UPS Backup Power for Surveillance Guide

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 27, 2016

Backup power for surveillance systems generally rely on batteries, especially since UPSes for computers are common and easily available.

However, uncertainty in picking the right backup power supply sized with the right batteries is a common problem, and the pitfalls of poor selection stretch beyond just having a weak system. In the note, we look at battery backup, the most common method for surveillance power backup.

IPVM Image

Inside we examine:

  • UPSes run time delivered
  • Understanding UPS power units of measure
  • How to calculate surveillance system wattage
  • Using runtime graphs to determine supply duration
  • How much backup runtime is needed
  • Common factors affecting runtime
  • Why consumer UPSes often are too weak
  • Why battery equipped power supplies may not be enough
  • Why commercial UPSes are often the best choice
  • Using generators for longer runtimes

UPS = ******* **** **** * *****

** * ******* **** of *****, ****** *** are ***** ** ****** huge ****** ** *********, providing ******* ** **** for **** * ***** surveillance ****** (*** ****) is *** ******** **** UPSes, ***** *** ****** always ******** *** *** a *** ***** ** less. ******* ******** **** from * *** ***** to **** ** *******. The ********* ** ******* UPSes *** ******** ** bridge **** ** *** main ******, *** ** replace **** *** **** on ***.

Generators *** ****** ****

*** ****** ***** ******* more **** ** **** or ***, ********** ****** be ****. *** **** on **********, ************ ****** ***** *** Surveillance.

UPS ***** ***** ** *******

*********** ***** *** ** confusing ****** ***** ***** are *******. *** *****, three ***** ***** *** used ** ********* *** relative **** *** ******* of * ***.

*****:*** * ******* **** of *** **** ***** a ******* *****, ***** are ****. **** ***** unit ********** ******* **** the ******, ** ********* devices **** *** ** 12 *** ** *** VAC *** ** **** with ** **********. ***** does *** ***** ** idea ** ****** **** time, *** ****** ** a ******. ***** ***** express ****** ***** ** Watts, *** **** ******* offer *** ****** ** search ******** ***** ** like**** ******* ********* **********. ******** ******** ******* this*** **** ****,*****-**** *** * ****, ************* **** ****. ******* ***** *** of *** **** ****** ratings *** ********* ********, the ******* ****** ** not ***** *** ******* power ***** ** ******* designations *** *** ** buried ** *** **** specs.

****/**** (**):**** ***** ******* ***** capacity **** **** ****, which ** ** *********** power ****. *******, *** unit ** ********* ******* to ********** ** ******* only (** **** *** apply ********** ** ** reactive *****) ***** **** UPS ******* ******* **** servers, ********, ** **** use **. ***** *** this **** ***** ** describe *** ******** ****** of ***** ******** *********, which *** **, *** the **** ****** ** power **** ***** ** typically *** ********* *** to ******. *** ****** wattage ********* *** ****** power *** **** ** less **** *** *********** VA ****** ** *** unit. **** ***** *** VA ** *** ********* capacity *********, **** ******* *** ****** **** ******** *** W, *********-**** **** ****** **** ******** *** W, *** ************** **** ** ******** ******** *** *.

****/***** (**): *** * ******* of ***** **** ****, other ***** **** ****/***** are ******. ****** *******, 1 **** **** ******** 1 **** **** ** minutes. ***** ** *** provide **** ***** ** a **** ***** ****** because ***** ********** *** almost ****** **** **** an **** *** ******* are ***** *******. *******, they ************** ****** ** ********** **** ********* *** long * ***** ****** supplies ***** ** * given **** ****.

** ********* *** **** time * *** *** supply ****** *****, ***** system ***** ****** **** be ********** *****.

System *** ***********

*** ***** ****** ******* combines *** ***** ****** by *** ****** **********, including *******, ********, *** recorders ** *******. *** calculation ** ***** ******* follows **** *******:

(****** ** ******* * Watts ******** ** ******) + (***** **** ** recorders) + (****** *****)

** *** ** ******* small ****** ***** * cameras, ** *** *********, and ** * **** switch:

(* ******* * * W) + (*** *** [link ** ****** *********]) + (*.** ******) = ~*** * total

System ******* **. *** *******

****** ****** ***** *** UPSes *** **** ********** described **** *** **** unit, ***** (*.*., ** NVR ***** **** *** or ** *****, ***. and * *** ***** be ***** *** *** watts ** *** *****, etc.), ***** ****** ** easily *******. *** *******, a ** **** *** connected ** * *** watt *** **** *** run ******** ***** ** 10 *****, **** ** one (*******) ******* *** wattage *** ** ******* by ****** *******.

