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Combining PDUs and UPSs for End-to-End Power Protection

In the AV industry, UPS and PDU systems have often been thought of as separate functions. They're usually installed to solve specific/known problems, not necessarily as a proactive approach to assuring overall rack system and component health. Today's UPS and PDU systems individually offer a range of features specifically designed for digital components. When used together, these systems provide comprehensive, end-to-end power protection, control and management and create a platform that can include system performance data reporting and remote connectivity features.

The PDU's partner on the front line is the UPS, which allows equipment to keep running for a period of time when the primary power source is lost. In addition to bridging the gap during a power loss, a UPS also provides a defense from power surges and voltage fluctuations by ensuring the connected devices are fed a consistent nominal voltage. When loss of power happens and a UPS is in use, it can be an almost instant switch (just a few milliseconds) or an instant switch (if the UPS is always on, referred to as an online UPS) to provide the rack power from the UPS battery. Both protect equipment and ensure continuous operation. When a PDU and UPS are brought together in an intelligent, integrated way, they become a powerful and valuable, proactive solution within every AV integrator's tool kit.

Protecting your customer's investment

Each AV equipment rack is highly customized for each use or installation. There are no cookie-cutter AV installations, and each rack can contain a wide range of equipment types and brands, each with different power requirements and a unique range of power sensibilities.

AV equipment overall is not very tolerant to power fluctuation, and even slight variations in power can affect performance. As a rule of thumb, AV equipment should be powered, monitored and controlled at the individual outlet level; there are simply too many variables for a one-size-fits-all approach to power.

Not only is AV equipment sensitive and specialized, but there is also no safety net for most AV installations. The AV experience is a live experience, and it can be difficult to provide redundancies in equipment and have “hot-swappable” solutions. Plus, AV equipment can be expensive. One of the best ways to ensure a long, reliable product life is to be proactive with power management. A systems approach to AV power provides that protection and more.

Generating recurring revenue streams for your business

An intelligent, integrated, connected power system, which includes PDUs and UPSs, can monitor and log numerous environmental variables, including input voltage, load current, temperature and humidity condition. These systems can also alert managers to any irregularities that need immediate attention. In emergencies, a smart system can even reboot or take another action to correct problems on its own.

For the AV integrator, a systems approach also opens the door to potential new business. Armed with customer data logs and the knowledge that systems have protections in place, integrators can recommend extended warranties and ongoing service contracts to clients.

Recurring revenue streams create a stable cash flow, contribute to client retention, increase the client base, and ultimately strengthen the bottom line. While strategies vary, the basics of a plan could include 24/7 remote system monitoring, troubleshooting and proactive preventative maintenance. By adding these line items to existing service contracts, integrators ensure peace of mind for the customer and continuous growth for their business.

Where Middle Atlantic fits in

Legrand | AV offers several PDUs with unsurpassed surge protection, including models with two-outlets, six-outlets and nine-outlets. They also supply UPS backup power systems with pre-installed rack ears to minimize installation time. Having the appropriately sized UPS is key to ensuring you have ample battery runtime to accommodate the load of your equipment while not overpaying for a UPS that is more than you need. Check out this runtime calculator to find the right sized UPS for your needs.

Rely on Middle Atlantic NEXSYS power products to take the guesswork out of specifying or buying PDU and UPS backup systems. It combines power distribution and power backup in one platform to deliver the ultimate AV experience.

And, when it comes to remote management of AV systems for applications like corporate conferencing, higher education and digital signage, Middle Atlantic has PDUs and UPSs that are enabled with RackLink™ remote power management system. RackLink proactively monitors the network status of connected devices and reboots them automatically if needed. It will even notify you, via text or email, if something isn't right.

Finally, because Legrand is committed to limiting the environmental impact of our products, the company makes it possible to recycle your old UPS battery.

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