Tripp Lite Power Protection Safeguards Sensitive Equipment Against Midwest Power Drains

Aug 14, 1998, 01:00 ET from Tripp Lite

    CHICAGO, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Tripp Lite, a world leader of
 manufacturing power protection equipment, announced Com Ed's struggle to meet
 the need for power on peak demand days may threaten the safety of unprotected
 electronic equipment, especially computer systems.
     Due to corporate cutbacks and safety problems, Com Ed has reduced the
 number of working plants, rendering it unable to meet the region's demand for
 power as customers increase their use of air conditioners and other heavy-draw
 devices during periods of intense summer heat.  In an effort to meet the
 demand, Com Ed officials have contracted with other utilities to purchase
 power, if available, at inflated costs.  If that option fails, Com Ed will
 resort to "rolling blackouts" which will randomly cut off power -- without
 warning -- to neighborhoods ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand
 customers, for up to two hours at a time.
     According to the Chicago Tribune, Com Ed barely averted rolling blackouts
 during a recent heat wave because other utilities could not spare power.  A
 tornado in Toledo, Ohio knocked out the transmission lines that would have fed
 power to Com Ed.  Storms also knocked out some power generating plants,
 creating a power shortage in eastern states.  "Most of the utilities in this
 part of the country are fighting to serve their own needs and have little or
 nothing to sell," said Brant Eldridge, executive manager of the East Central
 Area Reliability Council, which includes 17 major utilities in Ohio, Michigan,
 Indiana, and several other states.  "Things are really tight."  Com Ed
 scrambled to find utilities with extra power and managed to secure just enough
 to meet the local demand.
     Keelin Wyman, Executive Vice President at Tripp Lite, said rolling
 blackouts are destructive to computer users.  "Loss of unsaved data files is a
 definite result, as well as damage to the internal circuitry and hardware of
 their electronic equipment.  Affected businesses stand to lose money in lost
 productivity, data and potential equipment repairs."  According to Contingency
 Planning Study, power failures account for more than 45% of computer data
 loss, and a study conducted by the Yankee Group reports downtime costs the
 average small business about $1,000 per hour.  This amount increases with
 company size.
     Even when power is restored, customers need to be wary.  "After an outage,
 power is generally unstable for several seconds, often sending massive surges
 down the lines which can threaten the life of electronic equipment," said
     Wyman recommends the use of power protection to safeguard equipment from
 equipment damage and data loss.  Uninterruptible power supplies (known as a
 UPS) provide battery backup to allow work to continue through power outages
 and low voltage (brownout) conditions or to provide time to save open files
 and shut down the system.  Built-in surge suppression filters out power surges
 before they can damage equipment.
     Recently, another setback to the region's supply of power resulted from an
 explosion at a local power plant.  The explosion sent a massive surge down the
 power lines, causing lights to flicker, clocks to reset, and computers to
 flash error messages.  "This incident is an example that power problems can
 occur at any time, for a myriad of reasons," said Wyman.  "Power problems are
 unpredictable.  It pays to be prepared."
     A nationwide survey reports that, on average, one surge per day of up to
 1,000 volts occurs in every electrical environment, causing equipment
 degradation over time.  Furthermore, a survey published in the USA Today
 states that 24% of the 1.5 million PCs damaged or destroyed in 1997 resulted
 from power surges and lightning strikes, amounting to $600 million in damages.
     Wyman recommends the use of power protection year-round, not just during
 the tenuous summer months, to counter such losses and preserve electronic
 equipment and data.  He suggests equipment be protected by at least a surge
 suppressor, which is a lower cost alternative to a UPS system.  "Surge
 suppressors do not provide temporary power, but they do protect equipment from
 damaging surges."
     According to a recent survey published in Electrical Systems Design, more
 than 95% of those studied estimated they received payback of their power
 protection investment within three years.  Compared to the cost of replacing
 or repairing damaged or destroyed systems, power protection is a
 cost-effective investment.
     Tripp Lite has built a reputation as a world leader in power protection
 solutions by providing enhanced service and innovative products for more than
 75 years.  Tripp Lite is headquartered in Chicago, Ill., and maintains a
 global presence with fully staffed offices worldwide.
     Tripp Lite manufactures more than 300 different power products, including
 SmartPro(R), DataCenter(TM), Unison(R), Internet Office(TM), OmniSmart(TM), BC
 Personal(R) and BC Pro(R) UPS lines; PowerAlert(R) Advanced Network Monitoring
 Software; Isobar(R) Premium Surge Suppressors; Super Series Surge Suppressors;
 Network Dataline Protectors; and Line Conditioners.
     Additional information about Tripp Lite and its products can be found on
 the PowerZone(TM), Tripp Lite's web site, at or by calling
 Tripp Lite's Customer Support at 773-869-1234.
     Tripp Lite is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

SOURCE Tripp Lite