** ********, ******* / backup **** ** ********* quite *****. *** *******,**** **** ******* **** *** * 900W **** ***~* ********** * **** *** for~** *******.

*** **** ***** *** UPS ******* ***** / chart ** ********* *** long ** ****** *** UPS **** *******.

Runtime ****** / *****

******* ****** (** ******) show *** **** ****** time * ***** *** will ******* *** * given ****.

**** ***** *** ******** to ** **** ********* at ********** *** ********, others *** **** ********* at ****** ******. ***** UPSes *** **** ******** to ** ***** ** purchase, ** ****** ***** based ** ******* ** VA ******* ***** ** a *******. *** ******* types *** ****** ** batteries ****** *** ***** runtime ********* ** * UPS, ********* ** ***** UPS ***** ***********. *******, the ******* ****** **** display *********** ** * useable ***.

**** ***** ****** ******* is *****, * ******* Graph **** **** *** down *** **** ******* capacity ** ********* *** how ****. *** ************* typically ******* ***** ******* as * ***** *** system **** ****, **** the ******** *****:

******* *:

IPVM Image

******* *:

IPVM Image

***** ****** ******* *** the **** ********* ******* minutes ** ******* *****. For *******, *** *** Example *, * **** of *** **** **** approximately *** *******, *** a ******* **** **** will **** ~* *******. For *** ******* *, a *** ***** **** last **** *** *******, a **** **** **** last ~** *******, *** a ******* **** * load **** **** * minutes.

***** **** ************* ******* unit ******* ******, ** they *** *** ********* for * *** ****, then******* ******* *************** *** ************ (** white ***** ********) *** an ********** ***********.

**** ***** ***** ****** is *****, ******* *** right ****** ****** *** be ********. ******* ******* are ********* ********* ** three ********* *****:

Consumer *** *******

*** **** ****** ******* backup *** ***** ******* equipped ***** **********, ********* designed *** ******* ****** use, *** *** ******** to **** **** ****** wall *******. *******, ***** units ********* *** *** built **** ****** ******* power ** *** ******** devices *** **** **** a *** ******* *** are *** **** ********* for ************ *******.

IPVM Image

**** *********** **** ********-***** ***, *** *** ************ system ***** ****, *** backup ***** ***** **** last ****** ** *******, which ***** ** *** short ** ** ****** depending ** ******* ****** durations. ***** ***** *** not ****** ***** ***********, and **** ******* *********** like ******* *********** ** not ****** ** ******. Some ******** ***** *** instead ******** ** **********.

*****

******** ***** *** ***** are ********** ********* ******* $100 - $*** *** most ******* **************, **** the ******* ***** ********* sized *** ***** ** under.

Battery ****** ***** ********

******* ************ ****** ***** option *** *********** ***-******* power ******** ******** **** batteries ** *** *********. This ****** ******* ** useful ** ***-*** ******* cameras ****, ***** **** low ******* ********* ******* are ***** ** ****. Product ***** **** *********** ****************** ***** ******** ******** ************ *** surveillance ****** ***, **** 12/24V ************ ***** ******* in * ******* ***. However, ***** ***** ******** are ****** **** *** camera ***** *** ***** system ********** **** ******** and ********* **** ********** backup ***** *******.

IPVM Image

*****

******* ******** ***** ******** are ********* *** **** cost ********* *** ** add ********* ** ***-*** cameras. ***** * ******* 8 - ** ******* power ****** *** **** $175 - $***, **** is **** ~$** - $80 **** ********* **** typical ***-******* ******** ********** models.

Commercial *** *******

**** ******** ***** *** battery ******** ***** ******** being **********, ****** **** capable ******* ****** ********* are *********, *** ** prices **** ***** ******* consumer ******.

