If you are considering purchasing an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system then this article should help you in making an informed decision. As always feel free to contact us should you require professional assistance in making the correct UPS purchase.
Can a UPS actually save the day when there is a supply interruption to your home office or business premises?
The answer is definitely “Yes” and the following article takes a brief tour through the subject material without diving too deeply into the technical specifications.
There are a number of options when considering a UPS that can act as a backup power source in the event of an unscheduled power outage which usually occurs without any predictable warnings.
The desktop computer screen just goes blank with a blip and unless you’re running on a laptop computer with an integral backup battery, well you just may have suffered data corruption or lost that document and or spreadsheet you have spent hours working on previously.
Agreed many software programs run what is termed auto-save functionality but sometimes that doesn’t always save correctly – yes they are software glitches that we all have grown to deal with and it usually happens at the most inconvenient timing.
Where and how can a UPS system help my business situation and or home office?
Well, this is highly dependent on the type of UPS that is selected for your particular situation.
At this point, it is worth noting that a UPS will not only protect sensitive electronic equipment, namely your computers and or servers following a power supply loss but additionally the UPS will condition the power source for downstream connected equipment.
Why is power conditioning important?
Because power supply anomalies from the street distributor can adversely affect the performance of sensitive electronic components and in some cases cause catastrophic damage to associated equipment.
Power conditioning acts as a buffer to interference and smooths out potential power supply fluctuations from upstream grid distribution network connections. It is important to note that only a true online, double-conversion UPS will protect against a range of anomalies detailed shortly.
A UPS system provides a backup power source under the following conditions including but not limited to a failure regarding your network electricity connection, voltage regulation parameters, frequency and or harmonics rated problems being tightly regulated by calibrated interface circuitry.
On more advanced UPS system platforms – you can even have sophisticated hardware interfaces coupled with specific software trigger events that will initiate a safe and procedural shutdown of server computer systems, associated interfaces which will notify by text or email parameters the nominated parties, advising of the application based configuration events in real-time monitoring sequences.
There are three main types of UPS system configurations and we are concentrating here on the “Double On-Line Interactive UPS systems. The other types of UPS systems are called “Line-Interactive UPS Systems” and “Off-Line UPS Systems” – sometimes known as a standby backup battery though there is a small delay in transfer timing which could compromise data recovery that wasn’t saved prior to the power supply interruption.
The “Double On-Line Interactive UPS systems tend to be the most expensive option when selecting a UPS but they completely condition (shield) downstream connected equipment from a number of distribution network problems as detailed in the following:
There are a number of common power input problems that power conditioning protects downstream connected equipment from including but not limited to the following:
- Network distribution utility supply losses and or interruptions
- Under voltage issues commonly called “Brownout Events” often associated with excessive demand begin placed on the local area electricity grid network supply
- Overvoltage situations commonly referred to as “Surges or Spikes” – this event can be associated with local lightning strikes during a thunderstorm but there can be many other causes that can trigger this type of short-lived event as well
- Induced electrical line noise problems where the frequency sine wave is distorted by local area interferences – either a stray radio frequency and or an electromagnetic frequency (RFI and or EMI)
As an example – we have come across a few situations where a switch-mode plug pack was disrupting radio transmissions across certain frequencies within a local supply area
- Frequency variations mean a fluctuation within the 3 phase x 50 hertz supply conditions which can often be associated with harmonic distortion (clipped and or out of phase sine wave formation)
- Switching transients triggering surges and or spike events per above are often associated with large load variations – more commonly identified within a heavy industry (factory orientated) environment
The UPS option that we are covering within this topic is the Double On-Line Filtering Sequences which is explained in the following.
The power supply is converted twice from AC to DC and then from DC back to AC which is tightly regulated by the UPS conversion circuitry.
The Double Online Conversion filters out impurities from frequency interferences associated with the supply input to the connected equipment.
The AC output can even have a different frequency from the AC input.
In most cases, the frequency output remains the same as the frequency input with a now pure sine wave conversion.
All of the power provided to the connected load equipment goes through this Double – Conversion process when the AC input supply is available (under normal operating circumstances).
As can be seen from the diagram below in the event of an AC input loss the battery or batteries plural provide the reserve supply for a finite time interval governed by the load current draw in KVA rating without any supply loss to the connected equipment.
In the event of a power supply interruption, the connected load doesn’t see any AC supply loss because the battery system has instantaneously taken over and powered the connected load because the battery is online ready for such an event all of the time.
The connected load to the UPS will need to be shut down if no shutdown software is in place prior to the battery reserve capacity being depleted and as such, this can be calculated from the load current draw for the associated equipment.
Contact Us if you need further assistance in selecting the correct UPS system that will suit your business or home office environment.
Finally please take into account that a correctly configured UPS system is an essential business tool that can save you a lot of downtime and money from sustaining potential data losses and or costly sensitive electronic equipment damage to computers and or servers whilst conditioning the power supply downstream to your associated systems.
Michael is the lead electrician at KM Electrical Pty Ltd and has 38 years of technical experience offering professional services, installations and repairs and delivering quality results ensuring on-time completion with guaranteed quality workmanship.