What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)?

Related Terms: Battery Backup, Uninterruptible Power Source

What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)?

An uninterruptible power supply provides a battery backup when electrical power is lost (a blackout) or stops providing enough power to the system (brownout). Large UPS systems can power multiple devices for several hours, while smaller UPS solutions simply provide enough power for the system to safely power down or bridge the gap before backup power systems kick in.


External vs Internal UPS Systems

UPS systems come in a number of shapes and sizes depending on the battery capacity, and are most often external units that closely resemble traditional computer towers. However, many embedded computing applications can benefit from an internal UPS solution that integrates the battery backup directly into the system enclosure. Computers with an integrated UPS sometimes employ proprietary battery packs, while others actually utilize standard size batteries.


What are UPS Systems Used For?

UPS systems are often employed in mission critical applications where system failure might cause data loss or even injury. Manufacturing production lines, medical facilities, IT networks and military installations all use UPS systems to ensure reliable computer operation, but UPS backup can be valuable in any situation where reliable power is a concern.


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