IPVM Image

********** ***** *** ********* available ** ********* ** rackmounted *****, *** *** physical ****** ********* ******** more ********* ******** **** longer ********. *** *******, this ************* (*****-**** ************** +* *******-**) **** *** *** example **** ****** ***** for **** * *****, or *** ***. ***** units ***** ******* ******* monitoring ***** **** ****** when ***** ***** *****, batteries *** ****, *** general **** ****** ******. In *******, ******** ******* packs *** ** ******** as ******* *** **** than **% *** **** of *** **** ******.

********** ***** *** *** use ****** *****, *** VAC '****-**' *****, *** require ******** ***** ** 220/240/477VAC *****. ****** ******** units **** *** ** dropped ******** **** ***** is *********, ********** ***** typically ******* ********* ***** circuits.

******** ** ***** *****-**** UPSes *** ********* *******,****, *** ***** [**** no ****** *********] ***** others.

*****

**** ********** ***** **** at ***** $***, **** totals ******** ********* ** dollars **** ***** ******* units *** *****. ***** the **** ********* ******, these **** ********* ***** the ******* ******** *** the **** *******.

Factors ********* *******

******** ****** ** ****** and ************* ****** ********* carry * ********** ******* against ******* **** ******** durations. ***** *********** ******* that ******* **** ***, environmental ********* ****** *** can ******* *****. **** is ***:

******* ***:**** ****, ***** ******* will **** **'* ******* to ***** *** ********** a ******, *** ** the ***** ** *** internal ******* *** ******. For * ******* ***-**** battery, *** **** ******** reaction **** ******* ********* in * **** **** eventually **** ******* **** time, ** *** **** lead ** *** *********** on *** **** ******. In **** *****, *** batteries ****** * *** will **** * ******** of * - * years ****** ******* ** be ********. *******, ****** then * ******* *** become ****** **** **** is ****** ** *** specsheets.

***********: **** ********* *** characteristically **** ********* **** warm ****, *** ***** installed ** ****-********* ************ can ********** ************ ******** as ********* ***** *****. If ********* *** *** kept ** *********, *************** controlled *****, **** *** prematurely **** ** ******* under ***** ********. ** many *****, ******* ***** include ******* ******** ** pads ** **** **** temperature ***** ******** ** avoid ****** *** ******* performance.

********* *****: ****** ******* **** IR ************, *** ***** movement, *******, ** ******* can ***** ************ ***** that *** *** ******* were *** ********* *** during *********, *** ***** non-typical ***** *** ****** battery ***** *****.

Extended ******** **** **** *****

**** ******** ******** (****, not *****) *** ******, alternative ****** ***** ******* like ********** ** ***** capacity ******* ****** *** more **** ********* **** longer ****** ***** *** lower *********** *****. *** our********* ****** ***** *** Surveillance**** *** **** ****** on ***** *******.

****

**** *** * ******** UPS *** ***** ************ Quiz

Comments (12)

Brian

Thanks for putting out this article. Surveillance without battery backup is a problem waiting to happen. Too often the integrator forgets to add or let's their customer supply a UPS. Cost is the big reason that they don't automatically add them into their design. The correct UPS should eliminate a number of problems
that may be the cause of call backs to a job site.

I think further information into the 3 main types of UPS products would be very helpful to your members. Knowing the differences between a Standby, Line Interactive, or Online/Double Conversion should produce produce better results. Also, the importance of power factors when comparing different brands can help
reduce costs. A unit with a greater power factor can allow a 2000VA unit to produce 1760 watts of backup versus a 2200VA unit that yields only 1640 watts. Most would assume the 2200VA would automatically be superior in performance
due to its higher VA rating.

Finally, how do you calculate PoE switches into your example? I have always used the full power potential of the switch (i.e. 16 ports X 15.4 watts = 246 watts) as my number to calculate even though I may only be using 12 cameras at that time.
I always design with the future in mind in case more cameras are needed down the road. 246 watts is more than 72 watts (12 x 6 watts) you considered in your example. Any thoughts?

Thanks again

Hello Rod:

Re: "Finally, how do you calculate PoE switches into your example?"

There are two basic options:

1) I think your approach to use the max output of the switch is smart for planning, especially newer systems that can expand. The total power needed is whatever the switch can output combined with the overhead would be the approach.

Take for example this unit with 10 W overhead and up to 50 W PoE over 4 ports. You'd just strike the values of the cameras and roll them into the switch demand.

