What To Consider For UPS Installation?

What To Consider For UPS Installation?

by Isaac Prakash April 18, 2023

Before rushing in with purchasing and installing your UPS system, first, there are a few important considerations that you must make. In this article, we’re going to cover everything from why you need a UPS, which factors to consider when choosing yours, and the best practices for when going through the installation process. Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. 

Why do you need a UPS?

In a nutshell, a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) can be used to protect your critical loads from a variety of power related issues, including power spikes, fluctuations, brownouts, and unplanned power outages – by relying on a dedicated battery supply. 

Factors to consider when choosing a UPS

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing your UPS system:

Capacity and runtime

First, assess and establish which electronic devices you have installed that require UPS battery backup and protection – including the power required for each. This will help you effectively calculate the ‘capacity’. 

  • Calculate capacity by totalling the sum ‘wattage’ of each connected device (which can be found on equipment nameplate and/or documentation). Your UPS’ capacity will be the total sum of the connected devices and their required watts. 

As for runtime, you need to think about how long you use your UPS to power your devices in an electrical emergency. 

  • If you have a backup generator you will only need 5-minutes or so to turn power up your backup generators. 
  • If your primary goal is to safely power down workstations and avoid data loss / corruption, 5 to 10-minutes runtime may be sufficient. 
  • For certain applications such as networks and internet access, you may want to have several hours’ runtime in order to safely ride out power outages. 

Input and output voltage

Next, make sure that you check your prospective UPS system’s power supply and voltage, and whether or not the installation is three-phase or single-phase. You will also need to double check what type of power supply will be required in order for the loads to be protected under the same parameters as the input. 

Battery type

A UPS will typically use a VRLA AGM battery type because it has:

  • Lower internal resistance
  • High specific power and efficiency
  • Low self-discharge
  • Lower price tag

AGM batteries on the other hand:

  • Charge faster
  • Deliver a higher current over a short duration

Lithium Ion batteries are becoming an attractive alternative to Lead Acid because:

  • Where power availability is the highest priority, they offer greater reliability than VRLA. 

Form factor and mounting options

Another important consideration is form & factor which broadly fits into two main categories: 

  • Rack-mounted: if your company has relatively modest power requirements, choosing between rack-mounted and freestanding UPS largely comes down to your data centre design preferences. 
  • Freestanding: for companies with significant power requirements, freestanding devices are widely preferred. 

  • Monitoring and management features

    Finally, there are a wide variety of UPS monitoring and management features for you to consider, these include (but are not limited to):

    • Customised SMS and email alerts
    • Ambient temperature management 
    • Remaining battery life notifications
    • And more 

    UPS installation best practices

    Now let’s move onto best practices regarding ups installation: 


    Where you choose to install your UPS is critical. Think carefully about:

    • Temperature control
    • Humidity
    • No direct sunlight 
    • Room to expand
    • Etc. 

    Electrical connections

    It is paramount that you thoroughly inspect your UPS and its connections. In transit, it’s not entirely uncommon for connections to shift – which can lead to loose connections and all manner of problems down the line. For best practices, hire a certified electrician to oversee the installation process. 

    Battery installation and maintenance

    The batteries are the beating heart of a UPS system in that they are both critical and the most vulnerable. As such, you will need to have a preventative maintenance plan in place to guarantee the most cost-effective means of safeguarding and replacing your UPS’ batteries as necessary. 

    System testing

    Before finalising the installation process make sure that you run the appropriate tests. Having a factory authorised technician / certified electrician to assist with installation & maintenance services is highly recommended to ensure total compliance. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the requirement for UPS installation?

    There are 3 steps to a successful UPS installation:

    • Selecting the right location
    • Settling on a project timeline
    • Testing your new system

    Where should UPS be placed?

    Your UPS should be installed in a dry and cool place, away from heat sources or open windows. Avoid dust, humidity, and corrosive fumes. Additionally, make sure there is plenty of clearance on all sides so as not to block the unit’s ventilation. 

    How much airflow does a UPS need?

    You must allow an absolute minimum of 2-inches on each side of your UPS unit to allow proper airflow. 

    Do you need an electrician to install a UPS?

    It is highly recommended that any hardwired UPS equipment should be installed by a licensed electrician. Smaller domestic ‘plug and play’ models are OK, but even then a second set of eyes is recommended. 

    For businesses, installing your UPS without professional assistance is not the right move. 

    Does my UPS need a ground?

    Yes. Remember, your UPS system is only as reliable as your grounding system.

    Isaac Prakash
    Isaac Prakash


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