uninterruptible power system

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uninterruptible power system

[¦ən¦in·tə′rəp·tə·bəl ′pau̇·ər ‚sis·təm]
A system that provides protection against primary alternating-current power failure and variations in power-line frequency and voltage. Abbreviated UPS.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Uninterruptible power system

A system that provides protection against commercial power failure and variations in voltage and frequency. Uninterruptible power systems (UPS) have a wide variety of applications where unpredictable changes in commercial power will adversely affect equipment. This equipment may include computer installations, telephone exchanges, communications networks, motor and sequencing controls, electronic cash registers, hospital intensive care units, and a host of others. The uninterruptible power system may be used on-line between the commercial power and the sensitive load to provide transient free well-regulated power, or off-line and switched in only when commercial power fails.

There are three basic types of uninterruptible power system. These are, in order of complexity, the rotary power source, the standby power source, and the solid-state uninterruptible power system.

The rotary power source consists of a battery-driven dc motor that is mechanically connected to an ac generator. The battery is kept in a charged state by a battery charger that is connected to the commercial power line. In the event of a commercial power failure, the battery powers the dc motor which mechanically drives the ac generator. The sensitive load draws its power from the ac generator and operates through the outage.

The standby power source consists of a battery connected to a dc-to-ac static inverter. The inverter provides ac power for the sensitive load through a switch. A battery charger, once again, keeps the battery on full charge. Normally, the load operates directly from the commercial power line. In the event of commercial power failure, the switch transfers the sensitive load to the output of the inverter.

The solid-state uninterruptible power system has a general configuration much like that of the standby power system with one important exception. The sensitive load operates continually from the output of the static inverter. This means that all variations on the commercial power lines are cleaned and regulated through the output of the uninterruptible power system. A commercial power line, known as a bypass, is provided around the uninterruptible power system through a switch. Should the uninterruptible power system fail at some point, the commercial power is automatically transferred to the sensitive load through the switch. This scheme is known as an on-line automatic reverse-transfer uninterruptible power system.

An uninterruptible power system consists of four major subsystems: a method to put energy into a storage system, a battery charger; an energy storage system, the battery; a system to convert the stored energy into a usable form, the static inverter; and a circuit that electrically connects the sensitive load to either the output of the uninterruptible power system or to the commercial power line, the transfer switch. The position of the transfer switch is controlled by a monitor circuit. Generally the switch in an uninterruptible power system is a high-speed solid-state device that can transfer the load from one ac source to another with little or no break in power. See Electric power systems, Electric switch

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

uninterruptible power system

An electric power system which provides continuity of power, to the apparatus or appliances being served, without discernible interruption upon failure of the normal power supply.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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