3 Reasons to Use Smart Power Supplies in Your Project Today

One weekend last winter, the access control system malfunctioned at a company’s satellite offices in a California suburb. The first simple solution, as your IT department will tell you with so many modern technologies, was to reset the system by cycling the power off and on again. Unfortunately, there was no one on site who knew where the locked panels were located or had the ability to access the electrical circuit breakers.

An after-hours technician was called, traveled to the site and cycled the electrical power, bringing the system back online and functioning correctly. The company ended up paying hundreds of dollars for after-hours service to implement this simple fix. Could it have been avoided?

Networked power solutions make your security and access control system smarter with historical data, analytics and remote monitoring capabilities

The answer is yes. Today’s networked, intelligent power solutions integrated with access control platforms support the ability to proactively monitor and diagnose potential failures ahead of a problem and to reboot field devices and manage batteries remotely. When integrated natively into the access controller board, the power system reports to and provides alert notifications to the Security Management System (SMS) and can also provide a detailed history and assessment of power. These new power solutions offer building owners and service providers advantages in three important areas:

1. Design

Historically, it required some expertise and a lot more wiring labor to efficiently lay out the wall-mounted access control equipment, requiring three enclosures, one each for system power, access panels and two lock power supplies. Today’s smart power solutions streamline all this to a single enclosure within a smaller footprint and even include rack-mount configurations for IT closets or data centers. They may be preconfigured in the factory with standardized wiring per a specific system manufacturer’s technology. This approach allows consistent implementation across an organization, campus or enterprise location, simplifying installation and future service.

2. Data

When integrated with an SMS, networked power solutions can provide actionable intelligence to building owners and service providers. This intelligence might include alerts about circuits that are drawing too much power or out-of-tolerance battery backup time, or data about the average temperature of circuits, number of times a door has been unlocked, or the number of times a network has failed. For clients managing large systems at multiple locations, this information can provide notification of a pending problem, assist with management of maintenance schedules and enhance predictability on the performance of their access control system.  

3. Dollars

Since they’re configured in a factory, with the security system manufacturer’s custom components pre-wired, single-enclosure power solutions cost less overall than power systems installed by a field technician on site. The factory-made approach also improves quality and consistency. By standardizing the product across a client’s organization, services times and maintenance costs are reduced. With this modular approach, when a component does fail, it’s easy to pull the pre-wired connectors out and pop the new component in.

The advantages of networked and IP systems and solutions are clear. This connectivity offers greater control and more data as well as remote monitoring and management capabilities. Power is the heartbeat and lifeline of everything; without it there’s no connectivity. So why not leverage this critical service on the network along with your other systems?

Smart power supplies are a natural extension of the intelligent building and IoT trends, offering clients greater insight into their building’s operations and remote service and triage. It’s the best solution for guaranteed reliability and uptime for clients in every vertical market segment.