New to the world of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or Battery Backup systems? Consider this UPS buying guide your introduction to the basic concepts behind UPS Systems and which type will work best for your requirements.
What is a Battery Backup UPS System?
A UPS, at its most basic, is a battery backup power system that supplies power long enough for equipment to properly shut down when utility power fails. It helps prevent loss of data and minimizes the stress a hard shutdown causes on your electronic equipment.
The UPS is also a surge protector that protects connected devices from power problems, like surges or abnormal voltages, which can damage, reduce lifespan, or affect performance of electronic equipment and devices.
Why do I need a UPS System?
In case of a blackout, the UPS switches immediately over to battery power to provide a continuous power source for the length of the battery. Battery life can vary by system and depends on how much power you use. The battery backup gives you time to power down sensitive equipment, servers, or even video game consoles without loss of data or progress. Different UPS systems also provide certain levels of protection for other power problems that arise.
What are common power problems?
Let’s define possible power problems you might experience:
- Surge – A brief, but intense, spike in electricity commonly caused by lightning. Surges can damage and destroy electronics, and the intense “spike in electricity” or spike in voltage and current harms circuit boards and components.
- Blackout – A power outage lasting anywhere from seconds to days. These are most commonly caused by severe weather, utility power shortages, accidents, and power grid failures.
- Brownout – An intentional or unintentional drop in voltage for an extended period of time. In emergency conditions, power companies may lower the voltage of your electricity to reduce strained resources and avoid a total blackout.
- Voltage Sags – A sag is also a type of under voltage, but, unlike a brownout, it’s sudden and brief.
- Over Voltage – Occurs when incoming voltage is higher than normal and lasts longer than a surge but not high enough to be classified as a surge or spike.
- Frequency Noise – Also known as line noise, frequency noise can disrupt or degrade the performance of a circuit by injecting abnormalities into the system.
- Frequency Variation – Not a common problem when power supplies are stable, but it can occur when using generators and power frequency fluctuates more than desired.
- Harmonic Distortion – A departure from the ideal electrical signal on a given power source.
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