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I've got an office LAN setup with about 15 computers, which is due to expand to 30 before long. Each computer is on its own voltage stabilizer and UPS.

I live in a place with horrible, substandard, screamingly bad electricity. The voltage coming down the wires can dip as much as 30% below the advertised 220V, causing all of the voltage stabilizers to cycle hard, and sometimes (up to 5 times daily) the whole system shorts out and has to be reset at the source.

Obviously, I'm starting to lose components here and there, which, given the current trend, will be quite costly soon.

I'd like to put in a medium-scale upstream solution that levels the curve before it hits my poor stabilizers and power supplies but I'm not sure where to start. Could someone elaborate on what could be the cause of these surges (are they surges?), and a medium scale solution?

To put it another way, someone in another post said "Bottom line - I think you need something to smooth your electricity." What is that something?


this (discusses the need for a UPS) and this (mostly discussing small-scale solutions).

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closed as off topic by womble, Bryan, growse, mdpc, Scott Pack Dec 15 '12 at 0:01

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You need an electrician, not a sysadmin. – womble May 1 '12 at 11:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some UPSes are classified as "online" or "double conversion". They actually always regenerate AC voltage themselves and never pass the line voltage directly. They should be able to even out the voltage for you better than the individual units. That said, if it's that bad, I would definitely talk with your vendor about it before you buy.

In my experience, these are almost always larger UPS systems that sit between the main power coming into the building and the distribution panel (where the circuit breakers are), but I hear that there are smaller ones available now.

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Huh, just a big UPS is all, hmmm. Thanks for the starting point. Will the fluctuating electricity fry this too, in a stand-alone situation? That is, do I need to link in serial with some gadget to level the power before it goes into this super-UPS? – Ben May 1 '12 at 4:02
My understanding is that modern implementations of this are specifically intended to help with bad power. Most big-honking® UPSes these days are hybrids that send line power until they sense something wrong, which is more efficient. Again, though, talk with your vendor. My suggestion is more just a push in the right direction. – wfaulk May 1 '12 at 4:05

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