Falcon UPS

GCN LAB REVIEW

Where will you be when the lights go out?

Falcon's SSGKRP-1 UPS is an uninterrupted power supply that performs hot, cold and dirty

Depending on where in the world you might need an uninterrupted power supply, the SSGKRP-1 from Falcon Electric might be the only choice you have.

The SSGKRP-1 has a surprising amount of technology packed into it for a UPS. Yet, it’s able to support those impressive internal components in environments that would kill most computers. It’s a UPS with brains and brawn — and more than a little endurance. It’s kind of like the Navy SEAL of the UPS world, which is why we chose it as our GCN product of the month for August.

The unit has two processors, which allow it to become a true double-conversion online sine-wave-producing device. That means that the power coming out of the unit, and going into your valuable equipment, is as pure as it can be, with no spikes, peaks or valleys interrupting operations. In fact, the unit is so smart about power that it can clean up the dirtiest power in the world, the type that comes off of a generator. And it’s rated for generator sets in the 10kw to 30kw range.


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So even your little portable Honda gas generator can run your computers as long as an SSGKRP-1 sits between them. We’ve never run across any UPS that was able to clean up the power from one of those portable units. But in our testing, we revved one up and sent the dirty power through the unit, only to find a constant pure sine wave of power running though our oscilloscope on the other end.

But what is perhaps even more impressive about the SSGKRP-1 is that it can operate in almost any environment. The unit comes with wide-temperature-rated batteries. If left alone in a normal room-temperature environment, these high-end performers should last 10 years. But they are designed to take the heat, up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

The best we could do in our testing was a shed that got hotter than 100 degrees, but the SSGKRP-1 lasted all day in there with no problems. It can also go into cold environments, down to negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But again, the best we could do was a near-freezing environment for our tests, which it had no trouble conquering. We’re thinking of taking a field trip into the mountains of Western Maryland in the winter though, so the UPS might still get a cold weather workout.

In addition to the batteries, the components that make up the actual UPS, such as the front panel LEDs, can stand up to the heat and cold. That panel is very easy to read if you happen to be monitoring the machine locally, a nice touch because you probably don’t want to be spending a lot of time in the environment this UPS will be dropped into. If it’s 170 degrees or negative 40, you probably want to read the panel and skedaddle, so it’s nice that you can.

In truly harsh environments, you will want to monitor the SSGKRP-1 remotely. This can be done using the SNMP card. And it supports IPv6, so your connection can easily be made secure. The software that comes with the device, named UPSilon, performs unattended shutdown, data logging, power management and has a nice diagnostic interface as well. UPSilon was tested using a Windows 7 PC, but the software also works on all Windows server platforms, Novell Netware 5 and 6, and Linux. For an additional cost, you can get a Unix version. And there is a NFPA-70, NEC 645-11 compliant Remote Emergency Power Off interface. The REPO component means you can control the load segment of each individual outlet remotely by using a switch.

Of course the SSGKRP-1 costs more than a regular UPS. If you just need something to sit under your desk in your air-conditioned office, you don’t really need one of these.

These are for the little shack at the end of the runway, for powering mission critical components out on the front lines somewhere, regulating power coming off a generator or even utility power in a part of the world where the electricity is dirty. As such, the $2,590 price tag as configured for our testing might seem a little pricey. But if you need reliable power in any environment, then you need an SSGKRP-1. It passed all out testing and didn’t even blink at anything we threw at it, and it can take a lot more.

The SSGKRP-1 would be a valuable addition to any mission-critical application where the environment is less than perfect, and one less thing you will have to worry about in the field.

Falcon Electric, www.falconups.com

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