Treat Your HiFi This Christmas

Get 10% off the ReGen this Xmas

What does your HiFi want to eat this Christmas?

Go on! Spoil your HiFi this Christmas by powering it from the AG1500S AC Power ReGenerator.

At Christmas we spoil ourselves with the best food and drink available. Well, electricity is your HiFi’s food – so while you’re tucking into your top nosh ensure your system receives nothing but the best as well. The AG1500S provides a nigh on perfect 230V voltage source. And unlike your food, this output won’t go cold, curdle or spoil. You’ll get 230V fixed – any time day or night without change.

The harmonic distortion of the output waveform is almost as pure a sinewave as you can get with a typical distortion of under 1% – that is 8 times better than what the standards call “pure”. Top Quality food indeed!

Rated “Excellent – Extremely Capable” by HiFi World Magazine and also of high value. Well this Christmas the AG1500S is unbelievable value with a 10% discount valid this festive season!

Get 10% Off

Use discount code “SPROUTS” 
when ordering through our online webstore.
Important Info

If your system has a slightly different palette, you can change the menu on the AG1500S to European (220V) or UK (240V).

♫  Code expires on January 2nd 2019. Last Orders for Christmas Delivery is noon on December 21st. Orders received after this date will be shipped in January 2019.

Closed Today 2 March 2018

Snow on Motorway

For Health & Safety reasons we have closed the office today. The snow, ice and wind makes for dangerous travel conditions and so I have asked our staff to remain at home.

Please use our contact form or email us at support@powerinspired.com for technical enquiries, and sales@powerinspired.com for sales enquiries.

If you need to speak with somebody, contact us as above with your number, the nature of your enquiry and somebody will call you back.

Needless to say, no goods will be leaving our warehouse today, however we’ve been advised that many depots around the country are closed in any case.

According to the forecast we should be good to go again on Monday.

Thanks.

 

Tips How to prevent premature UPS battery failure

Battery

UPS Battery

 

Did you know that majority of UPS’s trouble shootings are battery related? Typical life span of UPS internal batteries ranges from 3 to 5 years; however this depends on numerous factors. Here are a few easy tips to ensure that you get the most out of your batteries and therefore your UPS system:

 

 

Selecting the correct UPS technology:

Uninterruptible Power Supply systems operate in battery mode in two major situations: if the power goes off, or if the mains power input goes out of tolerance. This could mean for example too low or too high voltage, or frequency anomaly (e.g. running off a generator). Some UPS technologies can provide wider input voltage and/or frequency window, which resolves this issue. Example of such technology is online UPS technology – for example our VFI series. Selecting the correct UPS technology for your equipment will ensure the UPS only works off battery in case of emergency. This will prolong the battery’s lifetime.

 

Positioning of UPS:

While installing your UPS be sure to take into account the following factors: your Uninterruptible Power Supply system should be positioned in temperature stable, dry environment. Position your unit so that all ventilations and fans are clear to prevent overheating. The environment should be clean and dry, with no excessive dust or corrosive fumes. If you require the UPS system to be located outdoors, use appropriate storing cabinet – for example our Willo. Small cupboards or other enclosed spaces other than the ones specifically designed for such purposes with ventilations and cooling technologies are not suitable for storing your UPS system.

 

Temperature:

Although specifications for Uninterruptible Power Supply systems usually state temperature between 0°-40°C, it is ideal to keep the ambient temperature between 20 °– 25°C. This will ensure that the UPS will function properly and the battery won’t deplete due to the heat. High temperature drastically reduces battery life – essentially for each 10°C over 30°C, battery life halves. In extreme cases the batteries may start swelling due to a thermal runaway. To prolong battery life, aim to keep your UPS system in an environment with temperature between 20°-25°C.

 

Use of UPS:

The way you use your UPS can have a huge effect on your UPS’s battery life. We recommend that during a power cut you never leave your UPS battery to completely deplete to 0%. Power cuts are usually momentary in which case you don’t need to worry about this, but if you suffer from frequent and prolonged power outage, you should take the time to switch off your equipment and then turn off the UPS to ensure that the batteries don’t deplete completely if possible. Please note that batteries only have so many charge-discharge cycles which are higher the less the battery is discharged. If you don’t discharge to zero you will get more cycles out of your batteries.

 

Storing UPS:

Should your UPS not be in use for a long period of time, we strongly recommend to charge the batteries before storage. Never leave a UPS disconnected from mains for a long period in a discharged state.

