What is a UPS – Critical Power Solutions

What is a UPS

When most people hear the acronym “UPS”, the first thing that springs to mind is a guy in a delivery truck delivering that package you’ve been waiting for. But for the moment, let’s think outside the box and explore another sort of “UPS” that plays an important role in our daily lives: the Uninterruptible Power Supply. If you’re not too technologically savvy, don’t panic! Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS is just tech-speak for a device that supplies battery backup to other electronics in the event of a power failure.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies fall into two categories: the first (and most commonly used) type is known as a Standby or Offline UPS. Under normal circumstances, a Standby UPS acts as a sort of electrical middleman: it plugs into a wall outlet and distributes the AC power from that outlet to the other electronic devices it’s connected to. Aside from distributing power, UPS units typically also provide surge protection, but it’s not until the power goes out that an Uninterruptible Power Supply really jumps into action! As soon as a downward fluctuation or cease in electrical flow is sensed, the Standby UPS’s power-inverter instantly switches on to convert DC power from its battery into an AC current, which provides the devices under UPS protection with an alternate power supply.

The second, more specialized type of Uninterruptible Power Supply is referred to as a Continuous or Online UPS. A Continuous UPS's functions are much more complex than those of a Standby UPS. Instead of distributing AC power from a wall outlet the way a Standby UPS does, a Continuous unit runs the devices that it’s powering on electricity from its battery and that battery is, in turn, constantly recharged. The fact that a Continuous UPS doesn’t need to make the switch into battery mode means that there’s no time delay if the utility power fails. For this reason, Continuous UPSs are primarily used in situations dealing with critical data or extremely sensitive components.   

Using a UPS in conjunction with your home office computer, POS system for your business or even your home theater equipment is the best way to prevent the data loss and damage that often come along with power failures! If you’re not already using one, check out our range of Uninterruptible Power Supplies from APC, Eaton and CyberPower Systems. No matter what your needs and budget are, you’re sure to find the perfect UPS to suit any application!

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