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If It's Storming Be Ready For Power Failure



August 16th, 2009 17:35 pm | by Ed |

Once again it's storm season here in the backwoods of Arkansas and once again I get to deal with power failures that happen because of those storms. Actually, we're already well into what I think of as storm season, about halfway into tornado season. This is the time of year when there's not only more thunderstorms than the rest of the year, there's also a greater chance of tornadoes.

All that unstable weather frequently plays havoc with power lines. You see, out here in the sticks we still have most, if not all, of our power lines running above ground. Combine that with a LOT more trees & such that can be broken apart and tossed about by the high winds that go along with such storms and you've got a very high probability that power will be interrupted at least briefly.

backup power supplyThat's why it's a good idea to have some kind of backup power supply. You see, I've been there before more than once. I'm working on something and then a storm thirty miles away drops a tree on precisely the exact power line needed to leave me sitting in the dark.

The bad part is that I've never met a computer that didn't have a problem with suddenly losing power. Especially if it was writing something to the hard drive when the juice stopped. This can mean anywhere from a few minutes to hours or even days of trying to get things fixed once the computer can boot up again. It can even render the hard drive itself a useless pile of junk (though I believe that result is a little more rare).

The solution is obvious. It's time, past time in fact, to see what's on sale in the backup power supply department. I was looking around this morning and found a beauty. It's a APC Smart-UPS from American Power Conversion.

This baby can provide 16.6 Minutes of backup power at a 600W Load. This is easily long enough to close down all programs in a nice, polite, data preserving manner and then shut down the computer instead of having it drop out from under you in the middle of a project. What's cool is that not only are the battery packs hot-swappable, the thing can be configured to use up to ten of them at once which would give over 24 hours of power.

In an area like this one that's prone to power failures, something like this should be considered a must-have.

Technorati Tags: tornadoes, power failure, backup power, unstable weather, thunderstorms, reserve power

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