What are UPS Batteries and What Can They Do?
If you need to power mission-critical appliances, life-saving medical equipment, or anything else that must be on day in, day out, a UPS battery can help prevent loss of supply and maintain your coverage in the event of a power failure. UPS is short for “Uninterruptible Power Supply”, and these devices respond immediately in the event of a power failure, ensuring that your supply remains uninterrupted. They are not the same as a battery backup, and it’s important to understand the difference between the two systems, and the areas that they overlap.
What are UPS Batteries Designed For?
The UPS battery serves as a buffer between the mains power (or generator, or other primary power source), and your backup battery. It can take a minute or two for your backup battery system to kick in and during that time you would have lost supply to your power source. The UPS is designed to solve this by temporarily sustaining those systems, and then when it detects that the backup system is up and running, it will hand over the power supply to that system, which can keep it running for far longer than the UPS battery would be able to.
What Can a UPS Battery Not Do?
UPS batteries are only suitable for short-term power; they cannot be used as a full-time backup. They can support your appliances for a few minutes, but no longer than that. If you are worried about longer-term outages, it is crucial that you have a full-scale backup that can take over for those longer outages.
What Other Functions Does a UPS Serve?
A UPS can act as a stopgap, making the transition between power failure and backup power smoother. It can also make your power system more reliable during day-to-day operation if you tend to have power fluctuations. This is something that many business critical systems require. If you are worried about unstable power supply, such as in a field office or in a hospital that is in a rural community, a UPS can help with that.
During power fluctuations the UPS simply evens out the power supply and it will not need to hand off to a backup system. A UPS sits between your main power supply and the equipment that it is supposed to protect, and it will help to reduce the potential damage that could be caused by minor power ‘blips’. The UPS will constantly recharge its battery in mini-cycles while it is operating, so that it always has enough power to cover a few minutes in the event of a power outage.
Installing an Uninterruptible Power Supply as a part of your business continuity setup, and having a UPS battery replacement, is a useful way of guaranteeing that you will have time to react if the power goes down. It buys time to start a generator or for ‘smart’ systems to kick in, and gives you the reassurance that your systems will be OK even if there are problems with your energy supply.