UPS Power Supply



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Plug in to a UPS to keep your PC or entertainment devices running when the power goes out.

What is the purpose of a UPS power supply?

A UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) is a backup battery that keeps the equipment plugged into it running in the event of a power outage. It’s not just a glorified power bank, because the UPS detects interruptions in the power and automatically switches the connected devices to running off the UPS battery, so they don’t shut down. This makes a UPS battery backup especially valuable for computers, preventing work from being lost or files from being corrupted by an improper shut-down.

Many UPS units also include surge protection for connected devices.

How does a UPS battery backup work?

Consumer-grade UPS backup devices are typically classified as “standby UPS power.” This means the UPS plugs into an electrical outlet, using power to keep its backup battery constantly charged. It also supplies a PC or other electronic devices plugged into the UPS with AC power via that wall outlet. Circuitry detects problems with the power (brownouts or interruptions), immediately switching the power source for connected equipment from the wall outlet to battery backup power.

The length of time connected devices can run on the UPS during an extended electrical outage depends on the UPS battery capacity and the power draw of the devices. Generally speaking, they are not meant to be long-term power supplies, but give you time to shut devices down properly to avoid damage. Some units include software to automatically shut down a connected PC when the backup battery runs low. A UPS surge protector also prevents damage to connected devices by spikes in voltage from the wall outlet.

Voltage regulation in a backup power supply

A sophisticated UPS power supply may offer AVR, or automatic voltage regulation. This feature stabilizes incoming AC power so that it is always delivered at 120 volts, without requiring the backup battery to come online. This is useful for preventing a UPS from repeatedly switching between AC and battery power during frequent brownouts.

How much power does a UPS battery backup use?

A standby UPS computer backup system uses a little power to keep its battery charged (and to power a display if equipped with one), otherwise there is really no additional power draw compared to plugging your PC directly into a wall outlet. If you are concerned about power usage by an uninterrupted power supply, look for models that are Energy Star rated.

Are UPS power supplies safe?

UPS battery backup is a safe way to protect your PC and electronics. You must use the same precautions as you would with any battery—protect it from temperature extremes or being hit with heavy objects—but choose a UPS power supply from a reputable company and it will be certified to meet all relevant Canadian safety regulations.