Buying  The Right Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Systems
Using UPS Market Prices to Get the Most for Your Money when
Buying a UPS
Should I buy the simplest and the smallest UPS system?

The only way to derive an intelligent solution  is to compare the available systems and  prices of different UPS sizes . Prices
of UPS systems do not exhibit  linear dollar to power relation. UPS prices are determined by various factors  such as  
market popularity of a specific UPS size,  maximum power which can be dissipated in a standard enclosure,  cost to Power
relations of power components used by manufacturers and more.  
Knowing the market prices of the different types and sizes  available in the power range you need, is necessary in order to
get enough information to make a logical decision.

Here are some guiding suggestions for home and small office, as well as for professional data center and high
power UPS applications:

1.  As a rule:  For better protection Line Interactive type should be preferred over Standby type and On Line type over
Line Interactive type. You may find in some cases almost the same cost for Online  and  Line Interactive UPS systems.
Therefore, unless other considerations prevail, choose the better system if its price is equal or only slightly higher.

2. Compare specified UPS price to the price of next size system. Consider buying next size UPS, if the added price isn't
significant, and  if its Cost to kVA ( $/ kVA) ratio,  is lower. Bigger UPS enables to increase future loads. It has bigger
battery, providing longer backup time, and longer battery life time. In some cases increase of UPS power by 50%, and
backup time by 400% requires adding only 10% to the smaller UPS cost.   

3. Consider buying a bigger system if you need to increase battery capacity, beyond the standard battery coming with the
UPS. You might pay for a bigger UPS, already equipped with the battery size you need, hundreds of dollars less than a
smaller system with extended battery.

4. Consider using several stand alone single phase UPS systems, instead of a  three phase UPS, provided loads and
installation allow. The cost of two or three single phase units is sometimes Thousands of  dollars less than one three phase
system. Multiple single phase systems may in certain cases, add redundancy in your ability to provide service.

5. Consider using three single phase UPS systems, each fed from different phase, instead of a single three phase UPS,
provided loads and installation allow. Cost of three single phase units may be thousands of dollars lower than a three phase
UPS. This configuration allows continuing operation, in case of a single UPS or a single input phase failure.

6. In redundant configuration, two or more units work in parallel, while at least one is a spare unit. Thus full power is
supplied even if a single UPS fails. Over Tenth  of  thousands dollars can be gained by investigating possible combinations
to find the lowest cost. For instance, for a redundant system supplying 60 kVA load, compare the cost of two parallel  
systems 60kVA each, to three parallel systems 30 kVA each.

UPS Price Directory

You can perform yourself, market comparison and implement the said suggestions, by using information presented on the
Internet or contacting relevant suppliers. We suggest however to consider our
UPS Price Directory   which provides average
North American Market Prices of common UPS sizes from 350VA up to 120kVA aimed to help you in selecting  the right UPS

The following steps were used to derive the price directory.

1. Market prices of  About 350 latest UPS products from  Major brand manufacturer were examined. Each UPS was
checked for conformance to required standards, is supplied with internal batteries of at least 5 minutes, is equipped with an
automatic bypass and with communications software for informing UPS state and automatic computer  turn off in case of
prolonged power outage.       

2. The examined products were segregated into five main UPS categories ( groups )

  •  Off Line UPS Systems ( called also Backup or Standby ):  from 350VA to 750VA

  • Line Interactive UPS Systems : from  500VA to 5kVA (5,000VA)

  • Online ( Double Conversion) Single Phase UPS Systems : from 700VA to 10kVA.

  • Online Single Phase Rack-Mount UPS Systems : from 700VA to 10kVA)

  • Online Three Phase UPS systems from 10kVA to 120 kVA)         

3. The price of each product was multiplied by a weighting factor that represents relative market share.

4. The average price was calculated for each UPS type and size.

We believe that the price directory can serve as a valuable tool to asses average UPS market prices. User should however
look for the best deal, based on the mentioned guidance, paying also specific attention to the brand, UPS production date  
(making sure the type wasn't discontinued), warranty, and service, particularly if the offered price is considerably lower than
stated in the Price directory.

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UPS Price Directory .
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