UPS Systems Explained

UPS, or uninterruptible power supplies, offer battery backup and voltage regulation for equipment protection in a variety of forms. UPS are often used to protect computers, servers and other electrical equipment from damage during power outages. They also provide a window of time for safe shutdown of equipment when necessary.

UPS systems are available in a range of form factors, capacity and runtimes to suit different applications and budgets. They can be mounted on a wall or used in freestanding tower configurations. Some UPS are designed to provide long-term power to remote locations where a generator isn’t an option, while others are designed for portability.

All UPS systems are designed to provide surge suppression, voltage regulation and battery backup. Some are rated for single-phase power, while others use three-phase. Three-phase UPS are typically required for large data centers, industrial manufacturing and hospitals.

Line-interactive UPS technology provides a good balance between protection and operating cost. This type of UPS system monitors the incoming voltage level and automatically transfers to battery back-up within 4-6 milliseconds. It also reduces peaks and valleys in the incoming AC power supply by clipping or boosting power, while maintaining a consistent clean output.

Standby UPS systems have a manual bypass switch that allows users to manually disconnect the unit from incoming utility power. This feature is useful when troubleshooting or servicing a UPS. Standby UPS doesn’t deal with erratic power problems such as brownouts and voltage sags, but it does offer better surge protection than a basic power strip.

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