The second approach is more granular:

2) For mature systems, PoE power is still issued from the switch, but you take the actual wattage values used for PoE and add those to switch overhead. Plans are based on the max demands of the cameras, rather than the max potential of the switch.

The risk with this second option is lacking flexibility for changes or adds, so it only makes sense for systems that will not change and have no plans of expansion. The benefit though is that UPSes are not overspec'd using this method, potentially avoiding expensive overcapacity and maintenance.

Re: "Knowing the differences between a Standby, Line Interactive, or Online/Double Conversion should produce produce better results. Also, the importance of power factors when comparing different brands can help
reduce costs."

Great feedback. I'll add sections on PF/power factors and the three UPS function methods to this post.

I am running into a problem when generator testing creates issues even with UPS installed.NVR gets spiked and locks up , cameras need rebooting. Apparently using a more expensive UPS that utilizes transformer is the only way to protect from if. Any comments?

The fact that the NVR is getting "spikes" while running the generator indicates that the UPS is either passing dirty power from the gen, or maybe the spikes are really drops from the UPS switching on and off if the gen output isn't stable. If possible take a scope and see what the AC looks like at the input and output of the UPS, that will help you identify the problem.

The type of UPS you're using can make a difference. A lot of UPSs just pass AC through without any real filtering as long as an acceptable input voltage is present; these are the offline/standby type. So if your gen's AC is dirty that can get through and cause problems. Or if the UPS senses an AC lose it has to switch internally from the AC source to the batteries, and spikes can occur. Depending on your equipment this can be a problem.

If you don't have a scope, you could try running the NVR directly off the gen and seeing if it runs OK, and then try running it off the UPS with no AC input, and finally plugging/unplugging the UPS from a wall outlet to see what happens when power comes and goes. This should help you identify what's causing the problem.

A line-interactive UPS is a better choice than a standby type, but I'd only recommend an online/double-conversion one for mission critical applications. These never pass AC through the UPS, the output is always fed directly from the battery so no switching occurs and the input AC is always filtered by the rectifier, though you'll see a slightly higher power use because of this.

Depending on the cost of your UPS, an alternative to replacing may be to use an automatic voltage regulator/line power conditioner. You should be able to find one for a lot less than a good UPS, and you could put it between the gen and the UPS or between the UPS and NVR depending on what your testing indicates. Unfortunately even with the testing this is a bit of a 'try and see' solution.

Good luck.

I would definitely use an online UPS when connected to a generator for the reasons stated above. More expensive but necessary to handle the "dirty" power output. You will probably need only 5 minutes of runtime in your calculations to cover the startup of the generator. Good luck.

Perhaps one of you guys with the appropriate background could define "dirty" power from a generator. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the sine wave (heard about this during the hurricanes of 04-05) but have not had access to anyone with knowledge to discuss in depth. I've heard this can wreck electronic components, sometimes not right away. It would be good to know to pass along to owners.

Hello Jon!

"Dirty" is an ambiguous term that can mean anything from 'out-of-phase' frequencies to general spikes or undervoltage delivery (ie: brownouts).

In general, computers are cycle sensitive (frequency) and a source that is out-of sync with 50/60Hz can cause errors and even damage to the internal components.

Erratic voltages are a problem too, and electronics need a fairly narrow/stable input to operate per spec.

The need for 'clean power' is why some generators are many UPS claim 'Pure Sine Wave' outputs. The added circuits normalize or correct the outputs to be 'clean'.

We are adding several sections to this post, and a quick note on 'dirty vs. clean power' will be added.

Thanks!

When you think about adding to this article may I suggest including reference to the use of LiFePO4 batteries as an alternative to standard lead acid/AGM batteries? Because they last so much longer, use the same charging technology, and are made in sizes that match many of the existing UPS battery size, they can be a drop-in replacement, if the application can justify the higher cost.

To me this is generally a no-brainer, since standard batteries lose capacity so quickly and we generally don't find out until it's too late, but they are not cheap.

It would be interesting to classify them by wave form.sinuxoidal,square and explain the differencies and benefits

In general, the application drives the wave form requirement, correct?

i.e.: Electronics benefit from 'stable', conditioned/clean square wave power, etc. Is that the benefit?

