What Is an Uninterruptible Power Supply System?

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) provides emergency backup power instantaneously when the main power source fails or if the voltage drops to an insufficient level or surges and causes an outage.

UPS allows electrical equipment to keep running for a short time, or so that it can be shut down properly by providing additional runtime for up to 15 minutes or longer depending on battery size, in which time a standby power source, such as a generator, can take over.

Uninterruptible power sources are deployed for use in a wide number of industries providing backup power during an outage. A UPS can protect data centres, operating machinery, lighting, IT systems and electrical equipment by ensuring high-quality, continuous power is delivered to prevent the severe consequences that can be caused by a blackout.

UPS Power Protection for your business

From small businesses to large scale operations, uninterrupted power supplies can serve an important purpose. When electrical power runs out, it can cause major issues for your equipment and productivity, but UPS is an insurance policy against this, keeping you online and connected.

The supply of electric can vary either increasing to a point where your power cuts off or dropping to insufficient levels of voltage meaning everything shuts down. To avoid the detrimental impact, it can have on your business, safeguarding against outage issues with an uninterrupted power supply makes commercial sense.

Uses of UPS emergency power supply

UPS systems play pivotal roles in a wide range of sectors keeping machinery and equipment running.

Industrial UPS can be used at plants and factories to ensure manufacturing and machine operation can continue to take place with little to no interruption or allowing enough time for equipment to be safely shut down during the time a UPS takes over and a longer-term backup power source is set up or takes over from the mains.

UPS emergency power supply is also vital in the medical sector, where electrical supply to hospital equipment can literally be the difference between life and death, supporting key devices used in patient care, including life support systems.

In the modern world, Data centres, Telecommunications & Computer Systems are crucial and they are heavily reliant on continuous power, so UPS plays a key role in their operation, keeping servers running and computers switched on.

The list of arenas that UPS can be used in goes on and examples can be found in almost any industry you can think of.

Three types of UPS systems


The simplest and most affordable UPS system is Standby, or offline. Standby UPS power supply is generally used for basic electronic equipment such as consumer electronics and security systems, ideal for use in a small office or at home.

Standby UPS systems make use of stored battery backup power during an outage, or when the voltage levels dip or surge. Considered as an entry-level UPS, standby systems will protect you and your equipment giving you that imperative battery backup.

Line-interactive UPS

Line-interactive is a mid-level UPS protecting you both on and offline. This type of uninterrupted power supply can correct power without switching to battery-based reserves.

A Line-interactive UPS contains an autotransformer that regulates any over or under voltage. It can be used for consumer electronics, network equipment and entry-level servers. This type of UPS is interactive as it automatically selects different power taps on the autotransformer and can maximise any limited battery reserves by correcting any power fluctuations and managing current levels in an outage or power surge.

On-Line Uninterrupted Power Supply

Online UPS are generally more expensive due to the equipment involved but offer a premium solution for critical electrical equipment and acts as an ‘electrical firewall’. It not only can protect you against a power outage but regulates the level of power delivered to your equipment.

Online uninterrupted power supplies provide consistent power converting AC power to DC, and then back to AC with zero transfer time, it is ideal for the protection of essential IT and server equipment, data centres, telecoms systems and top-end electrical equipment. If a power loss happens to take place, the batteries, which are always connected to the inverter, keep the power supply consistent and causes no interruption at all.

Uninterrupted Power Supplies protect your electrical equipment.

UPS systems will look after you and your equipment, so when your power runs out, you can continue to operate but they also ensure you are protected against;

  • Power Failure. A UPS can ensure there is constant power to your all-important electrical equipment so it can continue to run preventing any downtime or data loss.
  • Under voltage. Uninterrupted power supplies ensure that your IT systems, data centres or electronic devices continue to run and IT hardware remains switched on even when the power supplied from the mains is insufficient.
  • Power Surges. Prevent electrical equipment from any damage during power surges caused by high voltage levels, which then suddenly drop off.
  • Lightening or power supply malfunction can cause energy bursts and a spike in voltage which can cause the overheating of your equipment, something that a UPS can prevent.

UPS Maintenance Contracts & Servicing

It is essential to maintain uninterrupted power supplies on a regular basis as the core components can deteriorate with age. Technology changes quickly and old equipment can generate costly electricity bills due to their lack of efficiency. A bespoke backup power supply package might be something worth considering, based on the needs of your business.

The key part of a UPS is the batteries, however, they are consumable components as are other parts such as cooling fans, which can also suffer from wear and tear, so a regular health check is vital to prevent you ever becoming unstuck at a time when you most need an uninterrupted power supply.

Shenton Group offers a range of UPS Maintenance plans based on your individual requirements so that your equipment can remain in shipshape.

Find out more about our Uninterruptible Power Supply Maintenance Plans.

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