What Is Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

A UPS- uninterruptible power supply is a device that allows a computer to keep operating for at least a short time when the main power source is failed. UPS devices also protect from power surges. A UPS incorporates a battery that “kicks in” when the device senses a failure of power from the primary source. If an end-user is operating on the computer when the UPS notifies of the power loss, they have time to save any data they are working on and exit before the secondary power source (the battery) runs out. When power surges occur, a UPS prevents the surge so that it does not damage the computer. While UPS systems are generally called double-conversion, line-interactive, and standby designs, these names have been used differently and manufacturers implement them differently- at least one system enables any of the three modes. 

The different types of UPS systems

There are three kinds of uninterruptible power supplies- static, dynamic (rotary), and hybrid. Static uses power electronic converters, dynamic uses electromagnetic engines (generators and motor), and hybrid uses a combination of both static and dynamic. All three basic UPS- uninterruptible power supply technologies have their position in protecting today’s distributed IT infrastructure mainly on the network edge. Every technology has its advantages and each may be required for configuring cost-effective power protection, particularly in complex systems. Selecting a UPS for your particular application needs a review of several factors. The load size, location, and criticality of the devices to be protected are necessary, as well budgetary considerations, when determining a UPS for power backup. The three significant kinds of UPS system configurations are Offline/Standby, Line-Interactive, and Online Double Conversion UPS. These UPS systems are defined by how power runs through the unit.

1. Offline/standby UPS

The offline or standby UPS is the most basic out of the three. It gives light surge protection and battery backup. Throughout normal operations, it receives its power from its main power source (generally an AC outlet). Once it senses that the main power source goes beyond sufficient limits or fails, it changes to the “offline/standby” battery where it will then go to the DC/AC inverter, as such, there will be a short transfer time between the main power source and battery. The key to the offline UPS feature is the range of power the unit will take before switching to battery backup. The wider the scale, the less draining on the battery and the more backup time available when the power shuts off. The more times the UPS switches to battery backup, the shorter the battery life. 

This technology is suitable for devices under 1500VA such as small offices, private home computers, and other less critical applications. Offline UPS is an excellent choice for those needing lower power capacity and expense. Offline UPS technology gives power backup protection for desktop equipment, gaming consoles, workstations, wireless channels, and other electronics. During a power outage, it provides enough runtime to save work in the process and finish an orderly shutdown of devices. In addition to power backup, most offline UPS systems give basic surge protection as well.

2. Line-Interactive UPS

The line-interactive UPS-uninterruptable power supply has a similar form to the offline or standby. The line-interactive design can manage short under-voltages and over-voltages by using a multi-tap variable-voltage autotransformer or a buck-boost converter. Moreover, throughout these short under/over-voltages, the battery is not being used and is still being charged till there is a big under/over-voltage. Beyond battery backup, line-interactive UPS provides far greater control over power variations than offline systems. The significant advantage of line-interactive UPS is the voltage boost circuitry and the range of input voltage that the UPS gets. The wider the range, the more complete protection you will have. Line-Interactive units also provide Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) filtering. This UPS is perfect for applications where you are not protecting mission-critical devices and the utility power is fairly clean. These UPS units are typically reasonable, even for a smaller office.

3. Online/Double Conversion UPS

The online/double-conversion UPS varies from offline or standby as the DC/AC inverter is always connected. This means there will be no transfer time between the main power source and battery, providing higher protection against spikes, sags, electrical noise, and total power failure. AC power is stable and accurate upon generation. But throughout transmission and distribution, it is subject to voltage sags, spikes, and complete failure that may interfere with computer operations, cause data loss, and damage equipment. When it comes to safeguarding critical IT loads, only online double conversion technology protects completely against all these power problems, giving the highest levels of security for networks. An online UPS system is usually called double conversion as well because incoming power is converted to direct current (DC) and then converted back to AC. This AC-DC/DC- AC design assures an extended degree of isolation of the load from the irregularities on the main supply. The online UPS takes the incoming AC power supply and converts it to DC using a rectifier to maintain the battery and the connected load via the inverter so that no power transfer switches are required. If the chief AC input breaks, the rectifier drops out of the circuit and the batteries retain the power running to the device connected to the UPS. When AC input power is restored, the rectifier resumes carrying most of the load and starts charging the batteries. Because power runs by an online UPS constantly, the output is an ideal sine wave. This type of UPS preserves the critical load from virtually all power disturbances, including subtle harmonics and waveform distortion.

Online double conversion is the most common UPS mode of operation applied for protecting large data centers by giving the highest level of power quality to the load always. Online systems also provide frequency regulation, required for use with backup generator systems to protect from variations common at generator start-up.

Understanding UPS Systems- The basic things you need to know

Many people who deal with emergency backup power are often asked to handle several complex systems that need special attention to parts, efficiency, and power quality. It’s a lot to deal with, and it always helps to have some guidance on the basics of these systems. Here is an overview for understanding UPS systems. To understand UPS systems, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the types of UPS units. Understanding UPS systems don’t have to be rocket science. Our experts at RightPower can help in understanding the nuances of these systems in your environment.

Right Power Technology, founded in 2000, as a pioneer in developing and manufacturing advanced UPS systems and solutions, Right Power Technology now has the enviable distinction of being a significant player in the industry, education, and commercial fields. Visit our official website to see the best ups suited to your requirements. http://rightpowerups.com.my/.