UPS or Uninterruptible power supply is an electronic device which helps to protect against any losses in electricity so a particular electrical system does not suffer any damages or shuts off due to power loss. To put things more simply, it is a backup battery that kicks into action if the main power supply has problems and stops providing power. This can help protect any critical systems from sudden power loss and the UPS can allow you to keep it running so that you can power it down properly. The UPS can also ensure you have power in case there is an unwanted disruption of your main power supply.
There are 4 main issues which can occur with an electrical supply that the UPS safeguards against. These include:
- Overvoltage: This is exactly what it sounds like, when more power is provided than what is needed. This causes a great deal of damage and overheating. This particular issue is usually over a period of time and can lead to many different issues.
- Power Surge: This is a surge in power that is quite sudden and can be caused by a lightning strike. This sudden and large increase of electricity is typically followed by a huge drop which usually damages devices and electrical equipment.
- Undervoltage: Another term for this is a brown-out and is when the power being supplied is less than what is needed. This can occur due to an issue with the power grid of if there is a great demand for electricity at another location. This lack of power also causes damage to devices and even loss of data.
- Power Outage: This is when all power is cut off, either for a short or long period of time. There are many reasons why this may occur but it can result in huge data loss and downtime.
Exactly What Is a UPS Made of?
A UPS is made up of 4 main parts which help provide a stable flow of electricity when it is needed. Now, these 4 main parts are arranged differently in different UPS’s. Basically, if you have an offline UPS and an online double conversion, then these two will have very different layouts while still being made up of the 4 main parts. We will now take a closer look at each of these parts.
- Charger: The function of this part is to keep the UPS’s batteries charged until they become activated. It converts AC current into DC current.
- Battery: This is where the power is stored. It is made up of long strings which are connected in order to provide stable and continuous electricity. The main issue with this is if one of the parts in the UPS happens to fail, then the whole string will also fail. Therefore, it is essential that you test the UPS’s batteries on a regular basis and the charger should always be used so that the batteries are always fully charged.
- Inverter: This is the second half of the double conversion process and is essential in order to convert the stored power in your UPS’s battery into electricity that can be used by various devices. This is one aspect that is different according to the UPS type. In an offline UPS the inverter needs to be activated when there is a power issue but in an online UPS, it is always active so that there is an immediate switch to the UPS’s battery power once there is a power issue. The inverter is also necessary to make sure the power being generated is always stable.
- Switch: The switch basically triggers when there is an issue with the power from your main power supply. It is responsible for activating the inverter so that the power supply can be moved from the main supply to the UPS’s battery. With an online UPS there is a bypass switch which triggers if there is a UPS failure which causes a diversion to another circuit.
So, these 4 main aspects of UPS systems work together in order to ensure you always have power when your main supply is disrupted in any way.