Power ConditionersAs the deployment of AV devices increase to new types of installations, the need for AC power conditioning and management has never been greater. 2/08/2013 10:32 AM Eastern
Feb 8, 2013 3:32 PM
As the deployment of AV devices increase to new types of installations, the need for AC power conditioning and management has never been greater. Devices mentioned in this section protect against surges, lightning strikes, and brownouts; correct for under and overvoltage; and report efficiency and emergencies. Some of the products allow control over the Internet, LAN, WAN, or with third-party control systems. Features that have been a standard in data networks, co-locations, and service providers have been introduced into the world of AV integration, and we are glad they are here.
The J Type from APC provides battery backup power to maintain uninterrupted power in the event of a blackout. Battery backup power not only prevents interruptions functionality, it also prevents loss of information, missed communication between devices, damaged hard drives, and unusual wear and tear on the equipment. Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) is engaged to correct low- and high-voltage conditions. These models are guaranteed protection against damaging surges, spikes, and even lightning. The J type not only provides protection from surges traveling over AC power lines, protection is also offered against surges traveling over system data lines including coax, telephone, and Ethernet lines. Reducing electromagnetic and radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI), each filter bank is electrically isolated from each other to prevent noise generated by one component from polluting other connected components. The power sequencer feature ensures that connected equipment is powered-up/down in the proper order and with the right amount of delay between the stages. This delay eliminates transients that can affect connected components or cause the building circuit breaker to trip.
Like the J series, the G Type Rackpower filter from APC eliminates EMI/RFI as a source of audio-video signal degradation with isolated filter banks. Also similar to the J series, it triggers power to components in the proper order to prevent speaker stress. It protects connected loads from surges, spikes, lightning, and other power disturbances. Being Safety-agency approved ensures the product has been tested and approved to work safely with the connected service provider equipment and within the specified environment.
Black Box offers its Outlet Managed Power Distribution units. The name sounds impressive, but what they do is even more so. They allow secure, remote metering and management of AC-powered rackmount equipment via SSL, SSH, SNMP, web browser, telnet, external modem, or local terminal. The units constantly measure current consumption, temperature levels, ping response, and other factors, so when the readings exceed user-defined critical values, they can shed the current load by temporarily shutting down nonessential devices. When readings return to acceptable levels, they can restore power to those devices to return to normal operating conditions.
New rackmount models have been added to Exact Power’s award-winning line. PowerCore isolation transformer systems provide protected, same-phase, isolated, and conditioned 120VAC circuits to power residential AV systems. Energy efficient and featuring GroundSense technology, the newly added 5kVA models install directly into equipment racks and provide unique integrated benefits that are not found in other power isolation products. Benefits include safety ground monitoring, hardwired remote branch circuit extensions, load current metering, control system integration, and load sequencing. Other features include the lowest possible noise floor for optimal AV system performance, AV reference ground and noise isolation right in the rack, a 20A hardwired, dedicated isolated ground branch circuit, and AV reference ground to remote equipment locations. The systems also offer ultra-fast 100,000A surge and spike clamping, which protects equipment from damage. Integrated adjustable power sequencing provides protection and control, and over- and under-voltage protection with automatic recovery ensures safe operation. Remote control of power functions, cycling, and resets make operation simple. Integrated power line filters minimize high-frequency noise intrusion. All circuits are on the same phase, which reduces system noise by eliminating the additive effects of cross-phase currents. The proprietary Equipment Ground Current Leakage monitor alerts the installing technician to potential problems that may lead to AV system noise.
Designed for commercial AV installers, Furman Sound’s CN-2400S combines control capabilities via SmartSequencing technology, advanced AC protection, AC noise filtration, and optional compatibility with the BlueBolt remote power and energy management platform. The new CN-2400S is one of the first products to feature Furman’s SmartSequencing technology, which allows large and complex AV systems to be safely powered on and off with a simple press of a button or turn of a key, even by nontechnical personnel. Bidirectional communications between installed units enables a primary unit to control and sequence multiple secondary units, ensuring multizone electronic systems are powered on and off safely and dependably from a single control point across an entire installation. It has nine 15A outlets: three unswitched and six sequenced with surge, spike, and under- and overvoltage protection.
Feb 8, 2013 3:32 PM
Juice Goose’s RX100-RM provides ultra-clean power and protection against AC line surges and spikes as well as in-wall wiring faults and overvoltage. All this is enclosed in an extra sturdy Tour Class chassis. (This model is a renamed and repackaged version of the RP100-RX. All functional features are the same between the two models.) Hybrid Filter technology reduces high-frequency noise and high-energy surges both on normal (line to neutral) and common (neutral to ground) mode paths. The Hybrid Filter design in the RX100-RM includes a differential transformer, lots of filtering capacitance, and control circuitry, providing protection from dangerous surges, high-frequency interference, building wiring faults, and overvoltage. It features a unibody construction—with the front, bottom, and back formed from a single piece of magnetic shielded, cold-rolled steel. The reinforced mounting brackets are attached to the chassis in eight places. Eleven outlets on the back of the chassis provide ample connection opportunity. The 12ft. power cord enables use at a greater distance from power sources. If this unit is plugged into an outlet that is not properly wired—if hot, neutral, and ground are not properly connected—power will not pass to the receptacles and a light on the front of the unit will indicate a wiring fault. Therefore, a functioning ground connection is required to operate the RX100-RM. This same safety measure functions when incoming voltage exceeds 150V. In this overvoltage situation the unit will not pass power to connected equipment.
