If you are in the SDA / medical services industry and you provide round-the-clock care and support to disabled individuals, you’ll already be well-versed in the red tape that comes with the territory. One particular area that is no exception in this regard is your emergency power supply (or UPS systems).
In this article, we’re going to share a comprehensive guide to choosing a UPS system that is NDIS certified and thus properly-suited to SDA use. Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know on the matter…
What is an NDIS UPS and why are they so important for disability service providers?
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is an organisation in Australia that supports, raises awareness, and secures funding for people with disabilities and highly specific needs. They are dedicated to raising the standard of care provided throughout the country and the overall quality of life for the disabled community.
A UPS system (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is an electrical device that is designed to provide an emergency power load to any connected devices in the event of a power outage or any other power-related problem.
An NDIS UPS is quite simply a UPS system that meets the appropriate NDIS / SDA certification standards. In other words, the UPS system is recognised as being well-designed and competent enough to provide ample backup power in the event of an emergency for a prolonged period of time – absent the risk of failure.
For example, a ‘plug and play’ UPS system that is suitable for standard residential use will not be NDIS SDA certified as it would be unsuitable to provide sufficient power and runtime to the medical equipment necessary to support and care for SDA participants.
What are the different types of UPS and which is best for NDIS SDA use?
There are many different types of UPS system, but only a select few are suitable for NDIS SDA use.
The best Ups for NDIS SDA use should be Medical Grade (e.g., SDA 2-hour emergency UPS backup).
It is also recommended that you choose an Online Double Conversion UPS system as they can protect against all main power issues.
Our recommended NDIS UPS system
Our recommended NDIS UPS system is the UPS Solutions XRT6 UPS. This UPS covers all of the SDA requirements, including additional battery packs with a 10-year design. All in all, you can’t go wrong with this awesome piece of tech.
What are the key factors to consider when choosing an NDIS UPS?
So, what are the key factors to consider when you are choosing an NDIS UPS for SDA use? Here’s a closer look:
Capacity: capacity is a critical consideration because you must have a UPS system that can provide enough kW load per participant. How many individuals are you caring for under the same roof? How many individual medical devices will be linked to the UPS system? (e.g., ventilator, ceiling hoist, automatic doors, emergency alarms, electric bed controls, etc.). How much power in total is required to ensure that everything is sufficiently powered in the event of a mains power emergency?
Runtime: runtime is another critical factor when choosing your UPS system. As per the NDIS SDA certification requirements, your UPS system must provide a minimum of 2-hours emergency backup power in the event of a power outage for x2 GPO points (general purpose outlets) in a participant’s room for all necessary equipment.
Scalability: of course, there’s no use investing in a UPS system that barely meets the capacity requirements. You need to account for scalability and the assumption that additional medical equipment may need to be added to the UPS system down the line. If you invest in the ‘exact’ requirements, you will encounter complications if an SDA participant requires additional support (and thus requires greater UPS functionality).
Form & function: other important considerations include form and function, for example, where will the UPS system be stored? Will a freestanding UPS suffice or will wall-mounted devices suit your design requirements? Similarly, the environmental conditions are critical (e.g., having plenty of clearance space for ventilation / being in a dry and cool environment).
Important features to look for in an NDIS UPS
There are additional important features that you must look out for when choosing your NDIS UPS. Here are some examples:
Automatic voltage regulation: an AVR is an electronic device that will maintain a constant voltage level to all of the electrical equipment on the same load.
Bypass switch: UPS systems with in-built Bypass switches can bypass the UPS feed to mains power in the event that the UPS fails.
Surge protection: again, double conversion systems protect against all 10 main power issues.
The main thing is that the UPS system is certified for NDIS SDA use. Provided it meets the minimum expectations it will be suitable. However, additional safety and security features can never hurt.
How to properly maintain your NDIS UPS
Maintaining your NDIS UPS is critical. As standard, you should have your NDIS UPS serviced at least once every 6 to 12-months. Twice a year for optimal performance is best.
That said, monthly inspections for filters and fans is important to ensure that they are clean and clear and functioning optimally.
Servicing must be carried out by a certified professional to ensure full compliance and that your NDIS UPS system is in perfect working order.
You must also note that battery replacements are a huge factor in the NDIS UPS maintenance and servicing schedule.
- Batteries are the beating heart of a UPS system
- They are typically one of the main causes of UPS failure (e.g., old/faulty batteries)
- When batteries expire their life expectancy performance drops significantly
- 25 degrees Celsius is optimal room temp for battery maintenance
- Batteries tend to last up to 5-years, however, 10-year batteries are available
Also, remember that a UPS system’s life expectancy is approximately 10 years (for all internal components) and as such, you should consider replacing components around the 6 to 7-year mark to avoid any complications.
How UPS Solutions can accommodate your needs
At UPS Solutions, we are a government-accredited specialist provider of UPS systems and solutions across Australia. Over the last 18-years we have established a solid reputation for delivering premium quality products with exceptional installation and maintenance services.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the technical nature of NDIS UPS minimum standards and requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
One of our friendly and highly knowledgeable representatives can answer any questions you may have and ultimately point you toward the perfect NDIS UPS system to suit all of your needs and requirements.