what is UPS Uninterruptible power supply

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An uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, UPS or battery/flywheel backup, is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source, typically the utility mains, fails. A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide instantaneous or near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions by means of one or more attached batteries and associated electronic circuitry for low power users, and or by means of diesel generators and flywheels for high power users. The on-battery runtime of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short—5–15 minutes being typical for smaller units—but sufficient to allow time to bring an auxiliary power source on line, or to properly shut down the protected equipment.

While not limited to protecting any particular type of equipment, a UPS is typically used to protect computers, data centers, telecommunication equipment or other electrical equipment where an unexpected power disruption could cause injuries, fatalities, serious business disruption and/or data loss. UPS units range in size from units designed to protect a single computer without a video monitor (around 200 VA rating) to large units powering entire data centers, buildings, or even cities.

The primary role of any UPS is to provide short-term power when the input power source fails. However, most UPS units are also capable in varying degrees of correcting common utility power problems:

   1. Power failure: defined as a total loss of input voltage.
   2. Surge: defined as a momentary or sustained increase in the mains voltage.
   3. Sag: defined as a momentary or sustained reduction in input voltage.
   4. Spikes, defined as a brief high voltage excursion.
   5. Noise, defined as a high frequency transient or oscillation, usually injected into the line by nearby equipment.
   6. Frequency instability: defined as temporary changes in the mains frequency.
   7. Harmonic distortion: defined as a departure from the ideal sinusoidal waveform expected on the line.

UPS units are divided into categories based on which of the above problems they address, and some manufacturers categorize their products in accordance with the number of power related problems they address.

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