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When the input power source or mains power fails, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or uninterruptible power source (UPS) supplies emergency power to a load. A UPS varies from an auxiliary or emergency power system or a backup generator in that it protects against input power disruptions almost instantly by delivering energy stored in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels.
Most uninterruptible power supplies have a short on-battery run-time (just a few minutes), but it’s enough to start a standby power source or appropriately shut down the protected equipment. It’s a continuous power system of some sort.
A UPS is often used to safeguard hardware such as computers, data centers, communications equipment, or other electrical equipment against power outages that might result in injuries, fatalities, major business interruption, or data loss.
UPS units come in a variety of sizes, from small ones meant to cover a single computer without a visual display (about 200 volt-ampere rating) to big units that may power whole data centers or buildings. During outages, Fairbanks, Alaska’s 46-megawatt Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) provides electricity to the whole city and surrounding rural villages.
Surge protection and battery backup are the sole functions available on the offline/standby UPS. In most cases, the protected equipment is linked directly to the incoming utility power. The UPS activates its internal DC-AC inverter circuitry, which is powered by an internal storage battery, when the input voltage falls below or climbs above a predefined level.
The UPS then switches the connected equipment to its DC-AC inverter output manually. Depending on how long it takes the standby UPS to detect the lost utility power, the switch-over time might be as lengthy as 25 milliseconds. The UPS will be built to power certain equipment, such as a computer, without causing any undesirable dips or brownouts.
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