Power Protection: Uninterruptible Power Supplies Headed For Uninterruptible Growth

July 14, 2011

By David Sims - Power Protection Contributing Editor

You know, a few people actually enjoy the panic attacks that hit when blackouts or power surges render business servers down; it gets the adrenalin pumping, and they can rush around and order people to do this and that and generally look like the alpha dog taking charge.

The majority of us, however, are more pleased when things run smoothly, as they should. For the rest of us, then, it’s good news that according to a recent research report from Pike Research (News - Alert) titled "Energy Storage in Commercial Buildings,” such interruptions in power will become obsolete as “more commercial buildings, looking to actively manage energy consumption, invest in uninterruptible power supplies to protect computers and servers.”

The uninterruptible power supply (UPS) industry refers to companies who sell any kind of intermediary power protection device between the public power grid and the electronic devices in your office that help protect against interruptions like power failures, small surges, or brownouts.

And it’s an increasingly lucrative field, as more and more businesses realize that being able to absolutely minimize lapses in their power supply is a heck of a competitive advantage for certain industries. According to the Pike Research report, this power protection industry is poised to grow from a $3.4 billion worldwide industry today to a $4.8 billion industry in 2016.

Driving that growth will be ice-based thermal-energy storage (TES) rooftop units, which “will see big growth.” That’s right, “ice-based.”  In North America alone, the study found that these TES units are expected to grow from a $12 million industry in 2011 to $123 million industry by 2016. This is what we call a “good growth rate.”

As TMCnet reported recently,  your simple power strip you think is protecting you against surges and brownouts is good as far as it goes, which is about seven percent as far as UPS goes.

Power outages happen frequently in the United States, according to Minuteman, which sells power protection products, and that’s why UPS devices are a wise investment.

“They protect 100 percent of the power problems,” Erik Knecht, director of Power Development for Minuteman, said. “A lot of folks … will put a [surge] … strip out and what they don’t realize is that it only protects for 7 percent of the power problems. UPS will protect 100 percent of the power problems that are out there.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin