by May 13, 2002 0 comments

Online UPSs

Tata Liebert UPStation GXTH
1000-230 RT
The overall combination of price, performance, and features took this UPS to the top in this shootout. It fared well in all our performance tests. It was the second best in features, losing out only by a few points to the Powerware UPS, the other winner in this shootout. Where it really gained was its price, which was quite competitive at Rs 31,765, higher only to the Aplab, which was priced at Rs 27,500. This was the only UPS in its category to offer two-year warranty on both the UPS and batteries. 

The UPStation is very well priced and comes with a two-year warranty on both the UPS and the batteries

The UPStation comes with three 12V/7AH batteries. Its front panel has extensive indicators for mains, battery, bypass mode, battery and load levels, and alert. There’s also a switch to turn off the beeps if they get too annoying. The rear panel has four power outlets and a connector for external batteries. A set of output selector DIP switches and an RS232 port for management from a PC are also provided on the rear panel. 

Looking at the actual performance tests, the UPStation was able to handle 100% of its rated load without a hitch. It has a wide input switchover voltage range of 135-282 V AC, which is good enough to handle a vast variation in mains voltage. Its float voltage per cell was 2.20 V, which is well within limits. At 80% of its rated load, the UPS gave a backup time of 15 mins, quite close to the others in the lot (the HITA UPS gave the highest backup of 21

The UPStation comes with a detailed manual containing installation instructions, and explanations of all indicators. Its price is inclusive of the software. 

Powerware PW 9110
Despite being the costliest UPS in its category, this UPS received top honors because of its rich feature set. Its management software is a part of the UPS price. The UPS has an extensive set of indicators for mains, battery, load level, bypass mode, battery level, fault and overload. These aptly indicate the status of operation and the UPS health. Moreover, an upgraded version of the UPS is now available, namely the 9120 at the same price, which comes with an LCD panel instead of the LED indicators. The UPS also came with a detailed manual with clear explanations on its installation, operation and troubleshooting. Another plus is that the UPS has been designed at a power factor of 0.83. This makes it suitable for handling server class load, which are of a higher power factor.

This UPS received top honors because of its rich feature set

There’s no problem with the UPS in the performance department. It passed our VA rating test at 100% of its rated load. It also has a wide switchover voltage range of 138-284 V, which is good enough for commonly occurring low line voltage scenarios. Coming to the float voltage, its reading after a full charge came to 2.29 V per cell, which is within the limits. Float voltage indicates the performance of a UPS’s charger circuit and also reflects on the overall battery life in the long run. It gave a backup time of 17 mins for 80% of its rated load.

The UPS comes with three 12V/7AH batteries, and also has external battery connectors to connect additional battery packs for extended backup. It has four power outlet sockets for the load. It also has DIP switches on its rear panel for setting the output voltage to the load. The UPS control and management software is inclusive of its price. 

Line-interactive UPSs

This UPS scored the highest in performance and features, which easily compensates for its high price, making it the winner in this category. It also comes with the highest rated internal batteries–two 12V/11 AH with a rated backup of 7 mins. It also has the maximum number of power outlets–eight. Its front panel has indicators for mains, battery, AVR boost/buck, load and battery level, and overload. There is a self-test button that checks the UPS circuitry function prior to actually switching it on load. 

This UPS comes with
the highest rated internal batteries–two 12V/11 AH with a rated backup of 7

The UPS also has provision for connecting an extended battery pack. For PC connectivity, it comes with an RS232 port, and was also the only UPS to have a USB port. Software is inclusive of the UPS price. The UPS also has a sensitivity-control button. If it’s set to high sensitivity, the UPS switches to battery even if there’s a slight distortion in the mains voltage. High sensitivity reduces battery life, so it should be used only with a highly sensitive load. 

On the performance front, it handled 100% of its rated load. Its input switchover voltage range was 163-283 V. The output voltage range that the UPS gives to the load is 208-247 V, which is healthy for PCs. Its droop voltage too, never fell below 234 V, which is quite healthy. The battery float voltage after an overnight charge was found to be 2.30 V per cell, which is the maximum permissible. The UPS managed to provide 18 min of backup to 80% of its rated load. The manual is detailed with descriptions of various indicators and connectors on the UPS. It also lists a number of user-configurable items apart from battery removal instructions and a troubleshooting guide.

Su-Kam BS1800
This UPS was our other winner among the line-interactive models. There was an interesting correlation between this UPS and the APC SUA1000. While the APC UPS was the highest on features, this was the least expensive. Performance for both 
was similar.

The Su-Kam comes with three 12V/8AH batteries with a claimed backup time of 30 mins

The Su-Kam comes with three 12V/8AH batteries with a claimed backup time of 30 mins. The UPS has lots of indicators, which display everything from mains power, battery mode, overload, boost/ buck, battery level and low battery warning. The rear panel has just an RS232 connector and two power outlets. This UPS also features an auto-on self-test. On the performance front, the UPS handled 100% of its rated load. Its input switchover voltage was also well within the limits, ranging at 170—276 V. 

One hitch in was the float voltage, which came to 2.36 V per cell, higher than the 2.30 V limit. It gave a long backup time of 21 mins, which was the second highest, after the Samtek UPS.

It’s priced at Rs 6,500, and the software is optional, costing a mere Rs 500 more.

Ashish Sharma

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