The situation is as follows: You recently spent a significant amount of money on a bespoke gaming setup and now you want to save money by ignoring power protection. A month after purchasing your new prized possession, there is an unanticipated power outage, but you received no protection against that kind of occurrence.
The outcome? A power surge has now destroyed your expensive gaming computer. The worst part is that if you hadn’t skimped on surge protection, losing your computer might have been easily avoided. Owning a computer and other expensive devices in general need power protection, which is non-negotiable. It is the best type of insurance you can purchase because it shields you from potential harm. Your electronics and data are at risk in more ways than just power outages. Your electronics are not only vulnerable to power outages (both brief and long-term), but also to sudden voltage changes brought on by brownouts and power surges.
Basic surge protectors and power distribution units are among the products for power protection. A PDU is the best purchase for anyone who needs to safeguard many electronics in the same room as their PC, while a simple surge protector strip is still preferable than nothing. An uninterruptible power supply, which also includes a backup power source for prolonged blackouts to protect your data and open files, offers the best protection for larger rooms of equipment.
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What Are VA Ratings?
Volt-ampere rating, or VA rating, is the first consideration in your purchasing decision. Your power protection’s voltage and current handling capabilities are included in its VA rating.
Selecting a PDU (or other type of power protection device) that can handle the current that your gadgets produce is essential. It’s comparable to having too many appliances plugged into a space with just one circuit breaker. Your circuit breaker would, well, break in that situation because the combined amperes drawn by all of those appliances would be too much for it to manage. Regarding your power protection, the same is true.
Think carefully about whatever electronic you intend to use with this PDU since you must select a VA rating that can support anything you intend to put into it. If you don’t, you risk losing the PDU and the connected devices.
If the VA rating is incorrect, in addition to harming your power distribution unit and the items it is meant to safeguard, your power protection will be less accurate. Because of this, it’s crucial to select power protection that is properly rated for your requirements. Knowing the current in amps and the voltage in volts of each item that will be plugged into your PDU, surge protector, or uninterruptible power supply can help you determine the appropriate VA rating (UPS).
What Happens if the VA Rating is Too Low?
The most frequent issue with PDU purchases is discovering after the fact that the VA rating is too low. A wire that is resistant to power flow is part of the circuit made inside the PDU. This specifies the maximum amount of current it can support without harming the gadgets hooked into it or the PDU itself.
That’s correct; if you select power protection with a VA rating that is too low for the current output of your electronics, you risk losing your computer (along with other electronics) and the power distribution unit (PDU), as well as any data that may be stored on your computer and/or server, if applicable.
What is a PDU?
Between your power supply and your power inputs—or the gadgets you’ll connect into it, such your PC and peripherals—is a power distribution unit. A PDU can be the common power strip in its most basic form, ideally with surge protection. These basic PDUs are available without surge protection, although that is not advised. Surge protection adds very little to the cost of a power strip, and the added dollars are well spent for the added piece of mind.
In addition, you can purchase a floor-mounted PDU that serves as a power management bridge and can control the power demands of numerous equipment racks at once. A floor mount device can be useful for anyone who runs a lot of equipment, but you may see these at offices or LAN cafes.
The titan of all power protection products is a rack-mounted PDU or smart PDU, which manages the power demands of several switches, servers, and centralized data centers. A smart PDU can be useful for power users, large offices, and anyone running a lot of servers, but for the majority of heavy users, a floor-mounted PDU will do.
When Should I Consider Power Protection?
Whether you use a high-power computer or a low-power one, everyone who uses a computer should think about power protection. No matter what kind of user you are, power surges don’t care; you don’t want to end up with a fried desktop (or a whole rack of fried equipment). Accordingly, depending on your power load, you should think about several sorts of power protection systems. They consist of:
Using power strips or surge protectors
units that distribute power (PDUs)
dependable power supply (UPS)
How to Calculate Your VA Needs
You may determine your VA requirements using a basic calculator if you know the amps and voltage of the power you’re working with (or the equation behind it). The current in amps must be multiplied by the voltage in volts to convert single-phase amps to VA. The equation is the square root of the current in amps times the line-to-line voltage in volts if you’re converting three-phase amps to VA.