Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems 101: A Guide To Business Owners From A Reliable Electrician | Florence, SC
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, power outages cost businesses at least $150 billion yearly. Because power outages are steadily increasing, these numbers are not likely to drop soon. Business owners are looking at alternative power sources to provide energy during a power outage.
While backup generators seem to be the go-to choice for many, UPS systems are more than just a backup power supply. They can help protect your equipment and prevent data loss during power outages. Below is a brief overview of UPS systems and why your business needs them.
What Is an UPS?
To better understand why your business needs a UPS system, you must first know what it is. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system provides electricity when the primary power source fails. When there is a power outage, the UPS unit will supply connected equipment with enough power until a standby power supply is connected.
The power from a UPS lasts only a few minutes, but it is enough to shut down equipment or start a backup generator safely. Most units can provide power for up to 10 to 15 minutes, but longer-lasting options are also available.
Another use of UPS systems is to protect sensitive equipment like computers, telecommunication equipment, data centers, and other appliances from damage caused by power surges and fluctuations. In other words, a UPS unit cleans the electricity from the utility line to provide safe power for your equipment.
Different Types of UPS Systems
There are three basic uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems; offline, line-interactive, and online. Some of these systems are simple units you can set up yourself. Others need to be installed by a trained electrician.
Offline UPS Systems
Offline or standby UPS units provide connected equipment with electricity during power outages and protect against most power surges. If they detect a change in the power supply, they will switch to battery power to keep appliances running.
Standby UPS systems are the most cost-effective choice. They are suited for less sensitive devices such as computers, printers, and point-of-sale equipment.
Line-interactive UPS Systems
The way line-interactive UPS systems provide backup power is similar to offline units. The difference lies in how they regulate power. Line-interactive systems are always on and adjust the incoming electricity by increasing or decreasing the input.
Thus, they provide a constant and steady flow. They accept a wider input power range than offline systems and offer more protection. Because they depend on the battery to regulate power, they tend to drain batteries more frequently.
Slightly more costly than standby systems, they are usually used in areas that do not experience a lot of power outages but frequent power fluctuations. This type of UPS best suits network server racks, audio or video equipment, and office networks.
Online UPS Systems
Online or double-conversion UPS systems provide the most protection. They are also more costly and usually need to be installed by an electrician.
Offline and line-interactive systems protect equipment from power fluctuations by either switching to battery power or changing the power input. In contrast, online systems convert the incoming energy, or AC power, to direct current (DC) and back to AC. This doubly transformed power supply ensures that sensitive equipment always receives clean power.
In case of an outage, double-conversion systems will seamlessly switch to battery power with no break or changes in output. Online systems are most commonly used in data centers and server rooms.
Other Types of UPS Systems
While offline, line-interactive, and online UPS systems are the most common, other options are available. Hybrid models, for example, are a mix of offline and online units that offer high protection at a cost-effective rate.
Other systems are specially made for certain industries. A local electrician in Florence, SC, can help you decide what type is best for you.
Backup Generators vs. Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems
You might say that you already have a backup generator and therefore do not need a UPS system. But in fact, having both of them could be the best solution. Here’s a brief comparison:
- While most generators run on some fuel, usually diesel, UPS units run on batteries.
- UPS systems provide an almost instantaneous power supply during an outage, while most generators need to be manually started.
- While there are more generator options, they are also more expensive.
- Backup generators do not provide the same clean power as the one provided by your utility company. UPS systems protect against power surges of all types. They can ensure that the energy from a generator does not cause any damage to equipment.
- UPS systems require minimal to zero maintenance, while generators, on the other hand, need to be regularly serviced by a licensed electrician.
In a Nutshell
No matter the size of your business, an uninterruptible power supply system (UPS) can be of great benefit. It will protect your equipment from damage caused by power fluctuations and ensure a continuous power supply during power outages.
Choosing the right type and size of UPS system is necessary to provide maximum protection. An electrician will help you assess your power needs and help you choose the right type and size of UPS system.
Whatever your business needs, your electrician in Florence, SC, can assist you in choosing the best power backup option for your business.
Mister Sparky of Florence Will Take Care of All Your Electrical Needs.
If you are looking for a reliable electrician in Florence, SC, look no further. At Mister Sparky of Florence, we provide electrical solutions to our wide base of commercial and residential customers. Our highly skilled, trained, and licensed electricians know how to efficiently solve electrical problems and identify minor issues to prevent bigger problems.
We guarantee 100 percent customer satisfaction for all our services. Among our several electrical services are emergency electrician, outdoor lighting, and generator installation and maintenance. Do not hesitate to call us today to start benefiting from our extraordinary services.
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