A UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) is an electrical device that keeps a computer running for a given period when the main source of power is lost. It also protects the equipment from power surges, which can be quite detrimental.
A UPS consists of a battery, like those purchased from UPS Battery Shop, that starts providing power when the gadget senses power loss from the main source. So, if you are working on a computer and the UPS notifies you of power loss, you have adequate time to save or at least wrap up on your work. This is advantageous as it helps prevent things like data corruption and loss of important files when a sudden power loss occurs. All data in a computer’s RAM is lost when the power goes out, and that’s why a UPS is important. Also, when surges occur, you have adequate time to power off your computer as it should, thus preventing unwarranted damage.
Uninterrupted Power Supply in Data Centres
A UPS converts AC power to DC via a rectifier and converts it back via an inverter. Flywheels or batteries are tasked with storing energy that can be used in case of power failure. A bypass circuit is tasked with routing power around the rectifier and inverter, thus handling the IT load on incoming power/generator power.
Generators, unlike UPS systems, don’t keep things running in a seamless manner when the power is lost. However, they provide power for an extended period compared to UPS systems. This is due to the battery power limitation.
UPS systems are usually referred to as double conversion, standby or line-interactive designs. However, these terms are utilised inconsistently, and manufacturers often implement them in different ways. Even so, at least one system allows any of the 3 nodes.
UPS Types and Their Primary Features
VFI (Voltage & Frequency Independent)
These UPS systems are referred to as double or dual conversion as incoming AC is converted to DC in order to keep the batteries charged and also drive the inverter. The inverter, on the other hand, re-creates a steady alternating current to run the IT equipment.
When primary utility fails, the inverter is run by the batteries, thus the UPS system handling the IT load. When primary utility resumes, the rectifier delivers DC power to the inverter while charging the batteries at the same time. As you may have already deduced, the inverter runs full time.
The utility input is entirely isolated from the output, and the bypass is only utilised for maintenance safety when there’s internal electronics failure. Given there’s no break in the power going to the IT equipment, VFI is usually considered to be the best form of uninterrupted power supply.
The Pros & Cons of UPS Systems
- Better supports vital equipment than generators
- No delay encountered between the switching from the main power source to UPS
- UPS systems are silent
- You can pick the UPS type and size depending on your power supply needs
- UPS systems maintenance is cheaper in comparison to generators
- Unable to run heavy appliances due to battery power limitations
- Require professional installation
- Regular replacement of batteries, especially when sub-par ones are used.