 

Service:

A battery service after few years of use is a necessity to ensure that your UPS is functioning correctly. For more information read our previous blog post about our UPS battery services.

Clearance Stock Grading Explained

Grade A

As part of the new web site launch, we’ve added a CLEARANCE section in our online store.

The Clearance Deals includes products that usually are no longer manufactured, fully tested customer return, cosmetically damaged unit or just if we want to make room for new products. These items will stay in Clearance Deals until completely sold out

Once these deals are sold, they’re all gone. We’ll add more items that fall into this category as needed, so keep checking back!

We’ve graded all of the items in the clearance to give you an idea of the condition these are in. Most only sustain damage to the box or packaging, with no difference to the working capabilities on the unit to a fully price system. Others may have minor cosmetic damage that do not meet our high standards.

1,2,3 listClearance Grades

Grade 1 – Generally clearance, over stock or with damaged packaging. The product has been tested and is fully functioning ‘As New’. May be missing manual (available online) and come in alternative packaging.

Grade 2 – The goods may have minor scratches and or cosmetic damage. This damage will not affect the functionality of the product. Fully tested and in full working order. May be missing manual (available online) and come in alternative packaging.

Grade 3 – The goods may have deep scratches and or dents. All units are fully tested and in full working order. The damage will not affect the functionality of the product. May be missing manual (available online) and come in alternative packaging.

 

We’ll always try to be as honest as possible when grading each item but feel free to ask any questions you may have.

To request more information on these offers, head over to our online store and take a look a what to see if you can find a great deal today.

Good Packaging Matters

With more and more consumer spending being done online, it’s safe to say that we have all had to return something to a seller at one time or another. Whether the item you’ve received is damaged or just doesn’t meet you expectations, the process of returning your order is important.

Shipping your items via a courier is usually the easiest way. Choosing the right company to handle your goods can reduce the risk of damaging your parcel.

But more importantly, good packaging matters.

Whilst in transit, the content of your parcels is likely to be subjected to various knocks and bumps. Without adequate protection this could be a big problem.

The “Power Inspired Way”

Here at Power Inspired, we recommend that any items returned to us are boxed as securely as possible. In an ideal world, using the original packaging we designed purposely for each item would be great. But not everyone has room to keep an old box in the loft!

If this is not an option, only strong, heavy duty double walled corrugated boxes give you the best chance of returning heavy, expensive goods in the state you received them. However, even then you would require some internal protection from the pressures and forces of the journey ahead.

By using bubble wrap, polystyrene or packaging paper you can ensure you item is well cushioned and reduce the chance of damage occurring during transportation.

Choose a box slightly larger than your item in all dimensions and cover the base in a layer of packaging material. Place your item in the centre of the box, allowing an equal space around each side. Use more packaging material to ensure each side is well padded. Check that when the box is lifted and moved, the item doesn’t slide about. Movement inside the box indicates that your item is not secure and increases the chance of damage. Add more packaging until the item holds still. Leave enough room to add a final amount of packaging on top. Your item should now be completely surrounded by your chosen packaging. Finally seal your parcel with strong parcel tape. We recommend wrapping the tape completely around the box at least once to ensure a strong hold.

By packaging securely and following our simple advice, no matter what you ship, you can have confidence that your item will arrive to its destination as it left you.

AC ReGenerator Fan Speed Control

Fan speed Control

When we first developed the ReGenerators, we knew that fan noise had to be kept to an absolute minimum. We went through countless tests with a variety of fans to compare sonic performance against the required airflow. After we found our perfect fan we needed to be able to control the speed – and hence the noise output. 

Fan press button fan speed controlAfter contemplating automatic fan speed control methods, all of which had some pro’s and con’s we finally we thought why not let the user adjust the fan speed to a setting they can live with? After all, music listening is very individual and if the ReGen gets too hot it does have a safety shut down device.

We incorporated this into the ReGens and allowed the user to adjust the speed potentiometer through a well positioned hole in the back plate. After a few instances of people mashing the POT by using a knife or something similar we included a jewellers screwdriver to do this adjustment.

This was still a bit fiddly and so we modified the mechanical design and included a spindle on the potentiometer. This made it much easier to adjust and this system worked well.

However, we like to keep developing new concepts and wanted a more elegant adjustment solution. We’ve now come up with a push button design and it works like this:

When the ReGen is powered up, the fans will spin at full speed for around 5 seconds and then slow down to the last setting used. It’s kind of like a start up test so you can observe the fan speed circuit is working correctly. If the last setting was full speed then the fan will stay at full speed. If the button is pressed momentarily, the fan speed will increase slightly with every press. If we press and hold the button the fan will increase to maximum speed and stay there until the button is released.

