A Closer Look: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

UPS Battery BackupThe fully loaded CCTV inspection van includes all the tools an inspector needs to autonomously travel to a site, make a thorough inspection of a wastewater pipeline, and return to home base with a clear, accurate video filled with helpful observations. Such tools include:

  • A computer (specifically a laptop or preferably a rackmount because they’re “sized” for the job, and more rugged. Read our article on rackmounts here.)
  • Robot crawler with camera and CCTV reel attached to a Sensoray
  • POSM Software to manage it all
  • A portable power generator so your equipment has electricity for a full day’s work*

*A note on two alternatives to portable power generators: Solar/battery generators are becoming popular. A UPS is not necessary with this power generator. If your truck uses an inverter for the power generator, we would still recommend that you plug the inverter into a UPS.


Pipeline inspection vans operate successfully with this setup and perform plenty of successful, quality CCTV inspections throughout the industry, but there’s one piece of equipment that many teams don’t include, undervalue, and would probably save them money over time.

Let’s take A Closer Look at why your van should include a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply, or put simply, a backup battery).

Power generators provide the necessary energy your equipment needs on-site to keep running. While they offer a reliable power source, voltage consistency is a problem.

...your van should include a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply, or put simply, a backup battery).

Power generators are susceptible to surges:  unpredictable voltage spikes which can wreak havoc on your equipment, especially your computer. Problems from voltage spikes can include, but not limited to:

  • Power supply (power cord) damage
  • Interrupted video
  • Corrupted video
  • Unreliable data saves

These voltage spikes are unavoidable, and left unaddressed, will cause “snowballing” performance problems with all your equipment--but most especially your computer; the device that stores all your inspection data and from which you operate… well… everything.

CCTTV InspectionOverloading the copper components (copper is vital to the internal workings of every piece of your equipment, including  power supplies) causes irreversible damage to your computer, software, and the equipment itself. The worst case scenario from a power surge, a sudden hard drive wipe, is unlikely but not impossible.

Putting aside the worst case, the most likely scenario is that your company will need to replace components and equipment faster than normal or necessary. Damage caused by power surges is tough to track down, even with access to our highly talented POSM Tech Support. Depending on your exact issue, your down time may be considerable!

Damage caused by power surges is tough to track down... your down time may be considerable!

These voltage spikes are not an insurmountable occupational hazard of the industry, and a reliable solution is not cost prohibitive.

A battery backup (UPS) costs around $300 per unit--or the cost of a cheap laptop. The average window of reliability of a UPS is roughly three years, So for $100 per year, you can prolong the life and reliability of your expensive equipment. Do I even need to say it? This investment will save serious money long-term and could also prevent the corruption of important data.

How does it work? Simple.

  • Plug all your devices into the UPS, including the power generator.
  • The generator charges the UPS while operating. No need to charge the battery between uses.
  • The UPS will “absorb” those occasional power spikes from the generator.
  • The power flow from the UPS will remain even, and… well, uninterrupted.    

What should you consider when shopping for a good “Smart Portable UPS” battery:

  • Do not go cheap; you get what you pay for. Budget for around $300.
  • Plan to replace the UPS every three years.
  • Price out reliable name brands. We have no business agreements, but have seen good results from: Tripp-Lite, APC, and CyberPower.
  • Your UPS is a power strip; make sure your unit has sufficient outlets for your devices..
  • To  efficiently power the equipment of a "typical" truck setup, we recommend a UPS that outputs at least 800 watts.

So what’s the POSM Software promotion? Where’s our sales pitch? Surprise, there isn’t one. This blog is a pro tip recommendation that we think will improve your equipment’s efficiency and help you do your job better. (Okay, this also means we don’t have to transfer your license to a new computer quite as often, so we’re not being 100% magnanimous.) we’re not selling you anything that directly benefits us--we just think the UPS batteries are important, and if your inspection trucks aren’t equipped with  them, you need to seriously look into it.

But hey, if you want to talk to one of our knowledgeable tech support experts or if you’re new here and want to learn more about our 60-Day Fully functional FREE Trial Download, click here to contact us!