Perimeter Security News
November 2021

Don’t Go Without Backup

Automated gate systems are the first line of defense for many sensitive and secure critical infrastructure sites.

The security of any site depends on a working automated gate system. Any downtime with the gate system could open the site and the client to criminal or terrorist attack. Ensuring that the gate system is always working - even in a power outage - is critical for the security of the site. When dealing with sites where security is a priority, it is a good idea to consider using a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) as an option. UPS systems help keep the gate running in the event of an AC Power outage. The UPS will provide back up power to the gate operator and to the accessories that are drawing power from the operator until AC power is restored.

There are a few different ways backup power can be provided to the gate operator system. The first is an online UPS system. In this type of back up system you have AC power that runs the battery charger, while the gate operator is a DC machine with a DC motor. The operator is always running off DC power regardless of whether AC power is present or not - AC only powers the battery charger. If DC power is lost, the batteries provide power to the gate operator and any devices connected to the operator’s power supply. As the batteries are depleted, the AC charger replenishes them. When AC power is lost, the operator and gate system will have a full charge and the system continues to run as if nothing has happened. Once the batteries run out of charge the gate system will no longer operate.

Another frequently used back up system is an offline system. This system could use either a DC UPS or an AC inverter for backup power. With a DC system, you have a spare DC motor that is used just in case AC power is lost. During normal operation the operator uses an AC motor powered by the incoming AC power. When AC power is lost, the operator switches to the spare DC motor and is powered from the reserved DC power from the batteries. Another offline system utilizes an inverter. The operator runs off of AC power normally. In the event of AC power loss the operator will use stored DC power from the batteries and invert it to AC power. The operator is always running off of AC power even if main AC power is lost.

No matter the type of backup you choose, it is important to account for any critical devices connected to the operator that are drawing power when AC power is lost. Try to use low power draw accessories to help extend the life of the batteries which will help provide more backup cycles for your client. Most online or offline back up systems will have a programable option to fail safe or fail secure. When the batteries reach a predetermined charge level the operator will either go open and stay open or go closed.

HySecurity provides both a traditional online DC back up UPS systems and offline AC inverter systems for our industrial and commercial product lines. Our backup systems are very robust and provide more backup power than the basic 'open and die' systems that some manufacturers provide. We intelligently monitor the charge of the batteries along with the ambient temperature. This allows us to adjust the charge rate accordingly. We also provide heating and cooling systems for our backup cabinets as a standard feature. These features help extend the life of the batteries and ensure the batteries get an efficient and full charge. Contact the Specification Sales Team for help selecting the best operator and backup system for your client and application.

Perimeter Security News is produced by the Specification Support Team.