An Uninterruptible Power Supply (or UPS) is a device that allows a computer to keep running when incoming power is interrupted. An essential piece of kit, a UPS provides back-up power when the regular source of power fails or drops below the required standard.
Power and the protection of power is crucial to many industry sectors. From computer hardware such as data centres to telecommunications, a UPS system provides continuous power to prevent potential data loss and serious disruption to organisations and businesses everywhere.
Differing from a standby generator, a UPS is a type of instantaneous power that provides protection from unexpected input power loss. This type of power uses stored energy which is supplied in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels with the type of UPS unit ranges varying in size.
The battery run-time of most UPS systems is relatively short, often only a few minutes in total. In essence, the use of a UPS is to bridge the gap between power outages. The battery backup provides enough time for the computer to shut down with minimal risk to data loss and for a back-up generator to kick-in and take over from powering the load.
There are three general categories of modern UPS system or topologies; Online, Line-interactive and Standby/Offline. These systems are defined by how power moves through the unit. While all three UPS topologies meet the input voltage requirements, there are significant differences in both performance and demands on the battery.
Online or a ‘Double Conversion’ provides near-perfect power regardless of the condition of the incoming power, offering the greatest protection for users. This type of UPS is continually working, rather than jumping into action when there is a power outage. With Online UPS there is a constant flow of stable power. It supplies power to the AC load through the Rectifier and the Inverter Combo.
Online UPS systems tend to cost more than other systems, working to maintain a consistent current flow to protect network equipment. Upon fluctuation, the rectifier within the UPS is bypassed, with power sourced from the battery.
In direct comparison to the type of UPS system mentioned above, Standby or Offline UPS offers more of an intervention in terms of power supply. Rather than continually cycling energy, this version of UPS kicks in when it detects an abnormality or a disruption in the regular power source. A Standby UPS will switch to the battery to safeguard any connected equipment. It directly supplies the power to the AC load from the AC Mains and uses an inverter to power the AC load from the DC battery.
This type of mode is best suited to a non-critical and less-demanding home network and office environment. For instance, where there is a momentarily loss of power such as work stations, terminals and equipment under 1KVA.
A Line-interactive UPS adds an auto-transformer to the basic standby UPS. It has the capability to increase or decrease voltage output.
A Line-interactive UPS system offers a more middle-ground solution, offering various operating modes, that the system itself determines. From economy mode and double-conversion mode to active filter mode, the system determines the most appropriate solution for the situation at hand.
This type of system is useful during ‘brownouts’ which can be more frequent than full-on power loss. A Line-interactive UPS maintains the inverter in line and redirects the battery’s DC current path from the normal charging mode to supplying the current when power is lost.
A UPS differs from a standby generator or emergency power in that it provides instantaneous protection from input power interruptions. It does this by means of generators and, for more high power uses, flywheels.
Having a UPS installed for your business or organisation could pay dividends. Protecting your power supply is not just about turning the lights back on. Ensuring your critical power supply is maintained and shielded from dips or surges will help protect hardware, save money and of course improve business efficiency. Here are a few advantages to having a UPS installed:
At WBPS Power, our UPS infrastructure projects are designed, installed and commissioned by our team of in-house specialists.
By working with WBPS on your UPS installation, we can ensure that your UPS system infrastructure is fully operational at all times, providing an essential wedge between a power failure and a generator back-up supply.
At WBPS, we offer a full turnkey service for UPS installations, which covers:
It is vital to ensure that your UPS system is fully operational at all times. With our UPS Maintenance Package, we can help you keep your system in tip-top condition.
As well as Maintenance of your UPS system, we also offer Commisioning, Site Survey, Fault Analysis, Spare Parts and Emergency Response. With our teams in every area on hand, we are able to help you get the system that is correct for you. With work undertaken and completed to the highest of standards, our expertise will ensure minimum downtime and continual, constant power.
To find out more about how WBPS can help you with a UPS system and the various packages that are on offer, speak to one of our experts today.