RackLink by Middle Atlantic Products is a 100-percent cloud-compliant device, which features a dedicated onboard web server. Its intuitive, browser-based web interface makes local and remote access extremely easy. Individual device controls are offered for each outlet as well as dry contacts, which extends the benefits outside of the rack environment. Identify RackLink units, outlets, and contacts easily through friendly names. Monitored variables include input voltage (peak and RMS) for which a user can set custom high/low input voltage thresholds and be alerted via email if thresholds are breached. RackLink allows the user to set high/low temperature thresholds, and can alert an integrator via email if thresholds are breached. It can also trigger additional actions, such as powering on spare fans or powering down heat generating equipment. RackLink logs data for every monitored variable once every 5 minutes, and in addition will log immediately on every alert condition (surge status, threshold breaches, auto-ping no response, input voltage, and connected load fluctuations). Data logs are stored locally on each device and can be easily viewed through the local browser-based user interface.
Also shipping soon from Middle Atlantic are the Series ProtectionPowerDistribution devices. This patent-pending technology provides instantaneous protection of AV systems. Touting the industry’s fastest non-sacrificial surge technology, the device protects equipment from damage without contaminating system ground. Connected devices are automatically disconnected (protected) from sustained over and under input voltage as well as automatic recovery after an over/under voltage event minimizes system downtime (unlike devices that require a hard reset after a surge event). They feature flexible mounting options for mounting behind screens or other space-restricted areas. Designed to work in the new HRF series racks and on the back of VisionFrame monitor walls, Series Protection technology is available for the RackLink power management system and meets the most current and applicable highest standard for safety and reliability.
New this year from SnapAV is the Watt Box IP+.Its comes in rack- and wallmountable configurations along and in 3-, 8-, and 12-outlet versions. A percentage of the outlets have individual control along with advanced surge protection and isolated banks of noise filters. It also protects for over or undervoltages and uses fireproof MOV-ceramic-encased surge components. Another feature is remote access and IP control, enabling administration of the devices from anywhere. Self-healing auto reboot is the newest feature added to this line, which will automatically reboot the system when certain criteria are met. Couple that with advanced programming and scheduling and email alerts,the Watt Box IP+ line delivers a user-friendly solution.
SurgeX’s Axess series is a web-enabled power conditioning and energy management system that provides premium protection, comprehensive energy management, and two-way communication with all IP-enabled products on the network. It controls power on an outlet level, turns outlets on and off, and allows integrators to control expansion units from the master unit. While displaying power and energy usage per outlet, Axess offers an advanced overview of the system’s energy consumption by each connected device. It collects and internally logs temperature, voltage measurements, and current draw measurements, and reports back via a user-friendly energy and power usage display. Triggers are scheduled by outlet, contact closure, or input and output. Featuring SurgeX Advanced Series Mode surge-elimination technology, it eliminates surge energy up to 6,000V, and protects equipment from AC surges and electrical transients without producing harmful side effects such as ground contamination or common-mode disturbances. It also includes comprehensive protection, including common and normal mode impedance tolerant EMI/RFI filtering, SurgeX ICE (Inrush Current Elimination), and COUVS (Catastrophic Over/Under Voltage Shutdown). It works in conjunction with the next product from SurgeX, Cervella.
The new Cervella Series provides a centralized dashboard to manage, monitor, and diagnose AC power in your system. It includes proprietary Secure Access Management (SAM) software to ensure complete system security, and provides instant admin user control that allows system managers to manage the network. The Cervella series also automatically discovers all SurgeXAxess products on the network.
Tripp Lite brings us SmartOnline UPS systems to protect valuable equipment while delivering efficiency with high-power factors for maximum capacity. The five models, ranging from 750VA to 3000VA, have features such as online double-conversion operation with 2 percent voltage regulation and zero transfer time, online efficiency in excess of 90 percent saves on operating costs, and an LCD control panel with nine selectable screens of UPS and site power data. Other features include a USB port, DB9 port, and an SNMP/web interface with included PowerAlert software. With fully regulated sine wave AC output with +/-2 percent, voltage regulation powers network equipment continuously—even during severe brownouts and overvoltages—all without depleting UPS battery reserves. Field-replaceable, hot-swappable internal batteries and external battery packs make the SmartOnline series a great choice for critical environments.
Also from Tripp Lite are four new rackmount SmartPro UPS systems. These models provide critical equipment with reliable power protection and high-efficiency operation in 2RU. The SmartPro Interactive UPS with enhanced LCD interface offers network-grade power protection for critical server, network, and audiovisual equipment. Its unique configuration excels in exceptionally poor-power environments with two separate levels of voltage boost to correct both slight undervoltages and severe brownout conditions. The 96-percent line-mode efficiency offers reduced heat emissions and operating costs.
While writing this piece, I realized that power conditioning and management are generally under-specified, and that there are great options for ensuring the AC stability of our systems. So while we are careful to design systems that are comprised of dependable equipment, attention should always be paid to power.