What is a UPS?
Uninterruptible power supply or UPS provides instantaneous backup power when there is a loss of power supply from the mains supply or if the voltage level drops. This ensures computers or equipment can be shut down safely, or switched over to power supplied by a generator. The design and size of a UPS determines how long the power supply will last.
There are 3 Types of UPS System:
Online Double Conversion
Online double conversion is the most common UPS mode of operation used for protecting large data centres by providing the highest level of power quality to the load always. Online systems also provide frequency regulation, essential for use with backup generator systems to protect from variations common at generator start up.
An online UPS delivers continuous, high-quality AC power to equipment with no break when transferring to battery, protecting equipment from virtually all power disturbances due to blackouts, brownouts, sags, surges or noise interference. A true online, double-conversion UPS provides 100% power conditioning, zero transfer time to battery, no change in output voltage and better transient suppression than line-interactive units.
Line-interactive UPS systems provide both power conditioning and battery backup. This technology is particularly effective in areas where outages are rare, but power fluctuations are common. Line-interactive UPS systems support a wide range of input voltage fluctuations before switching to battery backup.
Line-interactive UPS technology provides power conditioning with a 4-6 millisecond break in power when transferring to battery back-up and protects against the most common power problems experienced in a network. Here the UPS also monitors the voltage level and balances under and over voltages. This technology provides a good choice between reasonable protection and moderate operating costs.
Offline UPS, also called standby UPS or battery backup, is a cost-effective choice. Better offline UPS systems switch to battery fast enough to prevent power anomalies and ride out short outages. An offline UPS protects against most spikes but doesn’t maintain perfect power during minor sags and surges.
It will protect most power spikes by clamping down on excess voltage and help ride out more than 90% of all outages. When an input power failure happens, the built-in battery and the inverter, which converts the battery’s DC power to AC, are activated and connected to the output by the transfer switch. There is generally about a 6-8 millisecond break in power when transferring to battery back-up.
What’s the Difference Between a Generator and a UPS?
Generators and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems are both critical components of power management in various applications, including residential, commercial, and industrial settings. They serve different purposes but often complement each other to ensure reliable and uninterrupted power supply.
A UPS is a type of device that powers equipment, nearly instantaneously, in the event of grid power failure, protecting the equipment from damage. UPS systems vary significantly in their design and functionality, affecting the amount of time they can power equipment, their ability to improve power quality, and their cost.
A generator is an independent power solution installed when clients need to protect themselves from prolonged power outages. A generator will provide cover for outages that last seconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks.
In many critical applications, both generators and UPS systems are used together to provide comprehensive power protection. The UPS handles the initial power outage while the generator starts up, ensuring a smooth transition to generator power once it’s operational. This combination offers the highest level of power reliability and uptime.
Continuous Power Supply for Essential Services
For organisations that cannot afford any downtime, a UPS and generator are best used in tandem. Should there be a power cut; the UPS would support the electrical load initially, ensuring no drop in power whilst the generator starts up. The generator would typically be online within 15 seconds of a power outage and, once running, it would pick up the full load from the UPS. This solution provides much more power security as you can rely on the generator for as long as it has fuel in it, and the UPS acts as a bridge between the mains power going off and your backup generator coming online.
Without a UPS, there is a handful of seconds before the generator starts and takes the full electrical load. In that brief gap, you will not have access to power, which in some scenarios could have serious consequences. Critical environments, such as hospitals, have UPS’s installed as a break in power could be life-threatening. Data centres are also considered high risk as a drop in power could cause detrimental downtime and security risks.
In today’s fast-paced world, any downtime is costly, but a UPS and a generator go hand in hand to create a flawless power resilience plan. To learn more about the right kind of standby power to protect your facility, download our whitepaper.
Benefits of Uninterruptible Power Supply System (UPS)
A UPS system delivers a stable power supply that protects you in the short term not only from power outages but also from disturbances such as transients, spikes, and surges. They also safeguard you from brownouts, which is when the mains supply fails for a period that is too brief to start the generator. During this time, the UPS will continue to support equipment, and prevent disruption to the power supply.
Comprehensive UPS Services
From design, supply, project management and civils, to mechanical and electrical install, site integration, testing and final commissioning – we look after the complete project.
UPS Maintenance Plans
To ensure your UPS remains reliable, you should have a regular service and maintenance plan in place. We have five levels of maintenance to ensure you get the right support for your power requirements.
With nationwide coverage and 24/7 emergency response, you can rest assured that you and your UPS equipment will be fully supported. Shenton Group’s extensive range of high-efficiency UPS solutions are used in conjunction with most standby generator backup power supply applications. Working with Shenton Group will ensure that you get the correct equipment for the application.
We have been providing UPS solutions since 1982, and to a diverse range of sectors, from hospitals and the Military of Defence, to data centres and distribution centres.
Click here to find out more about what our UPS maintenance plans include.