How important is clean power?
Well, it turns out that just clean power itself is not that important!
It can be…. And that depends on your equipment and appliances.
For homes and individuals, clean power is critical to the performance of high-end audio and visual equipment.
For businesses, hospitals, and schools, clean power is crucial to the lifeline of the equipment. For these, AC power, which is used in most premises, is houses unsavory hitchhikers like voltage fluctuations, spikes and noise.
Overtime, the spikes can stress out your components over time. Brownouts can damage sensitive equipment by reducing amplifier power and noise can get into your system. And don’t get me started on the AC power’s waveform. We often assume that it is a sine wave, but harmonics can be present.
Most products take current only at the peak of the sine wave. If the that peak of the sine wave is lopped off, as often is, then you don’t get all the voltage you need when you need it to charge your caps and thus you ripple current is different and thus you don’t get the full energy that you need out of the wall.
Therefore, that is what is important and not so much the cleanliness of the power-the ability to replace missing energy (which is crucial for most enterprise scale equipment).
There are two main solutions to solve the power issues.
The first one is to use power conditioners to cancel the noise, clean dirty power and suppress spikes.
The other solution is to use Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) which provides similar features to the power conditioners, but have an AC inverters and battery that provides power for anywhere from seconds to minutes when there is a power outage.
With that in mind, let’s us now focus on the reasons why you need clean power with present solutions.
Clean power means that your appliances and devices will have protection against voltage spikes, voltage fluctuations and noise.
You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘death by a thousand cuts’- for power equipment, it’s more like death by a thousand spikes.
Spikes can cause issues in transformers, diodes and capacitors. This will lead to failure which will in turn cause a severe enough strike that will cause outright failure.
Consequently, when power comes back on after an outage, the simultaneous inrush of current to various appliances can cause power spikes and dips.
Essential for Computers.
An uninterruptible power supply is not just desirable for computers but essential.
There are units that combine protection with an uninterruptible power supply that keeps a battery backup charged. When there is a power outage, the battery will kick in to provide power for a finite amount of time. This will in turn allow for an orderly shutdown of computer-based systems until power comes back on.
It is also crucial to keep power uninterrupted when running firmware updates. Even though you can start the update over on some occasions, a firmware update can reach so far into the basic code of the system that data corruption cannot allow the device to boot.
Having a broadband, computer and terminal device on an uninterruptible power supply can save you a lot of time and grief over the years.
Better Audio and Video fidelity
Most points are connected to the ground on audio and video circuits. But noise, through dirty AC power can get on the ground line and work its way into the circuit.
Those who clean up their AC power are often surprised about the side effects of clean power that include clearer videos and lower noise levels.
Some manufacturers produce conditioners that are optimized for specific devices that are sensitive to power problems like projectors and life support equipment.
I will confess that power cleaning is not an exciting topic-well, until you start cleaning power supply and discover that the equipment is running better, there are fewer unexplained glitches and your appliances last longer. Don’t we all want that?
Reach out to Adrian Kenya to solve all your power issues.