Power Surge in Pennsylvania Township: Would YOUR Tech Survive?

January 13, 2015

By Michael Guta - Contributing Writer

The world we live in is becoming increasingly smarter as our mobile devices, automobiles, homes and the appliances in them as well as much of the infrastructure of our cities become more connected. According to Cisco (News - Alert), there will be at least 50 billion connected devices by 2020, offering services across many industries. One of the most critical components in this technology is electricity. Even though electricity is a reliable resource in most developed countries, incidents take place that can disrupt power for an undetermined amount of time, which is what happened in Pennsylvania’s Bushkill Township recently.

In a report by Frank Warner on mcall.com, he said Met-ED, the power company in the region attributed the recent failure to 167 homes to a faulty transformer.

According to Warner, the damaged transformer took out homes within half-mile of its location at around 6 p.m. on January 6 and the electricity was not restored by Met-Ed until almost seven hours later.

Granted, a little more than six hours is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if you depend on the electricity for your business, medical devices in your home and other essential technologies, it can be a huge inconvenience.  That is why in today’s ecosystem homeowners and businesses have to deploy the best plan when it comes to protecting their digital assets from power outages, power surges and other electricity-related issues that can interrupt services.

It should also be noted there was another outage in Pennsylvania affecting 6,000 customers in Bradford and Sullivan counties. The power there went out around 4 a.m. January8 and it wasn’t fixed until 2 p.m. That particular incident was caused by a downed wire, which affected a larger number of customers.

These two incidents and thousands like it that take place every year across the country only point out the obvious: a power outage can take place any time. So what can you do about it to protect your equipment and the continuity of your business?

Warner quotes Gayle Nace, one of the residents in Bushkill Township that experienced the outage, as saying “We have a computer that got fried. It had a surge protector, and it got fried.” Having a surge protector is great, but you have to know its capabilities to ensure it doesn’t “fry your computer” as Gayle said.

Minuteman, manufacturer of power protection products which include single and 3-phase Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs), Surge Protectors, Remote Power Managers (RPMs), and Power Distribution Units (PDUs), recommends getting the right assessment for your power requirement to ensure your computer, TV, mobile device and other connected electronics are always protected.  

In its recent blog titled, “How to Select the Right UPS for Your System,” the company recommends asking the following questions:

  • What piece(s) of equipment is being backed up and what is the electrical draw?
  • What are your input and output voltage requirements?
  • What runtime are you looking to get from your UPS?
  • How critical is the application being backed up?
  • What physical parameters are we dealing with when trying to find a solution that fits?

These are all important questions, and depending on what your needs are you should always seek the advice of experts that can properly evaluate your exact requirements. This not only ensures all of your components will be protected in the event of a surge or a power outage, but you will have the peace of mind that can only be obtained by getting the right information.