These solutions play a vital role. In addition to regulating the flow of energy and allowing connection to the network from a single point, they guarantee the uninterrupted action of connected devices, something non-negotiable for today's video surveillance.
By Iris Montoya Ricaurte
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems are strategic as a technology allied with security, as they can maintain the operation of IP video surveillance, which is the one that connects with PoE technology, even in times of power outages.
Let's not forget that much of the automation technology and analog video recordings stop working when the electric current is absent. Without
Mention that the devices can suffer great damage and breakdowns, in situations of rise in voltage.
This is why a power management solution is useful in both cases and is an indispensable complement to surveillance systems such as CCTV and security sensors.
In that sense, Alejandro Lavin, product manager at Eaton, explained that a UPS device supports variations in the energy level by regulating or correcting, either through the regulator or the inverter.
"Overload capacity varies by UPS model and can range from a few milliseconds with overloads greater than 150% to minutes with overloads of up to 150%."
In that vein, when you have the responsibility for security, you should not underestimate the risk of a blackout and what this entails, such as stopping recording events, interrupting perimeter monitoring or not having visual access to certain monitored areas, among other vulnerability factors.
Not having a backup technology for these moments of crisis is to allow a gap in security to open, which affects any type of vertical and requirement, but especially critical infrastructures.
However, UPS systems are also responsible in some cases for providing an additional layer of cybersecurity, something essential when we have IP cameras.
Alejandro summarizes that the primary function of a UPS is to provide backup power protection for mission-critical applications and facilities, while protecting them from grid outages or power quality issues.
In that sense, he assured that the most important challenge they have as manufacturers is "to add digital capabilities to the UPS to allow it to be used as a distributed energy resource that allows supporting networks, with high levels of variable renewable energy generation."
Power backup for effective video surveillance
According to Germán Torres, diamond agent for the Latin American channel at Vertiv, at this time all intrusion detection and video surveillance systems should have a power backup system. The expert said that it is common that near the buildings or companies where an installation of this type of systems is going to be made there are loads that are not friendly or compatible with the cameras and that could generate problems.
"What these energy management systems do is eliminate those electrical noises, generate new energy and in this way, we will have the equipment protected against quality of service problems such as interruptions, over voltages, undervoltages, etc."
In addition to this, Germán sees as strategic the acquisition of devices such as UPS for video surveillance because, from his point of view, "having a backup power system is vital because when it is required to review the information, or take validation action for acts of vandalism, it is necessary that the equipment has been energized. But surely the first thing that the people who carry out these criminal actions will try to do is cut off the energy."
Another important fact added by the Vertiv agent is that, when the power backup systems exceed powers of 20kVA or 30kVA, the support of the manufacturer is required, in addition to the intervention of an expert professional to start the equipment.
For his part, Antonio Pérez, sales director for Latin America and the Caribbean at NVT Phybridge, shared that the ChaRiot switches promoted by his company "have the possibility of monitoring the wattage, which is basically the power that is being used in the ports, in order to confirm if the devices are receiving the required wattage."
Meanwhile, Alejandro (Eaton) was emphatic that, depending on the topology of the selected UPS, the connected devices are protected against the different power quality problems that can occur in an electrical network variations of voltage, frequency, harmonics and absence of power.
Data protection, inevitable current
In terms of data protection, Eaton's product manager confirmed that its equipment can provide protection against cyberattacks since they have communication card with UL 2900-1 and IEC 62443-4-2 certification in cybersecurity.
"What makes our card different is that it uses encryption algorithms with secure keys, it only enables secure protocols, it has firmware, and it's signed and encrypted. In addition, it has a password management that meets the requirements of complexity, since it performs an authentication based on machine-to-machine connection certificates (process in which it does not save username / password information)".
Another of its features is that it has separate certificates for each protocol and only the necessary services are enabled by default, not to mention that it uses secure SMTP to send email, with optional authentication.
According to Germán (Vervit) there are two common mistakes that are made daily in the face of these solutions. The first can affect even from the design phase and is that the required applicability is not taken into account.
"At Vertiv we have specialized equipment for each of the surveillance solutions, from backup equipment for telecommunications rooms, equipment for DC power, UPS for rack mount and UPS for tower mount, among others; What we seek is to identify what the client's specific need is and offer advice, either directly or through our market service channels".
The second error that Germán pointed out corresponds to the inadequate installation of the equipment that, combined with a wrong design, could lead to under-dimensioned or oversized operations, which do not cover the needs of the client.
For the Eaton representative, there are three mistakes in particular: not consulting the installation manual, not having a good grounding installation and, thirdly, not checking the connections that help identify and correct any loose connection.
"It is important to carefully consider the location and environment where a UPS will be installed. Possible triggers such as heat, humidity and dust should always be avoided. Adequate airflow is essential, so it is critical to never block UPS vents."
Another of the inevitable tips to reduce failures, was given by Antonio (NVT Phybridge), who commented that it is relevant to understand the IP devices that are being installed to avoid problems due to power, overload, or lack of power.
"All devices come with their necessary specifications for proper operation. Even when we talk about PoE, it's important to know how much power a device system requires to avoid the problem of lack of power when installing power management solutions."
Environmental sustainability and energy saving
"We are very concerned about developing equipment with high energy efficiency." Germán assured. "We have reached efficiencies in energy-saving modes by up to 98%. This reduces the carbon footprint compared to third-party protective equipment or old technologies."
Likewise, in the specific case of Vertiv, they offer other complementary product lines that are focused on reducing water consumption, such as cooling systems, which would be applicable to Telecommunications and Data Center rooms.
In that vein, the product manager at Eaton said that sustainability and energy savings are undoubtedly compatible with energy backup solutions.
"An interactive UPS with the grid helps decarbonize energy at the grid level, which means its sustainability benefit extends beyond data centers." An issue that according to the expert changes the game in terms of energy management.
Antonio (NVT Phybridge) shared that his brand's offering helps to achieve the correspondence between environmental sustainability and savings from two points of view.
The first would be the more efficient use of switch ports, by centralizing power remotely, thanks to the long-range PoE capabilities of CHARIoT solutions, which avoid intermediate points, greatly reducing energy consumption. For example, "with our Switches we can avoid the need to install IDFs or MDFS closets every 100 meters. This helps us reduce energy costs by being able to enable IP points over distances up to 600 meters."
These solutions, secondly, from the point of view of environmental conservation, "allow the reuse of existing wiring (coaxial, UTP of 1, 2 or 4 pairs), in this way we are avoiding that tons of cable end up in the landfill".
Relevance of Power Management Solutions
Eaton expert Alejandro Lavin noted that, with the rise of big data, edge computing and the cloud, the importance of business continuity, in monetary terms and availability of resources to the public, is paramount for companies from various verticals, which are, at the same time, under pressure to be more efficient. sustainable and profitable than ever.
An issue that must also occur without compromising resilience or security. "That's the importance of power backup solutions today, and not only talking about UPS but also digital intelligence, cyber-secure products and services, reliable and compliant solutions, to help companies realize real business benefits, while optimizing their operations for the future."
Finally, the sales director of NVT Phybridge was very critical and maintained that today it is possible to observe units that require a lot of energy to operate, and even stated that most systems remain active 24/7. Which, for him, makes it difficult to manage energy, since systems tend to grow and more equipment is added and, as a consequence, the need for energy increases.
To conclude, he said that a current challenge is that there are various equipment that occupy constant energy, but these have not necessarily been developed with energy management technologies, because historically wanting to save energy has been seen as the loss of capabilities.