How can you protect electronic equipment from power problems? The solution is to use UPS. At its most basic level, a electrical supply so that power reaching your equipment is ‘pure’. UPS units vary in sizes, from small desktop system that protects a single PC to very large UPS that can provide power to an entire building. Almost every type of organisation has a power protection requirement, ranging from companies with computer UPS provides power to your equipment in the event of a total power failure, giving you time to save data and close files. At a more advanced level, the UPS conditions and filters networks to hospitals, airports, oil rigs. In fact, anywhere where continuous power is necessary. UPS applications have grown substantially over the past decade and today, most major industries are using UPSs to protect their core business against mains failures, mains supply fluctuations, power surges, and neighbouring disturbances in the electrical supply. 

Although the functionality of the UPS remains the same, namely power back up combined with maintaining a clean electrical supply to the load, the choice of selecting a Rotary or Static UPS for industrial applications has become contentious and the myths need clarification. Over recent years, Static UPSs have commanded a major share of the UPS market when compared to the Rotary type, although Rotary UPSs still maintain popularity in industrial environments where ratings are in excess of 800kVA. The downside is however, that Rotary technology is generally 30% more expensive than the alternative Static offerings. Today, Static UPSs are a major contender for industrial installations, and the advantages and benefits they offer, have seen consultants shifting their design criteria from Rotary to Static technology.


Static UPS physical sizes and inverters have changed dramatically in recent years with thyristor technology being replaced with IGBT technology. This new technology has helped considerably to improve the efficiency and handling of non-linear loads (computers and SMP type loads) with extremely low voltage distortion. With thyristor technology, peaks of the voltage wave form were frequently flattened, whereas this does not occur with the more recent IGBT technology. A further advantage of IGBT is that it reduces the size of the inverter stacks and allows repairs to be made more easily. And, owing to digitally controlled UPS design and growth in the IT arena, it is now very easy to control and monitor UPSs remotely from a different site or even a different country. This ability can provide a snapshot of the operational side of the UPS and if necessary, can simulate mains failure to check the health of the battery on an individual UPS. 


- PowerWare Corp.
- Shri Karve, UPS Technology
- IGBT image is from CT-Concept Technology Ltd.

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