Most people can handle a power outage at home without much trouble. Chances are, by the time you find the spare flashlight batteries and pull out the board games, your lights and TV will already be back on. However, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) may be a sensible purchase if you wish to keep your home Wi-Fi network and other essential equipment operational in the case of a power outage.
What is uninterruptible power supply?
An uninterruptible power supply, often known as a UPS system or UPS battery backup, safeguards connected equipment against power faults and provides battery backup power during electrical outages. In addition to regulating and protecting connected equipment from excessive voltages, certain UPS systems also regulate voltages. All UPS systems serve two essential purposes: providing battery backup power and shielding electronics from power surges and line noise interference.
There are three primary types of uninterruptible power supplies: standby, online, and line interactive. There are more than three varieties, but the others are typically hybrids of two or more of these primary types.
Here is a breakdown of the many UPS kinds described previously:
The Standby UPS (also known as a “Offline UPS” or a “Standby Power Supply”) is the simplest and least expensive UPS model. In essence, this form of UPS will send electricity directly from the wall to the computer’s power supply until a power outage occurs. The UPS will switch to using its internal battery to power the connected device when the power goes off (most likely a computer).
The greatest problem of this version is that the UPS does not switch to battery power until it detects that there is no power flowing from the wall. In this brief period, known as the “switch time” or “transfer time,” it is probable that the linked computer will not be able to operate without interruption. This could result in the loss of vital, unsaved data. As a cost-cutting approach, some manufacturers of standby UPSs eliminate the ability of the UPS to filter incoming power and to control surges. Which are, in our opinion, the two most valuable UPS features available?
Online UPSs (also referred to as a “True UPS” or a “Double Conversion UPS”) are comparable to Standby UPSs, but have distinct distinctions. In an Online UPS, power is supplied by the UPS’s battery, which is continually recharged by the wall outlet. It is comparable to using a laptop while plugged in. If the power goes out, the device will continue to operate until the battery dies.
A benefit of employing an Online UPS is that there is no “transfer time” in the event of a power outage. By routing all of the wall power through the battery, there is an additional layer of safety against any voltage spikes or dips from the wall power. Surges and voltage drops can potentially cause damage to computer systems by wreaking havoc on their operation.
Typically, online UPSs are only available with capacities above 5,000 VA. They are often more expensive than Standby UPSs, but can result in significant energy savings costs for large units and greater protection overall.
3. Line Interactive
Line Interactive UPSs are entirely distinct from the Standby and Online models we’ve previously examined. The power from the wall passes into the Inverter/Converter of a Line Interactive UPS. The energy is then separated into AC and DC current. The DC charges the battery of the UPS, while the AC flows to the computer’s power supply. When there is a power outage, the computer draws all of its power from the UPS’s battery.
Line Interactive UPSs still have transfer time when the power goes out, but their response is quicker than that of Standby variants. In addition, Line Interactive UPSs “filter” the AC current arriving from the wall through the inverter, thereby smoothing out any static or power spikes that could be conveyed to the computer.
Which UPS type is ideal for you?
The optimal UPS for you depends on the following factors:
- The power issues you are attempting to prevent (see the above section)
- The wattage of the electronic equipment you’re connecting to the UPS.
- How long you need the backup battery to run, or runtime
- The UPS’s form factor and available space
Details to Consider When Searching for a Battery Backup
1. Battery Type
UPS power supply applications typically utilize VRLA AGM batteries due to their low internal resistance, high specific power and efficiency, minimal self-discharge, and reduced cost. AGM UPS batteries can also charge more quickly and offer a high current for a brief period of time. When power availability is of the utmost importance, lithium iron (LifePO4) UPS batteries are becoming a more desirable option to lead acid. They are more dependable than VRLA solutions.
2. Backup runtime required
Consider what you want to accomplish with the battery power in the event of a power outage. Would you like to concentrate on safely powering down all of your linked devices? Do you wish to continue using your gadgets during the power outage? You must determine the execution duration. Runtime is the number of minutes a UPS system can continue to power connected devices during a power outage. The minimum runtime is the amount of time required for a proper equipment shutdown.
When selecting batteries for runtime, you will consider the length of time the batteries in the UPS system can maintain equipment during utility power outages. Remember that the smaller the associated power demand, the longer the batteries will last. The runtime will be shorter the higher the power load.
The bigger the capacity of the UPS battery backup system, the more electronic devices can be plugged into it simultaneously. If you are a homeowner and simply require a backup system for a single desktop computer, you do not need a system with a high storage capacity. However, if you operate a business and plan to connect a number of major electrical devices to your UPS backup system, you might consider purchasing a UPS system with a greater capacity battery backup system.
Having at least a one-year warranty on any technological or electrical device is vital, as problems might arise without the owner’s fault. To ensure that your UPS backup system provides dependable and long-lasting service, you should consider purchasing batteries with the longest available warranty.
When selecting batteries for your UPS backup system, you must also consider the available space. Choose a suitable, compact, and highly efficient battery model for your system to ensure portability and conserve valuable space in your office or data center.
Price should be the final consideration for anyone wanting to purchase a UPS backup system. In vital applications like as data centers, banks, hospitals, etc., reliability is more crucial than pricing due to the loss incurred by a power outage. Additionally, if you purchase batteries individually in the future to improve the dependability of your backup system, the initial cost will climb. Purchasing ordinary AGM or Gel UPS batteries along with the UPS can therefore be a cost-effective option. The life cycle rating of the battery has the greatest influence on its pricing. Gel batteries rated for 600-800 cycles at 50% DOD, for instance, will be more expensive than AGM batteries rated for 400-500 cycles at 50% DOD.
The backup battery of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) enables you to save/back up your data and safely shut down your sensitive electrical devices, or avoid downtime altogether. Even if they only last for a few nanoseconds, voltage spikes can readily destroy plugged-in gear. The extra power leads to overheating, wire breaks and cracks, and the destruction of circuit boards, hard drives, and the majority of other electrical components and this why you need a UPS.