Now the fan’s at full speed if we now press the button momentarily the fan speed will decrease with every press. If we press and hold the button then the fan speed will decrease to minimum speed.

Once minimum speed is reached, if we keep the button pressed for over 2 seconds, then the unit will be set to 50% fan speed.

We think that it makes fan speed easier to adjust as all is needed is a button press. It’s also a very simple way of getting the unit to 50% fan speed which allows for consistency if the speed is regularly adjusted.

We’re always interested in hearing your opinions so please let me know if you have a view on this (or anything else you’d like to see for that matter).

 

Explanation of Buck and Boost in Line Interactive UPS Systems

LCD screen

A line interactive Uninterruptible Power Supply is characterised by its ability to raise the input voltage when it is too low, and to lower the input voltage when it is too high. This provides a degree of voltage regulation. This process is sometimes known as Automatic Voltage Regulation or AVR, however some manufacturers of AVR equipment may – and probably do – object to this as a line interactive UPS is a very loose AVR whereas a dedicated AVR device offers tight control on output voltages. A better description for a line interactive UPS System would be a “buck and boost” device.

Here in this article I’m going to try and explain what one of our UPS does and for this I’m going to take the VIS2000B, apply varying voltage to it and observe the unit response. The VIS2000B is a good choice as the LCD display lets us know both input and output voltage so we don’t need to add any multimeters to the circuit. We’re going to modify the input voltage by means of a variable transformer, or a Variac. If you’re trying this at home don’t use a dimmer switch as these work in a different waybuck&boost.

Firstly we set the variac to nominal voltage, connect to the VIS2000B and switch it on. The display shows input voltage on the left at 230V and the output voltage on the right at 230V.

This is normal operation and so what comes in, goes out. What we will do now is increase the input voltage and observe.

buck&boostAs the voltage is increased the output voltage matches the input voltage until the buck trigger threshold is reached. This is set to be around the maximum voltage that the utility should provide which is 230 +10% = 253V.

In our case at 252V the unit enters buck mode and reduces the high input voltage to 212V. [Also note that on VIS2000B the AC Mode indicator blinks.]

The lower threshold of voltage supplied by the utility is open to some debate. It is 230V -10% = 207V in much of Europe and was supposed to be the same in the UK. However the implementation date of about 8 years ago has come and gone and so officially in the UK the voltage is still set to be 230V – 6% = 216V. However other standards for products that are CE marked generally require equipment to be able to operate across the full spectrum of nominal voltages, so the output is aimed to be regulated within the realm of the EU, so 230±10% or 207V to 253V.

buck&boostRaising our test variac to as high as it could go saw the unit maintain in buck mode with the output voltage rising proportionally with the input. In buck mode the input voltage is reduced by a nominal 16% or so.

Raising the input voltage even higher results in the unit disabling buck  mode and reverting to battery operation.

buck&boostAs we reduce the input voltage the buck will at some point be deactivated and the unit will return to normal. There must be some hysteresis built into this or the unit would “chatter” eg switch constantly in and out at the threshold voltage.

In our test with the unit output reaching 207V a further reduction in input voltage caused the unit to switch out of buck mode and back into normal mode.

With the mains input voltage reduced further the output voltage tracks the input voltage until the boost threshold is reached at around the 207V mark.

buck&boostHere the mains input is raised by around 17-18% in order to maintain the voltage within the nominal range.

Further reductions in the input voltage will keep the unit in boost mode until the output voltage can no longer be maintained within tolerance and the unit will revert to battery operation.

Raising the voltage the unit comes out of battery mode, straight into boost which then is disabled when the input voltage reaches around 211V.

To summarise, a line interactive unit attempts to maintain the output voltage within regulated limits for as long as possible without dropping to battery power. This is an advantage of over offline UPS systems that will have no option but to drop to battery instead of providing regulation, which would resort in lost loads due to UPS switching off due to depleted battery, or diminished battery life if the unit is regularly switching in and out of battery mode. However, they do not provide tight output voltage control. To achieve this online double conversion UPS systems provide a constant fixed output voltage regardless of the input voltage level.

