How do UPS Systems Work?


UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply.A UPS is an electrical device designed to support electronic appliances in the case of power failure.Most areas suffer from unavoidable and frequent power cuts, which hamper the functioning of electronic devices.As the name suggests, a UPS is a device that supplies power even when there is an interruption from the main power supply.The UPS makes sure that power supply to the computer, data servers, peripherals, or any other video/audio device is not interrupted.

The UPS was specifically designed to give continuous power supply to a desktop.Laptops have in-built batteriesthat help them function without the main power for an hour or so.However, desktops shut down immediately.So if one is working on a desktop and the power goes off, all the unsaved data is lost.Therefore, it is very vital to keep a backup for a desktop.This can be a big problem for students or people working from homes. Hence, the continuous functioning of computers is critical.

Functioning of a UPS System:

The UPS system takes in electrical power from the main electrical supply to charge its in-built battery.The moment the power goes out, the UPS continues to provide backup power to the electrical appliances connected to it using its internal battery.

However, the UPS cannot keep the system running for a long time.It only supports the system for such timethat one can safely shut down the electronic device without corrupting or losing important data.The UPS also protects the system from severe hardware damage.

There are four types of UPS systemsdepending upon the way electric power is stored and transferred to the device connected to them.

Standby UPS:

Standby UPS is used as a power backup in smaller workstations at home or for small businesses.Standby UPS spurs into action the moment the power switches off.

Standby On-line Hybrid:

Standby On-Line Hybrid is the term used for UPS’s below 10kVA.They are generally known-as “on-line.”When there is a power outage, a DC-to-DC converter is activated from the battery, same as the standby UPS.The DC combiner is equipped with capacitors which result in no transfer time during AC power outage.Sometimes an additional transfer switch is added to the design for bypass in the case of an overload or malfunction.

Standby-Ferro UPS:

The Standby-Ferro UPS consists of a specialized saturating transformer with numerous power connections.The UPS takes power from the AC input, runs it through the transformer, and through the output.In case of a power outage, the inverter gets activated by a transfer switch to supply output load.The UPS remains in a standby mode when there is steady flow of current, as is the case with other standby UPSes.

In addition to that, the Ferro transformers are designed to provide some amount of voltage regulation and control over the output waveform.Ferro UPSes are also equipped with noise filtering features.The only drawback is, Ferro UPSes sometimes run the risk of overheating and voltage deregulation when coupled with other generators.

Double Conversion On-Line UPS:

ADouble Conversion On-Line UPS is similar to a Standby UPS. The only difference is that Double Conversion On-Line UPS takes its main power supply from an inverter as opposed to the AC mains.It is designed to be above 10kVA.

Line Interactive UPS:

Line Interactive UPS is most commonly used in web, departmental servers, and small setups.It is widely available in computer supplies store.On power failure, it switches to battery backup within milliseconds.