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Uniterruptible Power Supply 101

uninterruptible power supply
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In our heavily technology-dependent world, a smooth and stable power supply is vital to ensuring that your business operations are able to run safely and continuously at the optimum level. While you can’t prevent a power outage, or predict when a surge will occur, what you can do is be prepared for every possible scenario by installing an uninterruptible power supply system. An uninterruptible power supply will protect your business’s most vital devices and systems, and ensure that your business operations continue to run smoothly, giving you one less thing to worry about.

What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply?

An uninterruptible power supply – or UPS – conditions power to the parameters acceptable to the devices which are connected to it, and provides electricity in the event of a power outage. Generally, in cases of power fluctuations or failures, UPS systems will provide instantaneous back-up power for a limited period of time in order to allow for a proper shutdown of devices, or to keep devices running until a backup generator is started. UPS systems also protect sensitive devices and machinery from damage resulting from power surges and ensure that a clean and predictable power supply reaches your business.

How Does It Work?

There are two main types of uninterruptible power supply systems available: Standby UPS systems and Continuous UPS systems. Both run off special batteries which are able to store, discharge and recharge power.

  • Standby UPS systems: Standby UPS systems come on automatically when the main power supply fluctuates or fails. It recharges of the mains supply when not in use. The system is only invoked when a surge or drop in power is sensed.
  • Continuous UPS systems: Continuous UPS systems always run off of a battery, which is continuously recharged by the mains supply. Thus the UPS is always ‘online’ and there is no ‘switching over’: the UPS constantly provides power to a particular device, and is itself recharged off the mains supply. If the main power supply fails, no changes occur in the immediate power supply system – the UPS is simply no longer able to recharge from the main supply during the power shortage.

Why Does My Business Need an Uninterruptible Power Supply?

A stable, predictable power supply is vital to a variety of business operations. Computers are the most obvious; but telecommunications systems, specialized machinery, and other devices may also require protection from power shortages or fluctuations. A key use of UPS systems is to protect computer systems from data loss. A sudden cut in power – as opposed to a proper shutdown – will mean that any information stored in a PC’s RAM will be lost. Many businesses use complex data storage systems to manage and record a variety of business operations. UPS systems guard against data loss and ensure that PCs stay online long enough to afford a proper saving and shutdown or for a backup generator to switch on. Another important use of UPS systems is surge protection. In the United States, power is supplied at 120 volts AC, oscillating at 60 Hz. While most electrical devices can handle very small variations of this, anything larger can cause serious long-term damage. A UPS system will detect any fluctuations or surges and replace the mains supply as the power source for a limited period.

The Added Advantages of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

You might be thinking, why not just install a generator? An uninterruptible power supply is fundamentally different from a generator in that it instantaneously – or near-instantaneously – takes over from the main power supply. There is no ‘lag’ or switchover period. This prevents devices from shutting down abruptly and ensures that no data is lost. Additionally, generators do not have power conditioning and surge protection functionality.

Installing an Uninterruptible Power Supply

The significant benefits which UPS systems offer make them a necessity for any business relying on electrical devices and technology. Art Plumbing, AC & Electric have years of experience in electrical services and installing uninterruptible power supply systems. Our highly-skilled teams of licensed electricians will provide you with all the advice and support you need when deciding which type of UPS system to install, and help to ensure that your business is fully protected from power failures and surges.

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