Electricity seems like magic. Someone plugs odd looking pieces of metal into the wall and things run. A giant machine tens to hundreds of miles away makes the electricity and someone pays the bill. Case closed. Control of that esoteric concept seems foreign. But you can control it. You can manage it and, most importantly, you can improve it and thus protect and improve how your equipment functions and, as such, how productive your coworkers can be.
“Most people have no clue about the quality of the electricity that comes out of those smiley-faced outlets on the wall,” says Dennis Mariasis, A/V Business Development and Brand manager at power-protection manufacturer Tripp Lite. “We’re dealing with century-old grids designed to feed electricity that makes light bulbs glow and little else.” Though old-fashioned incandescent bulbs are largely immune to the voltage fluctuations, transients, noise, interference and momentary interruptions that were common then, and now, the same cannot be said for the sensitive electronic equipment throughout your facilities and organization at large.
Electricity can be very ugly, with waveforms that look far different than the idealized smooth sine wave of alternating current we expect. Too little power — a brownout or voltage sag — can be as bad as too much — spikes or transients. Unsteady voltage levels and line noise are equally unhealthy for A/V gear or delicate electronic medical equipment. Circuit board components may fry or motors, including the fans that provide vital cooling to equipment racks and projector