An Uninterruptable Power Supply or UPS performs exactly as its name suggests; it provides power that will not be interrupted by power spikes, surges, brownouts or brief blackouts. A UPS system can be small enough to fit comfortably under a desk or so large that it requires dedicated rooms.
UPS systems are used to support all types of electronic equipment such as:
- Personal Computers
- Engineering Workstations
- Network Servers
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lighting
- Telecommunications Equipment
- Manufacturing Equipment
Regular power supplied from the local utility companies is usually not reliable enough for today's sensitive electronic equipment. As large electrical users (such as manufacturing plants) gear up or wind down, the power levels in the local area will fluctuate as well, resulting in power spikes, surges or brownouts. All of these changes in the power supply can cause damage to your electronic equipment or can result in lost data. A UPS will protect your equipment from damage and in the case of a blackout, provide you with enough time to safely shutdown your equipment, thereby preventing data loss.
A UPS system will filter the regular AC power from your wall outlet through its power control circuitry. The resulting power output from the UPS has an electrical waveform that remains virtually unchanged, regardless of changes in the local power. As well, the UPS is supported by batteries, located either inside the UPS itself or in the case of large systems, externally in additional cabinets. If the power should fail, the UPS will instantly switch to battery power, with no change to the waveform. This transfer of power occurs instantaneously and has no affect on the electronic equipment being powered.
Since it is not cost effective to operate on battery power most UPS systems are not intended to operate for any great length of time. Typically, a UPS system is scaled only to supply emergency power long enough to safely shut down the equipment attached to it however, some applications such as emergency dispatch systems require much longer back up power durations. For such applications it is possible to provide longer run times, but this requires larger and/or a greater number of batteries.
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