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There are three main types of static UPS available, known as on-line, line interactive and off-line systems. But which is the best option for your business? In this blog, we discuss each UPS technology to help you to make the right choice.
If you have sensitive IT systems that need to be protected then the most suitable solution is generally considered to be on-line UPS technology. This is because an on-line UPS not only protects you against mains failure, but also against all variations in electrical frequency and harmonics to prevents surges, spikes and electrical noise. This in turn supplies you with a clean, stable and regulated electrical supply.
In the event of a power failure, an on-line UPS will take up the load using battery power to give a break-free electrical supply and also a break-free connection when the system reverts back to mains power once the problem has passed. It will also provide you with an automatic system bypass to mains, if an overload or fault condition occurs. If you have a generator connected, the UPS will act as a power bridge until the generator takes up the load.
If you are looking for a more cost effective option and only need basic protection, then off-line UPS technology may be an appropriate choice for you. In normal situations, an off-line UPS passes the mains power directly to the load. The mains power provides a single DC line which keeps the battery charged, then when the UPS detects reduced voltage, it turns on the inverter to power the load directly from the battery. These systems are relatively slow to switch in comparison to on-line UPS units and the delay between mains power loss and inverter startup can be long enough to disrupt the operation of sensitive electronics. Off-line UPS technology does not provide full power conditioning, but may use a simple filter to clip spikes and electrical noise.
Line interactive systems are another UPS option to think about. These units contain an off-line inverter and a transformer to supply to the load. Line interactive UPS units offer enhanced power protection over the basic off-line designs because they provide additional line conditioning. They can also cope with a wider range of input voltages without resorting to battery. In the event of a mains failure, the inverter is started and switched to the transformer to provide the output. The transformer is used to provide line conditioning however it also maintains output on its secondary briefly when a total outage occurs increasing the hold up time of the UPS. This results in a break in the output of a few milliseconds or less and is thus faster than a simple off-line UPS.
If you’d like to discuss which type of UPS is right for you, call us on 01488 680518 or get in touch via our contact form.