Transformer based filters promise smoother power

A Smart Power Systems product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Sep 2, 2005

Power-related issues are frequently the cause of time outs, unexplained downtime and other commonplace system or networking glitches.

Data protection is a strange old subject.

Companies spend a fortune on anti-virus software, intrusion detection systems, firewalls and spyware blockers.

Yet according to W.

Curtis Preston, a data protection specialist at GlassHouse Technologies, most problems lie within - with over 80% of security leaks generated internally.

Similarly, when people think of preventing data loss due to power supply problems, they typically consider an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or a surge suppressor.

Recent studies by Bell Laboratories, however, indicate that less that 4% of power-related problems would be addressed by such devices.

Thus even networks and computer systems that are well protected by UPSs and surge protectors are at serious risk.

"Power problems caused by small surges, spikes and sags in the electricity supply cause 15 times more problems today than viruses", says Bahram Mechanic, CEO of SmartPower Systems of Houston, Texas, a maker of power protection and conditioning equipment.

"Servers, workstations and networking gear can best be protected by using transformer-based filters".

"Whereas old style power conditioners were large and expensive, a new breed of inexpensive electronic power conditioner is being deployed today in the computer room".

Downtime causes millions of dollars in damage annually to computer networks around the globe.

In many cases, people attempting to troubleshoot the cause of downtime waste hours addressing the wrong problem.

They blame the software, the network, viruses, spyware and a host of other causes.

Sometimes they are correct and this resolves the problem.

Often, however, they are correcting the wrong problem.

Power-related issues, it turns out, are frequently the cause of time outs, unexplained downtime and other commonplace system or networking glitches.

Two major studies of power quality have been completed in recent years.

The first one, by Bell Labs, found the following areas accounted for most power-related issues: blackouts - 1.4%, surges higher than 200V - 2.4%, sags - 14% and surges less than 200V - 82.2%.

These results are confirmed by a similar study performed by IBM which found: blackouts - 0.5%, surges higher than 200V - 2%, sags - 10% and surges less than 200V - 87.5%.

Thus around 80 to 90% of the time, electronic equipment is being affected by tiny surges as opposed to lightening flashes or blackouts.

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