Additional Notes with regard to the VIS2000B

One of the drawbacks of UPS Systems is the need for them to prevent a build up of heat and so many are fitted with forced cooling fans. In our VIS2000B the unit fan activates when the unit is “active” that is, on battery but also when it is in buck or boost mode. Users may find their unit enters buck mode when their mains is around the 250V mark as this will be activated should the mains hit 252V even momentarily. Due to the hysteresis effects the fan will not be disabled until the lower threshold is reached which is around the 246V mark. If this occurs, briefly switching the unit onto battery power will clear the hysteresis effect.

Note that we can change the threshold somewhat to effectively shift the buck and boost points higher by around 10V or so. This prevents the unit entering a nuisance buck mode and also makes the minimum output voltage more within the current UK spec but this does mean that the unit will allow voltages of 260+V through, should these be encountered. This is a factory setting that the Power Inspired technicians would be happy to undertake for you if required.

 

The Big UPS System Misconception – Runtime.

Runtime

Runtime

I have had to deal with many customer enquiries to help them select the right UPS System for their application and again and again I keep getting hit with the same misconception around the runtime of UPS Systems, so let’s clear this up straight away:

Runtime has nothing to do with the rating of the Uninterruptible Power Supply, but everything to do with the battery.

Got it? Well to help that sink in think of it this way – when running from the battery the UPS has to get the power from somewhere -right? So it follows that the bigger the battery it has the more power is available and therefore the longer the system will last. Don’t get confused with the fact that a high capacity unit can deliver more power. If the power requirement is 1000W, then a 1500W rated unit with 12 battery blocks will deliver more runtime than a 3000W unit with 6 battery blocks. But if your load is 2000W then obviously the 1500W unit won’t cut it, but I hope you get the point. 

It is true, however, that higher powered UPS Systems tend to have more batteries than the lower powered one’s. This is where the misconception has arisen, in that by using a larger UPS for a given application or load, you would have tended to have got more runtime due to the increase in battery capacity, not the increase in power capability.

The moral here is, in order to get the longest amount of runtime for your given application, the best solution is not necessarily to opt for the highest powered UPS within your budget, but to opt for Extended Run UPS Systems that meets your load requirements and add in batteries to support it. 

For example, let’s assume you have a small office, and you want to run a computer with some peripherals and some lights and the total loading will not exceed 250W (just an example). If we opted for the 1KVA/900W (more than enough to power our 250W load) VFI1000T, this gives a healthy 30 minutes runtime. However, if we opted for the VFI3000T then we get an impressive 72 minutes. Now both units use the same battery block, but the VFI1000T has 3 of them and the VFI3000T has 6, hence supporting the misconception we’re trying to educate you about. 

So let’s do something else, let’s add on a battery pack to the VFI1000T. Now we get 2 hours runtime. Why? Because now the VFI1000T system is now supported by 9 batteries. And the real benefit of this – the VFI1000T plus a cab is cheaper than the VFI3000T!

Beware Maintenance Bypass Switches. What you need to know.

Maintenance Bypass Switch

Many installers of hardwired Uninterruptible Power Supplies will insist on an external “wrap-around” Maintenance Bypass Switch. They’re used to allow the UPS to removed from circuit without dropping power to the load for service or maintenance. They’re also handy during the installation phase as this can be wired up prior to a UPS arriving on site allowing the load power distribution to be powered up or tested.

Standard Bypass Panel

The operation is fairly simple. Referring to the picture above the incoming mains supply feeds a switch which supplies power to the UPS input. It also feeds a switch called “Bypass” which is normal operation is open.

The output from the UPS is then connected to another switch (UPS Output) and the output of this feeds the load with a secondary connection feeding the output of the Bypass Switch. Although this sounds confusing if you follow the red lines on the bypass panel above you should be able to figure it out. Although this layout has three switches, other configurations are available with a single switch with usually 3 positions – Normal, UPS Bypass, Bypass.

In the switch configuration shown, there is power feeding the UPS, the UPS output then feeds the load.

When we want to bypass the UPS then this is simple. We just turn the bypass switch from off to on – right? Wrong, very wrong. Because then what happens is the input mains supply is now directly connected to the UPS output which usually results in a destroyed inverter and a popped fuse with the resultant drop in load power that we were trying to avoid in the first instance. Now you may think this is obvious but it does happen as – in the example above – there are no warnings on the panel, and particularly with single switch panels there can be an assumption that there is some sort of safety guard – there is not!

