The UK is fortunate to have a reliable electrical power grid with few outages, and it is something we take for granted. However, the UK’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will present new challenges, and UPS battery backup is an important tool.
As a result of the phasing out of coal power, emissions due to electricity generation have fallen and gas output has also declined. Some of the falls have been due to falling demand and some replaced by renewables like wind, solar and biomass.
As we move away from gas for heating, and into electric cars there will be an increased demand for electricity. It is reasonable to expect that we will start experiencing power gaps, particularly in cold snaps. If the government continues to prioritise domestic users, businesses may need to invest in more UPS battery backup capabilities.
An uninterruptible power supply or UPS battery backup provides emergency power to a load when the mains power source fails. Many UPS systems safeguard computers, data centres, and telecommunication equipment. They give protection from unexpected power disruption that could cause human injury, fatalities, severe business fluctuations and data loss. All businesses need access to infrastructure support due to growing industrial growth, propelled by technological and automation advances.
A UPS battery backup is also crucial for other business process functions like manufacturing, sales and retail. Its functionality makes it an essential device for businesses and homes alike. When considering UPS, it is important to understand the key aspects of UPS battery backups. For example, prices increase as the battery capacity grows, making correct selection important.
Assessing your UPS battery backup needs
With a wide range of products and manufacturers, it can be challenging to find where to starts. Manufacturer APC is part of Schneider Electric and offers an online product selector to guide users. There is an obvious difference between large and small applications, so it covers home, home office, small business and IT servers.
How long do you need a battery supply for?
People have different reasons for using a backup UPS. Some users want it to backup and save essential work or documents, then a safe shut down of their systems. Others might want to work on their systems for the entire duration of the blackout. Here, the power consumption impacts the battery supply time: the smaller the power load connected to the system, the longer the batteries will last.
How to relate the types of power problems with the kinds of UPS systems
There are three types of Smart-UPS systems offered as no single design suits all installations. They are Standby Design, Line Interactive Design, and Double Conversion System. They address the common power problems experienced by users as follows:
- Surge – Caused by a brief and sudden fluctuation of electricity. All three above mentioned systems are capable of handling a surge.
- Blackout – Sometimes caused by severe weather conditions, utility power shortages, accidents, and grid failures. All three UPS designs address this.
- Over-Voltage – These occur when the incoming voltage is higher than the standard level. Line Interactive and Double Conversion Systems can handle these conditions.
- Frequency variation – Occurs when generator levels and power frequency fluctuates more than usual. Only Double Conversion designs can rectify this variation.
- Line noise – Frequency line has the potential to disturb or degrade the performance of a circuit. Again, only a Double Conversion design can tackle this problem.
The UPS market has changed over the past several years with many new offerings. The UPSs of old were fairly static, “dumb” devices that companies would buy, install and proceed to forget about. Not a good idea for a standby system as they require occasional maintenance to be effective.
Current UPS battery backups offer more intelligent functions and can report their status to a centralised management console. They are also far more energy-efficient than their predecessors.