I have little knowledge and ideas of the differencies but i know there are differencies.As far as i know some wave form might be better than other (or maybe it's all about the applications so one wave form is better for one application as another wave is better for another application?).That's why i think  this,very well done article,should include also a part about wave form since when you buy an ups if you read the datasheet the wave form is reported

Tapping into my rusty memory, sine waves are always the 'best', i.e. the most compatible with all equipment and the least likely to cause problems.

Square waves by their nature have a lot of harmonics, which means they are really composed of a lot of sine wave signals at different frequencies mixed together.  Equipment can interpret this as noise, and depending on the equipment this can cause problems.  PCs are a classic example of a device which generally doesn't do well on a square wave power supply.

The noise of a square wave can also radiate to nearby equipment, showing up as RFI (radio frequency interference).  A sine wave supply doesn't do that.

Of course sine wave supplies come at increased cost, so that's the trade-off.

A decent article that sums up some of the issues is at:

https://www.fmsystems-inc.com/radio-interferance-on-cctv/

Login to read this IPVM report.

Related Reports

Exit Devices For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 25, 2020
Exit Devices, also called 'Panic Bars' or 'Crash Bars' are required by safety...
Door Fundamentals For Access Control Guide on Aug 24, 2020
Doors vary greatly in how difficult and costly it is to add electronic access...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
Dahua Buenos Aires Bus Screening Violates IEC Standards and Dahua's Own Instructions on Jun 30, 2020
Dahua has promoted Buenos Aires bus deployments as "solutions that facilitate...
Verkada Falsely Claims "First Native Cloud-based Access Control and Video Security Solution" on Jun 18, 2020
Verkada's false claims continue, this time to be the first native cloud-based...
Help Security End Users Facing Coronavirus Improve Remote Access on Mar 24, 2020
Many end-users and integrators are struggling with the impact of coronavirus...
LSP Presents 2nd Generation FP Power Supplies on Apr 29, 2020
Life Safety Power (LSP) presented its FP2 power supply in the April 2020 IPVM...
Forced Door Alarms For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 17, 2020
One of the most important access control alarms is also often ignored....
Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used...
Keypads For Access Control Tutorial on Jul 28, 2020
Keypad readers present huge risks to even the best access systems. If...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Gait Recognition Examined on Sep 14, 2020
Facial recognition faces increasing ethical and political criticisms while...
South Korea Bus Outdoor Temperature Screening Endangers Public on Aug 26, 2020
These $80,000+ South Korea bus stations have gained world-wide attention but...
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards 2020 on Sep 03, 2020
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed...
ADI Adds Lockers on Mar 20, 2020
Locker delivery is a growing trend, spurred by Amazon. Now, ADI has added...

Recent Reports

Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
X.Labs Sues FLIR on Sep 16, 2020
X.Labs, the maker of Feevr, has sued FLIR, the publicly traded thermal...
Video Surveillance 101 September Course - Last Chance on Sep 16, 2020
Today is the last chance to sign up for the Fall Video Surveillance 101...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
Startup Cawamo Presents Live Alerts With Edge AI and Cloud VMS on Sep 15, 2020
Cawamo, an Israeli edge-to-cloud analytics and VMS startup, presented its...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2020 on Sep 15, 2020
Credential choice is more debated than ever, with hacking risk for 125kHz and...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Screening Marketing In Africa on Sep 15, 2020
A multi-national African Hikvision distributor is marketing dangerously...
New Products Show Fall 2020 Announced - Register Now on Sep 14, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature New Products from over 25...
Hanwha 8K / 33MP Camera Tested on Sep 14, 2020
Hanwha Techwin has released an 8K / 33MP resolution camera, the TNB-9000 with...
Gait Recognition Examined on Sep 14, 2020
Facial recognition faces increasing ethical and political criticisms while...
Comparing 2020 Reality To 2010 Expectations on Sep 11, 2020
What can we learn from where the industry was in 2010 and what was believed...
China Dali Fever Cameras and Booming Sales Examined on Sep 11, 2020
Zhejiang Dali, one of China's original thermal technology developers, has...
Risks Of Managing End User Passwords (Statistics) 2020 on Sep 11, 2020
Alarmingly, most integrators used spreadsheets to manage passwords, IPVM...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics 2020 on Sep 10, 2020
Running one's video system on a converged network with other devices can save...