Correct Procedure

In order to correctly bypass the UPS the first thing you need to do is to make sure the UPS is in bypass mode. Sometimes you do this by switching the unit off and it automatically bypasses. Sometimes you need to turn a breaker on the back of the unit.

Once the UPS is in bypass, you can then safely turn the bypass switch on the box from off to on. Then you can switch off the input and output breakers. Load is now provided with power directly from the mains and the UPS has no power feeding it. The UPS can be taken out of circuit for service.

To put the UPS back into normal operation, first switch on the UPS input breaker ensuring the UPS output breaker is still OFF. Make sure power is feeding the UPS and that the UPS is in BYPASS and does not go ONLINE. Then switch on the UPS output breaker, switch the bypass switch from on to off and finally switch the UPS online.

Pitfalls

Of course the whole raison d’être for the Maintenance Bypass Switch  is to allow continuity of power whilst the UPS is being maintained and there are a couple of issues that you should be aware of during the bypass procedure.

The first one is obvious. If you get a power disturbance whilst in bypass the UPS is not offering the load any protection. This of course can result in downtime.

When bringing a unit up from bypass there is the pitfall of an in-rush current tripping the supply fuse. This is more prevalent when the unit has an isolation transformer fitted and the electrical supply circuit breaker is not a Type C or D breaker. There’s not really anything you can do if this is the case except switch on and hope.

However a trip has happened to me on several occasions with transformerless products. What transpired is the internal capacitors were fully discharged resulting in a current spike during switch on, which although limited through a start up protection circuit was still high enough to trip a sensitive breaker. For these scenarios a hot tip is before applying power to the UPS, start it up from battery. This charges up the capacitors internally. You can then switch off and quickly reconnect power to start up or allow the unit to synch with the incoming supply.

In any event the bypass procedure must be undertaken with absolute care, and site users must be aware that any bypass operation is not foolproof and there is always the risk of downtime, particularly during power down and power up moments.

 

The Ideal Way To Keep Your Internet Running

iPower WIFI

iPower WIFISo there you are, checking the news, the footy results, Tweeting, FaceBooking or Timing, reading emails etc. The list goes on. You don’t worry about power – why should you? After all, your iPad has a battery in it, so does your laptop, your tablet, your phone.

But what about your modem?

We’re all used to connecting to WiFi. In fact life would be so much different without it. We don’t even need to plug in any more, as long as we’re within range of that blinking box life is good – until we get a power cut. The laptop is on, but the screen dimmed a little. The iPad is still working away but I can’t play Boom Beach as it won’t connect to the server. My phone’s now at risk of exceeding my bandwidth allowance as its reverted to data mode. And my internet phone is now incapable of receiving (or making) any calls. Without power to this little box, the big, big world of the internet is unreachable. Your modem is the gateway to the internet, and is usually combined with WiFi and Ethernet connections and we call this a router. But hey ho, that’s just semantics. The point is that without power your modem or router is dead and you can’t get online.

So I Buy An Uninterruptible Power Supply – Right?

Great idea, there are some great products here at Power Inspired that will work well, albeit a little overkill for something with low power as your router, but that’s OK. I don’t know about you but my routers in my hallway. On a shelf. With a lead running down the wall behind the coat pegs, to my 13A socket where its plugged in via the ubiquitous 12V dc “Wall Wart” power supply. So I unplug the wallwart, put the UPS on the floor, where we normally we keep our shoes, plug the UPS into the wall and plug the wallwart into the UPS.

OK, that works and when a power cut happens the UPS kicks in and we’re still online. There’s a few beeps which is OK, except at night, but it doesn’t happen that often. The main problem is that it keeps getting kicked with dirty boots, used as a shelf to store extra boots on, or a stealth weapon designed to stub your toe and trip you over when you least expect it. After all, you can’t see it under the coats. What’s more, my router takes a 12Vdc power supply. The incoming power is AC and the UPS converts that to DC to charge the battery. During a power cut, this DC is then converted back into AC, which powers my wallwart. My wallwart then converts this new AC into DC again to power my router. This is inefficient! My router itself needs about 6 Watts of power to run, so I’ve got to be using triple that to keep the UPS and my router active. Not ECO friendly!

The Solution?

Power Inspired have the solution. A device that occupies no extra space as it replaces your existing wallwart. A device that is ultra efficient as there is no unnecessary conversion losses. A device that can provide back up power to your modem for up to an hour. More than enough time to defeat Dr Terror, update your status and check the latest scores. The iPower is here and you can buy it now:

For 12V Modems / Routers: IP2100-12