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10 Reasons for choosing an
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Ten consequences of computer
What's the difference, and which technology is right
for you? There a three different types of UPS all suitable for different
tasks, and supporting different types of load. Here are explanations of
the different technologies, which may help you decide which type of UPS
is suitable for you:
During normal operation, the power flows straight
through the unit and hence only RFI filtering is usually provided. When
the input voltage fails or fluctuates outside of a pre-set tolerance window,
the UPS detects this and a relay will close, allowing the UPS to start feeding
battery power via the inverter. The inverter is then switched on and either
a square, step or sine waveform output is supplied. Upon the return of mains
power, the output is switched back onto mains and the inverter is turned
off. Typically there will be a break of between 4-10 ms during the transfer
to and from the battery mode.
A line-interactive UPS operates in a very similar
fashion to an offline UPS, except with the advantage of better filtering
and output voltage boost/reduce features. Whilst not eliminating mains-borne
interference, line-interactive technologies reduce the impact of spikes,
surges and sags by ‘clipping’ the peaks and valleys, boosting power or switching
to battery back-up. As with offline UPS, when the input voltage fails or
fluctuates outside of a pre-set tolerance window, the UPS detects this and
a relay will close allowing the UPS to start feeding battery power via the
inverter. The inverter, in a good line-interactive UPS, will supply a sinewave
output. Upon the return of mains power, the output is switched back onto
mains and the inverter is turned off. As with offline UPS, typically there
will be a break on the transfer to and from battery mode, though usually
this will be shorter than with an offline UPS.
Some manufacturers will try to pass their line-interactive UPS off as online models by calling them ‘digital online’, ‘inline’ or ‘online interactive’ – make sure you know what technology the UPS you are buying actually uses.
An uninterruptible power supply using true online
double conversion technology provides the highest level of power protection
available. The UPS converts the 230V input AC mains supply to DC power which
is then used to charge the battery. The DC current flow is then fed through
an inverter stage which reconstructs the 230V AC mains output. Because the
AC output is completely regenerated, it will be completely free from any
mains-borne interference such as spikes and voltage variations.
The output voltage and frequency is controlled precisely, thus ensuring a clean and stable sinewave power output. Online UPS are able to withstand large fluctuations on the input voltage before transferring to battery power (typically 276V-184V) thus eliminating unnecessary battery discharges. Upon mains failure, transfer to battery power is seamless – no break. Online UPS also have various failsafe and self-diagnostic features that will instantly transfer the load onto mains power if there is a failure within the UPS hardware, or if the UPS is overloaded.