A Look at How a UPS Unit Works

What Does the Unit Protect Against?

A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) unit is a device made to prevent power loss that can potentially disrupt or damage an electric appliance or electrical system. It is more of a backup power option that ensures you still have power when the mains supply is down or has a problem. With the UPS in place, your critical electrical systems will stay active, allowing you enough time to shut them down safely.

Investing in a UPS will help safeguard you against four main issues that can happen to your mains power supply:

  • Power Surges – A sudden increase in the electricity flowing through the power outlets to your devices. It can be caused by something like a short or lightning strike. The unexpected increase is quickly followed by a drop that can cause significant damage to your electrical equipment.
  • Overvoltage – When the power supplied is higher than what is required for your electrical system, thus causing overheating and system damage. It is different from a power surge because in this case, the increased voltage is sustained over an extended period.
  • Undervoltage – This happens when the voltage is less than what is needed. Undervoltage or brown-out can be due to sudden increased demand for power in other sections serviced by the main supply lines or a problem within the power grid.
  • Power Outage – This is the complete disruption of electricity supply within a location. It can be long or short term. It can have a devastating impact on electrical systems which can include problems such as data loss due to the system’s downtime.

What Are the Main Components of a UPS?

A UPS unit is made up of four primary parts that work together to ensure you have a steady flow of uninterruptible electricity supply, more so during sudden power emergencies. The elements can be arranged in different layout depending on the version you use. The online double conversion UPS and the offline UPS both use these four main components but have a different design.

  •  The Charger – This is meant to ensure the batteries are always charged while waiting to be activated during a power problem. With the charger, you have the incoming AC (Alternating Current) that’s converted into DC (Direct Current), and this current then flows throughout the UPS electrical system set-up.
  • The Battery – This, the swl2500efr for example, can be one or several interconnected batteries meant to store power that will be used during an unexpected disruption of electricity supply. The interconnected cells are set up in series to provide continuous power. However, this setup has a flaw. If one battery fails, then the entire string fails. That is why frequent battery testing is necessary.
  • The Inverter – This is a vital part of any double conversion UPS. It is the second half of the system that turns the stored power from the batteries to ensure it is usable electricity. The inverter is what is needed for you to make use of any UPS unit. In an online UPS, the inverter is continuously active and in use so that there is a seamless change over to the battery power during a disruption. As for the offline UPS, the inverter is activated by a bypass switch when the electricity supply charging the unit is disrupted. The overall role of the inverter is to ensure there is a stable, modulated, and consistent power output.
  • The Switch: An offline UPS or the line-interactive type has a switch that triggers a change to battery power when the mains supply is disrupted. The switch activates the inverter, and this flips over to the power reserve in the battery. In an online UPS, power is flowing through the inverter continually; as such, the switch is more of a bypass trigger set-up to activate in case the UPS fails by diverting over to a separate circuit for the electricity from the mains supply.

The four parts mentioned above work in sync to ensure that your UPS will keep your electrical equipment powered when there is sudden disruption.