Your UPS – uninterruptible power supply – serves a crucial function. If the worst happens, the UPS provides critical power so you can back up data, safely bring sensitive equipment offline, and much more. But how does it do all that?
From the outside, the UPS might seem mysterious. It’s easy to assume it’s a simple mechanism. In fact, a UPS is quite complex. It has many parts that work together. This is especially true of the online double conversion UPS used by most enterprises.
Knowing the components of a UPS can help you identify performance issues. Let’s review some of the key parts and how they deliver critical power when you need it most.
How UPS System Works: The Four Key Components of a UPS System
Virtually all UPS systems rely on four major components:
The static bypass helps defend the UPS system against internal failure. When it detects a system malfunction, it instantly closes the circuit. This causes all incoming power to divert around the rectifier, the batteries and the inverter. That provides unconditioned, utility-grade power to your equipment – even if there’s a major technical problem in the UPS itself.
The rectifier performs two key functions, without which the whole system would be useless: It converts incoming power from AC to DC and it charges the system’s batteries. This maintains the batteries at the right “float voltage,” making unwanted self-discharge less likely.
The batteries support your equipment load whenever power in the facility is interrupted. Even the simplest enterprise UPS consists of several batteries in a string. Within each string, the batteries have a serial connection – if one battery fails, so will the rest.
To safeguard against this, many systems include multiple battery strings. The extra strings can provide additional run-time or greater redundancy in the event of a crisis. Individual batteries age as they run through power cycles, with each battery lasting from four to six years.
The rectifier and batteries supply DC current to the DC bus, and the inverter accepts it on the other side. When a power outage occurs, the “feed” from the rectifier is interrupted and only the batteries supply the inverter. This goes on until the batteries run dry or power resumes.
South Florida Critical Power
An effective UPS system can save millions of dollars by mitigating risk and ensuring business continuity. To learn more, contact South Florida Critical Power today. As our name says, we are based in South Florida and ready to offer expert local help to businesses in our region.