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Overview of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

Eric Gehler

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When a power source fails, that failure can result in the loss of data, applications, capacity and other impacts. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a piece of equipment that serves as a buffer between a power source and the equipment (computers, servers, machinery, etc. ) that require power to operate. If a power source fails, the UPS can supply enough electricity to help avoid an operational impact. They're typically used as an emergency resource. Though the upfront investment can be large, their availability for mission critical applications during power outages can be invaluable. Below, we'll describe how an uninterruptible power supply works, a few ways in which they're used and how they can be a solution for a broad range of power needs.

How An Uninterruptible Power Supply Works

There are a few types of UPS's (including offline, line interactive and online). Each type works differently. That being said, they work from the same fundamental principles. At its most basic, a UPS converts power from AC to DC. The power is stored within a battery while the battery is charged with a component called a rectifier. If a power source suffers an outage or the connection is severed, the battery determines how long the UPS can sustain sufficient power to maintain operational integrity. A UPS also includes a component called the inverter. The power is converted to AC before it is delivered to the equipment that needs it. Ideally, when a power source becomes unavailable, the UPS takes over immediately to provide a seamless and constant source of electrical input.

Practical Applications

The most common application for a UPS is in the event of a power failure. When a power outage occurs, it can cause a company's entire operation to stop. This can carry a significant cost in lost production. Another use for a UPS is during voltage sags and spikes. Occasionally, a power source can experience fluctuations in voltage. While a sag in the current can dilute power from important equipment, a spike can actually damage equipment. A UPS can help regulate the flow of the electrical current.

Ultimately, the continuous flow of power provided by a UPS can be beneficial in thousands of circumstances. These can include helping computers maintain functionality, avoiding severe data loss, keeping automatic doors operating properly and countless other uses.

Power Solutions For Varying Needs

Whether you're running a solitary computer at home or mission critical applications in a large data center, a UPS can help normalize voltage flow and provide a constant source of electricity should a power source fail. They're available in a wide range of sizes and power capacities with prices that reflect their respective features. When the power fails, your exposure to loss of data and other impacts catapults. Invest in a robust UPS solution to mitigate that risk.

Power Systems & Controls is the industry standard for Uninterruptible Power Supply and Frequency Converters


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