by Josh Shaman

Tripp Lite SmartOnline UPS Review (SU3000RTXL2U)

Tripp Lite's SU3000RTXL2U is an online UPS system (uninterruptable power supply) that provides 3000VA/2500 watts of reliable battery backup for up to seven outlets. The unit sustains regulated voltage, frequency, and a pure sine wave to confine itself from power brownouts and failures. Tripp Lite specifically designed this model to protect medical equipment, wiring closets, switches, storage devices, routers, and servers from power issues that can cause critical systems to go offline. The Tripp Lite SmartOnline instantly kicks into action by continuously routing power through a double-conversion circuit, giving it a 0ms transfer time. Battery life itself is projected at 6 minutes for a full load at 2500 watts and 15 minutes for a half load at 1250 watts without additional battery packs connected.

The Tripp Lite SmartOnline enables users to expand runtime using external battery packs and it also allows administrators to monitor and manage power over an optional network interface. The SmartOnline offers optional expanded runtime utilizing external battery packs in order to meet a wide range of needs. The SmartOnline can accomodate up to 10 of Tripp Lite's BP72V28RT-3U external battery packs daisy-chained together for a total life of up to 6.6 hours at a 2,400 watt load. Additionally supported as an option is an SNMP/Webcard that allows users to utilize the free PowerAlert network management system. From a single interface, an administrator can use PowerAlert to manage as many as hundreds of UPS systems.

Tripp Lite's 2U SmartOnline (SU3000RTXL2U) carries a 2 year warranty and has a street price of $1083. It also carries a lifetime $250,000 maximum warranty for directly connected products. The external battery packs cost $899, while the SNMP/Webcard is priced at $190.

Tripp Lite SU3000RTXL2U SmartOnline UPS Specifications

  • Rating (VA/Watts): 3000/2500
  • Output AC waveform (AC mode): Pure Sine wave, (Battery mode): Pure Sine wave
  • Efficiency at 100% load: Double-Conversion mode (88%), Economy mode (97%)
  • Transfer Time: 0ms
  • Input connection type: L5-30P
  • Output receptacles: 6 5-15/20R outlet(s); 1 L5-30R outlet(s)
  • Nominal Input Voltage(s): 100V AC, 110V AC, 115V AC, 120V AC, and 127V AC
  • Nominal Output Voltage(s): 100V, 110V, 115V, 120V (default), and 127V
  • Frequency compatibility: 50 / 60 Hz (Frequency conversion from 60 to 50 Hz -or- 50 to 60 Hz supported)
  • Surge/Noise Suppression
    • UPS AC suppression joule rating: 504 joules
    • EMI / RFI AC noise suppression
    • AC suppression response time: Instantaneous
  • Output voltage regulation
    • Line mode +/- 2%
    • Economy line mode -12%, + 10%
    • Battery mode +/- 2%
  • Heat Dissipation Full Load (BTU): Line: 1000, Battery: 1500, Econ Mode: 241
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty (worldwide)

Video Overview

Design

The Tripp Lite 3000VA SmartOnline UPS has a 2U form factor that can fit into an existing server rack or mount vertically in a workstation fashion. The SmartOnline has a black sheet metal body, with a plastic front grill covering air inlets as well as the internal battery pack. To keep internal temperatures in check, the SmartOnline UPS has a built-in cooling fan that constantly operates while the UPS is powered on to provide adequate cooling for internal components. The front of the unit features ventilation and an LED display panel that rotates for viewing in rackmount or tower configurations. One minor complaint is the basic LED display; other vendors offer LCD panels to show far more information from the UPS locally. With the SmartOnline, all of this information can obviously be accessed through software, so for most users this won't cause much trouble.

Turning to the back of the unit, we can see that there is a load of connectivity packed in the 2U. There is a serial port that gives users enhanced RS-232 monitoring data and contact-closure monitoring ability. Additionally, a HID-compliant USB input allows users to integrate their UPS with Windows and OSX power management and auto shutdown features. The SmartOnline includes power receptacles targeting 100/110/115/120/127V devices, including one NEMA L5-30R connector and six NEMA 5-15/20R outlets. The L5-30R comes into play when the SmartOnline is feeding a large power distribution device such as a switched PDU, whereas the common 5-15/20R outlets are used to direct connect equipment. These six outlets are split into two switchable load banks that can be remotely powered on or off. The UPS also features an EPO (emergency Power Off) connector to hardwire a power cutoff switch to the UPS to quickly deenergize equipment in the event of an emergency.

The Tripp Lite SmartOnline also has alarms and LEDs that function to inform the user of the device's status. LEDs indicate the battery condition: batteries in use, online mode, economy mode, etc. Users can set economy mode to reduce power consumption and to achieve cooler operation while maintaining 97% efficiency. Economy mode bypasses the double conversion circuit, which is fine for most computers that can handle a small amount of transfer time. As for the SmartOnline's alarms, they can indicate power failure, low battery, overload, replace the battery, and EPO operation. The machine also features two switches - one switch cancels an alarm or allows users to self-test, while the other switch turns the unit off and on.

Usage and Runtime

The Tripp Lite SmartOnline SU3000RTXL2U integrated easily into the StorageReview test lab, providing power protection for our StarTech 15U Server Rack. Depending on the equipment load, the SmartOnline 3kW UPS provides between 43 minutes with a 500W load down to 5.5 minutes with a 2,500W load. For our needs this provides enough cushion to ride out minor power outages and safely shutdown equipment in the event of an extended outage. Since the SmartOnline UPS is installed in our 15U portable rack, it also lets us move the rack around our office, while equipment is running, to move the compute and storage cluster into other locations.

Tripp Lite provides a helpful table detailing the runtime of the SU3000RTXL2U depending on load and how many battery expansion modules are connected. This allows customers to dial in on how much equipment is required to meet outages based on device load. In our lab with average load varying between 500W to 1,500W in the StarTech 15U rack, we can expect between 43 minutes of runtime on slow days and 12 minutes on more intensive days.

PowerAlert Power Management Software

With the SmartOnline SU3000RTXL2U equipped with the SNMPWEBCARD, Tripp Lite offers an interactive web interface to monitor and manage the UPS over the local or wide-area network. At a quick glance users can see the input and output voltages, input power load, total device load, and most importantly estimated runtime based on the current load.

The GUI also allows users to trigger UPS functions such as load-bank shutdown remotely without requiring physical access to the UPS mounted in the data center. Other advanced options such as switching the power modes from Double-Conversion to Economy can also be switched through the remote interface.

Conclusion

The Tripp Lite SmartOnline provides reliable battery backup via 7 power receptacles for a wide range of use cases. In the event of a power failure or brownout, the standard unit will provide a solid 6 minutes of backup under a full 2500 watt load or 15 minutes for a half load at 1250 watts. This number can be inflated as high as 6.6 hours with a 2,400 watt load if users add 10 optional external battery packs. Also featured, the PowerAlert network management system enables users to monitor 100s of networked UPS devices remotely from a single interface.

The Tripp Lite SmartOnline provides users with significant piece of mind. In particular, users will appreciate the connectivity and monitoring capabilities as well as the life of product $250,000 directly connected products warranty. Support for a wide range of plugs, add-on battery packs to scale to specific needs and the SNMP/Webcard offers users great functionality. Combine all of that with a zero transfer time switch from AC to battery, and users will feel at ease plugging into the Tripp Lite SmartOnline.

Bottom Line

For the solid range of use cases which the Tripp Lite SmartOnline can handle, it offers plenty of value with its 3000VA rating, optional network management system, and solid backup battery life.

Tripp Lite SmartOnline SU3000RTXL2U at Amazon.com

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