I’m sure everyone reading this article knows what a UPS is and what it does. But that’s just the beginning of the UPS knowledge that you have. Going a little further and trying to understand the key components of a UPS will further help you understand how a UPS works.
What is a UPS?
In layman’s term, an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is an electrical apparatus that is designed to prevent loss of power which could damage an electrical system. So the UPS provides backup power when the regular power source fails.
What does the UPS protect against?
There are four main problems that can befall your electrical supply which are:
- Overvoltage – Over-voltage is when the power being supplied is greater than the power required and can cause overheating and damage. Unlike with a power surge, this power is over a sustained period and causes different problems.
- Power Surges – A sudden increase in power flowing through to your device is typically caused by something like a lightning strike. This leads to a sudden increase in power followed by a drop which causes damage to the electrical equipment.
- Undervoltage – Also known as a brownout, Under-voltage is what occurs when the power supplied is less than is required. This could be from a sudden demand for power in other areas or a problem with the grid, the lack of flow leads to damage and active data loss.
- Power Outage – A complete disruption of power, either short or long term. There can be a number of reasons that you might be subject to a power outage but the results can be severe with data loss and system downtime being the major contributors.
By providing a constant flow of power, the UPS allows you to handle these problems as they arise. UPS systems moderate the flow of power and jump in with charged batteries in the event of total disruption.
What are the parts of the UPS?
A UPS generally consist of 4 parts which are constantly working together in order to provide you with power in the event when the power goes out. An online UPS will have different architecture as compared to the offline UPS but these 4 are the primary parts that all the UPS have:
- The Switch: In case of a failure within the UPS, the switch provides protection. When the whole system fails, the switch closes the circuit on its own and the incoming power is directed towards the separate circuit for the main power. The main purpose of the switch is to allow the system to continue functioning even if the UPS’s internal components fail.
- The Rectifier: The rectifier is there to ensure that the batteries are charged so that they are at the proper floating voltage. It converts the Alternating Current (AC) to Direct Current (DC) and the current is then used to charge the UPS battery.
- The Battery: The battery is the most critical component of the UPS system. In case of a power failure, power is drawn from these batteries to support the main equipment. The UPS Battery system consists of batteries which are stored in long strings and are connected in series for continuous power. Additional batteries can be added to the Battery system in order to further increase run time of the UPS.
- The Inverter: The inverter is the brain of a UPS system. It ensures that the power stored in battery can be used as electricity. In the Online UPS, the inverter is active and is used for seamless change over to battery whereas in the offline UPS, the inverter has to be activated by a switch in the event of power disruption. Power output consistency and stability is one of the main purposes of the inverter.
As long as these parts are working in tandem, your UPS can ensure that even after there is a disruption in power, the electrical appliances have access to power.
To ensure that the UPS system is functioning properly, it is recommended to schedule preventative maintenance at least once a year which helps in verifying whether the system is functioning correctly in all operational modes and ensuring the unit is operating with the most recent firmware version.
There are various reliable brands of UPS to resort to but APC has high quality procedures and strict quality assurance process for their products and batteries. APC has a wide range of products like Home UPS, Line Interactive UPS, Online UPS and RBC Batteries.
Visit our store to find the wide range of APC UPS in India.