, given the growing sophistication and cost of equipment and the need to keep them powered in a stable and sustained manner. Generally, UPS provides limited backup time, running from few minutes to many more. For longer backup of several hours, using an inverter is the more appropriate solution.

Choosing a UPS

Everything stated, so far, deals in general terms with UPS. However, all UPS are not the same. There are different types of UPS in terms of technology. There are different brands of UPS too. There are different capacities as well. In choosing what UPS to buy, you need to understand the differences. You also need to understand your requirement and what will serve it. So, let’s first look at the main types of UPS.

Types of UPS

There are different classifications of UPS, corresponding with their design technology and how they function. APC by Schneider Electric is one of the leading brands of UPS. Schneider is clearly an authority in UPS. We can thus stay with the six UPS types that Schneider has outlined, as follows:

  • Standby UPS
  • Line Interactive UPS
  • Standby on-line hybrid UPS
  • Standby-Ferro UPS
  • Double Conversion On-Line UPS
  • Delta Conversion On-Line UPS

Some Notable UPS Brands to Consider

There are different UPS brands that are known and reasonably tested. Some are of premium quality, with more advanced technology and functions and tend to cost far more, while others are just good enough to use, and cost less. For the Nigerian market, here are some of the best known UPS Brands:

  1. APC UPS by Schneider: Leading UPS brand, viewed as being of advanced technology and general is the upper price bracket. APC has a wide range of UPS, covering different types, to meet all levels of requirement. Getting an APC can hardly be wrong, but when the budget falls short of its price range, another low-priced brand should do.
  2. Legrand UPS: Produced by French company, Legrand
  3. Eaton UPS
  4. Tripp Lite Ups
  5. Liebert UPS
  6. Mercury UPS by Kobian Pty
  7. Bluegate UPS


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