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Uninterrupted Power Supply FAQs
General
  • An Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), also known as Uninterrupted Power Source, is an electrical apparatus guaranteed to provide emergency power to a load in the event of failure in the input power source, typically mains power.

    • Stand-by: 
      Also known as off-line or line-preferred, the Standby UPS is the simplest and least expensive type – most commonly used for personal computers. The system remains on “standby” when power is live and is only activated when the power shuts down, at which point it automatically switches over to battery. During its standby mode, the UPS charges its battery using an AC to DC converter, plugged directly into the utility power line. This type of UPS system provides a high degree of efficiency, small size, and relatively low costs.

    • Line Interactive:
      Best for small business environments on an unstable power grid, the Line-interactive UPS systems use a continuously running on-line battery with an inverter/converter to keep the battery connected to the output. These systems provide a degree of power conditioning by regulating the voltage of the incoming grid power.  This functionality does not provide perfect “clean” power, or isolate loads from all power quality issues, but it does solve basic issues such as under-voltage and over-voltage, which can be common.

    • Double Conversion On-Line: 
      With a configuration similar to those of standby units, the Double Conversion UPS systems, commonly used in data centers and industrial complexes, are the most expensive type as they offer the highest levels of protection by fully isolating connected loads from grid power. This type of UPS system takes virtually no time to transfer between modes because input AC power failure does not trigger the transfer switch. Instead, the input AC charges the backup battery, which in turn powers the output inverter.


  • When single-phase power is delivered, it usually consists of a single sine wave input and is typically a single phase derived from a larger three-phase supply. Most small power hardware, such as those available at typical homes, operate from a single phase supply. Three-phase installation uses the full three phases, which allow higher power to be delivered most efficiently to a single point or load. Three-phase UPS systems are usually used on larger installations such as data centers, medical equipment and large industrial applications.

  • Off-line UPS, also known as standby power sources, are the simplest form of UPS systems because their inverters are normally off. They are most advantageous for their low cost. Contrary to on-line UPS systems which are normally higher in cost and more complex in design; the inverter of an on-line UPS system supplies continuous power to the critical load.

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