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:
The most simple UPS is standby, also known as offline. A standby UPS is suitable for basic equipment such as consumer electronics and security systems, often found at offices or in homes. In the event of a common power issue, like a blackout, surge or voltage sag, the standby UPS will switch to DC battery power and invert it to AC. This then powers the equipment, providing the end user with a battery backup for computers, POS systems, security alarms and more.
Considered a mid-level UPS, line interactive UPS corrects under and over voltages, and utilises an automatic voltage regulator (AVR), meaning there is no need to switch to a battery in a brownout or swell. For those who operate mid-range PCs, home theatres, network equipment and even entry level servers, a line interactive UPS solution is perfectly adequate to protect your equipment.
The ultimate UPS system is online, as it delivers consistent power regardless. Double conversion UPS system technology converts incoming AC power to DC, and then back to AC. Operating 100% of the time, using isolated DC power, they provide a zero transfer time solution, as they never need to switch to DC power. For those clients with critical IT equipment, data centres, servers and large telecom installations, online UPS will help protect equipment from blackouts, surges, spikes and frequency variation.
What’s the Difference Between a Generator and a UPS?
In the event of power loss, a UPS is relied upon for periods ranging from just a couple of minutes, right up to 2 hours. This timeframe is dictated by the size and amount of UPS batteries, and the electrical load it needs to support.
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 between 2 hours, right through to outages of 72 hours or more.
In simple terms, a UPS is a short-term solution in a power outage, and a standby generator is a longer-term solution.
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.