An uninterruptable power supply (UPS) or battery backup is a backup solution that provides power whenever your regular power source fails or drops below a set standard of voltage. A UPS solution allows for the safe shutdown of connected equipment. UPS devices also provide protection from power surges.
There are three major types of UPS system, each providing various levels of protection.
Online UPS system
This UPS system provides the most secure form of power when mains power is available and when there is a power outage. The inverter constantly runs and powers the load using either a rectified mains power or generator or connected battery set. An automatic transfer switch monitors the output from the inverter and automatically transfers the load to the raw mains power supply if the inverter output collapses during an UPS overload, short-circuit or fault condition.
Line interactive UPS system
The next step down in uninterruptible power. This UPS has an automatic voltage regulator (AVR) to which the load is connected and supplied a stabilised and filter AC waveform. The battery is charged by a circuit connected to the input AVR and an inverter is live but not powering the load directly. The inverter takes over when the mains power supply fails or fluctuates outside the operating range of the AVR.
Standby/Offline UPS system
Offers basic power protection and operates in a similar manner to a line interactive UPS. A filtering circuit provides some protection from electro-magnetic interference (EMI), spikes, transients, and surges. The off-line inverter powers up when there is a power outage lower than a line interactive UPS system with no automatic bypass. The battery backup is typically limited to an internal battery and this UPS type is available from 250VA to 1kVA.
A UPS system normally use batteries for their backup power. When it comes to UPS the typical battery debate exists: Lithium-Ion vs Lead Acid.
Let’s look at the case for Lithium-Ion batteries.
The key advantages for Lithium-Ion batteries are as follows:
The key advantages of Lead Acid batteries
Lead Acid batteries are the more common choice for uninterruptible and backup power systems. They are more cost-effective to purchase, as well as easier to recycle. Lithium battery installations require less floorspace, have faster charge/discharge cycles, & design lives have a 20—30% greater capital outlay. They are also other installation expenses to consider including environmental monitoring and fire suppression. Both Lead Acid and Lithium-Ion batteries are both viable options. Your choice will ultimately depend on your unique needs. A good question to have in mind is how often you expect your UPS battery to discharge. In a typical server room or data center the UPS battery will either provide short term power as a standby power generator starts up or a longer runtime to either ride through long duration power outages or provide enough time for a controlled shutdown. The fast recharge/charge advantages of lithium only come into play if the site experiences frequent power outages and/or is looking to export excess stored energy to a national grid to benefit from feed-in tariffs.
As experts in Solar Power, we can advise you in what battery choices would provide you with the most value for your Solar Power solutions!
Get in touch with us today: Contact Us | Connected House | Connected House