What is uninterruptible power supply?

Uninterruptible power supply systems are designed to protect a wide range of technology hardware from single or multiple computers, to telecommunications equipment, right up to mega data centres, in the event of an unexpected power surge, sag or failure.  

A continuous power supply is essential in today’s business environment. If your electricity supply fails, it can result in downtime, reduced productivity, comprehensive data loss or corruption that, ultimately, could cost your organisation a lot of money. Unfiltered electricity can lead to disturbances that can threaten system operations and processes and even cause significant damage to sensitive electronic equipment. 

Using an uninterruptible power supply solution mitigates those risks by enabling IT systems to keep running when incoming power is compromised for a limited period. Here at Techbuyer, we offer a range of such solutions. The size and type of power unit determines how long it can run IT equipment in place of utility-provided energy. 

The back-up energy supplied by uninterruptible units can be stored in different ways, although rechargeable batteries are most common.  

Three main types of uninterruptible power supply systems 

Battery back-ups are the most basic and, usually affordable, solution and are referred to as Standby, or Offline. Standby power supply is generally used for more standard electronic equipment usually found in a small office or at home, such as simple security systems and consumer electronics. 

When the supply of incoming utility power fails, this uninterruptible system kicks in with DC battery power that it inverts to AC power that is then used to run connected equipment until utility power is restored. Their purpose is to allow digital equipment to be shut down safely in the event of an outage. Power sags and surges won’t always trigger a battery backup. In addition, because a switch takes place between sources, there will be a delay before an offline system supplies power. 

Line-interactive, on the other hand, is the next level up, and provides both on and offline protection. This type of uninterruptible power supply can correct and moderate power without switching to battery-based reserves. 

A line-interactive system utilises what’s called an auto transformer, which regulates any over or under voltage event. It can be used for consumer electronics, network equipment and entry-level servers.  

This type of uninterruptible power supply is interactive as it automatically selects different power taps on the auto transformer and can maximise any limited battery reserves by correcting any power fluctuations and managing current levels in an outage or power surge. 

Top of the range are Online uninterruptible power supply systems. These are generally more expensive because of the equipment involved but they provide a premium solution for critical electrical equipment and, in essence, they act as an ‘electrical firewall’. As well as protecting you against power outages, they also regulate the level of power delivered to your equipment. 

They are suitable for safeguarding essential IT and server equipment, data centres, telecoms systems and top-end electrical equipment. If a power loss happens to take place, the batteries, which are always connected to the inverter, keep the power supply consistent with no interruption at all. 

What uninterruptible power supply system should I choose? 

When deciding which type of system to buy, it's important to first understand what level of protection is required to ensure a critical IT resource is powered continuously.  

If the success of your business depends on your data, then it is something you will want to invest in. Large data centres, for example, view installing an uninterruptible system as a necessity for the proper functioning and security of their business. The same should be true for all commercial businesses. The only difference will be the size of the system chosen. This is because different sized businesses will have different sized electrical load requirements. 

In the end, the choice of whether to buy an advanced uninterruptible power supply solution or a basic one will depend on how often power demands are expected to fluctuate and the risk level of financial, operational and reputational harm should there be a power disruption or outage. Also, you will need the proper size of system to make sure you have enough power to supply your critical load in case of an outage. 

Uninterrupted power supply is vital for all work situations and the best options are not necessarily new, they can be reconfigured and upgraded existing technology, which not only saves money and the planet, it also works as well, if not better than, new. 

Here at Techbuyer we have the expertise to help you make the right UPS decision with confidence and the products available to ensure you have what you need regarding the best solution for you. To discuss your best possible options, contact us here.