TechnologyInteresting Things You Need to Learn About Uninterruptible Power...

Interesting Things You Need to Learn About Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)


Computers, internet servers, monitors, and a vast range of other electronic devices all have one thing in common: the need for a constant supply of electricity. Surges and even brief interruptions in the power supply can cause damage to or failure of electronic devices.

Business owners often immediately think of backup power supplies like batteries and generators to run their electronics when the main power grid goes down. However, these sources of power suffer from a major flaw: the electronics experience a power interruption between the main power grid going down and the backup kicking in. Even a brief interruption of the power flow can cause a computer network to fail or require time-consuming and costly reboots to restart it after it shuts off.

However, there is an ideal solution available: the uninterruptable power source, or UPS. The UPS is intended to keep power flowing to the network and electronics at all times, regardless of what is happening to the main power grid. They come in four major types:

1. Standby UPS

The standby UPS only provides power when the main power source fails. It is most useful when a backup generator is available because it keeps the equipment running during those critical minutes required to get the backup power online. Many electronic devices come equipped with a battery that provides the function of a standby UPS battery.

2. Load-sharing UPS

A load-sharing UPS is a fancy standby UPS that powers more than one electronic device. A load-sharing UPS can power multiple devices during that critical interval between the main power source failing and the backup generator coming online.

3. Active UPS

An active UPS provides all of the power to the device or network at all times. It prevents any surges or brief power outages by providing the power directly. The active UPS is a rechargeable battery that is simultaneously powering the network while being recharged by the main power source or the backup generator. This is the only safe solution for powering extremely critical or delicate electronics.

Most modern laptop computers contain an active UPS: they have a battery that runs the computer, and when the computer is plugged in, the battery keeps running the computer while recharging itself.

4. Networked UPS

A networked UPS is a type of active UPS that is fully integrated with a large local area network (LAN) of interconnected computers and electronic devices. Most larger businesses have invested in both a LAN and a networked active UPS to support the LAN in order to keep their business running at all times. Companies have found a LAN supported by an active UPS dramatically improves their performance, which increases their profits.

How the UPS works

The basics of a UPS include a power source, a battery, and a way to provide power to the devices it supports. A simple standby UPS might just be plugged into the main power grid, which keeps its battery charged up, and when the main power supply to both the device and the UPS battery cuts off, the device just starts drawing power from the UPS. Obviously, if the UPS battery is not recharged in time, the system will ultimately fail.

A more complicated active UPS might draw on multiple power sources to feed its battery, such as solar panels, the main power supply, and a backup generator. If one of these sources fails, the UPS just draws power from the other sources to keep the local electrical grid going.

The batteries and other components in a UPS have been standardized by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission such that the systems manufactured by different companies are compatible with standard computer and electronic designs. Namely, you can plug any commercially available electronic device into any commercially available UPS.

The bottom line is, both large and small business owners need to invest in a UPS system. They cannot afford to have their system go down for any length of time. Telecommuters who work from home also need to invest in a UPS system to maintain their ability to work when required. The UPS is a lifeline.

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