When deciding on which size UPS to go for, one important consideration is how much power they will eat up in the background. For example, does a larger UPS system ultimately eat more power than a small to medium sized system?
In this article, we’re going to focus on how much power is required to run a typical UPS and how this might impact your monthly electricity bills. Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
So, how much power does a UPS actually require? This ultimately depends on the size of the UPS system you are running and how much power you require in the event of a power outage. Here’s an example:
Running a 1kVA UPS system at a full 900 watts means that the system will be operating at a 100% load capacity. If you were to go over that it would result in the UPS short circuiting and failing.
If, however, you are using less wattage on your UPS (450 watts on a 1kVA), it means that it will be running at only 50% power.
In other words, if you need 80 kW of power supply, using a UPS system rated at 100kVA / 100 kW would be more than sufficient enough.
The average smaller UPS system will start from 12-Volt batteries and upwards. In this case it would require approximately 1.2 kW to fully charge, costing around $0.36 AUD (36 cents).
Following that, it will take roughly 3 to 6 watts per hour to maintain that full charge.
Remember, the average price for one kW (1,000 watts) is 36 cents, so the impact on your daily electricity bill will be low.
The average medium UPS system (ideal for small to medium sized businesses) would be powered by two 12-Volt batteries. This would require approximately 2.4 kW to fully charge costing $0.72 AUD (72 cents).
Following that, it will take roughly double the required wattage to maintain a smaller UPS (6 to 12 watts).
Again, given how low the average price for one kW is, your monthly running cost to keep a medium sized UPS charge will be rather low, all things considered.
For larger UPS systems, it’s important to note that the costs can vary significantly – as do the sizes.
The larger UPS systems are designed to store a significant amount of power as they are intended to power servers and data centres if in the event of a power outage. In any case, your monthly running costs shouldn’t be much more than $4 to $40 AUD per month.
Please note that all the figures listed above are approximations based on averages and subject to change.
If you still have more questions regarding UPS power consumption, below we will tackle some of the most frequently asked questions, for your convenience:
Absolutely. Your electricity bill will increase with larger UPS systems as you will be using more power to charge and maintain your UPS’ battery – and then using the power as necessary.
As for the myth that suggests using a larger wattage power supply will force too much power through your devices; there is no truth to it. Your power supply will only provide the required wattage.
For example, if your devices need 50 watts, they will only receive 50 watts from a 250-watt supply and not the entire amount.
A 1000W PSU will provide approximately 900 to 1000W for your device. However, it will only consume as much as your device requires. For example, if your device requires only 300W to function, a 500W and a 1000W PSU would use roughly 350W.
That said, a 500W would require less charge and thus less electricity to maintain than a 1000W PSU.
Before you purchase and install your uninterrupted power supply, first you must make sure that you are investing in the appropriate size.
UPS units have a power rating in VA ranging from 300 to 5,000 kVA, so, how do you decide which is the right size for you?
The best approach is to ensure that you always have more kVA than you need to power your equipment. As a rule of thumb, choose a UPS with a VA rating that is at least 1.2x the total load you need. Of course, if you anticipate rapid growth in your business, that multiplier should be higher.
If in the event that you exceed the wattage of your UPS system, it will likely shut down immediately. This is because any quality UPS system will have in-built overcurrent protection thus limiting the power going into your devices.
Again, any high-quality UPS systems are designed to prevent this from happening, so you shouldn’t need to worry about exceeding the wattage of your UPS.
In any case, it’s always worth ensuring that you choose the correct size UPS for your required power supply – and indeed sufficient replacement batteries.
A bigger power supply is only better if you have more devices that need to be powered. The fact is, having more power doesn’t impact the performance of your devices. They either have enough power to operate or they do not.
You only need to invest in a larger power supply if you need that much power. Going over your required power supply will only result in wasted electricity on charging and maintaining your back-up battery power supply.