How Does a UPS Work?

Written by Nite and Day Power on .

A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is the difference between uninterrupted business operations and sitting in the dark.

Yet, although many businesses swear by their UPS power supply, few understand how it really works.

You already know the main function of your UPS power supply is to provide temporary power if you lose service from your utility. The UPS steps in as soon as voltage drops to an unacceptable level. This prevents equipment damage and allows you to respond to the situation.

Smaller UPS devices enable an orderly shutdown, while larger ones allow you to continue to operate for some period of time. It all depends on the size of your UPS system and what equipment relies on it.

There are three kinds of UPS power supply in wide use:

1. Standby UPS

A standby UPS is the simplest. It switches to battery backup when voltage is below or above safe levels. The UPS power supply draws DC battery power and then inverts it to maintain service to connected devices. It is most appropriate for consumer electronics, point of sale systems, and security systems.

2. Line Interactive UPS

This more sophisticated UPS power supply incorporates technology that allows it to correct small-scale power fluctuations, including under- and over-voltages. “Conditioning” is performed without switching to battery power thanks to an onboard autotransformer. PCs, network equipment, and mid-range servers can all benefit.

3. Double Conversion UPS (Online UPS)

This high-end UPS power supply ensures consistent, clean power by converting incoming AC power to DC and back. These systems have zero transfer time because they operate on isolated DC power. A double conversion UPS is right for critical IT, telecom, data center, and medical equipment, among others.

UPS Power Supply Output Can Differ by Model

A UPS power supply also differs in terms of its ability to protect equipment by managing waveform output:

1. Sine Wave Output

Sine wave is a smooth and repetitive oscillation of AC power ideal for any sensitive electronic equipment. This prevents connected equipment from behaving unexpectedly during the switch from utility to backup power.

2. Simulated Sine Wave

This is an “approximated” sine wave – visualized, it looks more like a set of steps than a smooth wave. This makes the UPS power supply more affordable, so it is frequently used in standby and line-interactive systems.

To discover the right UPS system for your business, contact Nite & Day Power.

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