UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supplies (as seen here) are systems that provide backup power when the main power supply fails. Since power failure is something that affects everyone at one time or another it can be crucial to have contingency plans if power loss is something that can’t be tolerated.
There are many situations where losing power can cause chaos – probably the most obvious of these is at a hospital where there are numerous life support machines and medical devices that need power. When one considers that even a power outage of a minute would cost lives you can start to see how important UPS can be in some situations.
While a hospital is the most extreme example it’s not the only place where constant power is required. Imagine if the computer you’re reading this article on lost power right now. One would probably not only be unable to finish reading this article (a terrible thought I know), but would lose any unsaved work on your computer and any other tabs you have open in your browser. Still not fatal perhaps but what if a whole office lost power? Not only would downtime cause a lost day but documents could be lost at the moment of failure causing the previous working time to be wasted.
So how does UPS work exactly; well UPS systems work by storing energy while it’s available and then wait until a failure is detected. They then start providing the stored power until the main supply comes back online. While this may sound simple but it can be a challenge to store large amounts of power – especially if the application is a high draw situation like an industrial setup.
As a home user though the main thing to consider when choosing UPS is the amount of power the device stores and how long it will keep your devices running – as this page explains. Most domestic UPS devices are designed to allow the user to save their work and shut down the PC providing around 1 hour of backup power. This can be extended by using units with more capacity though. There will always be a limit to how long a UPS system can provide power though. If a longer term supply is needed then it’s probably worth checking out a generator as these can provide power for days and as long as long as there is a constant supply of fuel the juice will keep flowing.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more power then a server grade UPS system will provide more power and therefore time but at an increased cost. These systems are normally used in hosting environments where power loss would result in downtime for hundreds of sites. The application of these devices isn’t limited to huge data servers either. Many people run a server in their office or home and would appreciate having some level of backup for it. Using devices like these is a great way to keep a server online for short periods of time.
To learn more about UPS one place to check out is the Riello website. They have a great range of UPS solutions ranging from small units for home use like these to larger industrial rackmount systems that can keep a large scale factory system running for long enough to safely control the systems and power down machines.
So don’t risk being plunged into darkness – check out the range of UPS solutions out there and invest in some protection for your devices. Many people are aware of the need for line conditioners and surge protection but uninterruptible power is often overlooked.