More Than Just Backup Power

FEBRUARY 11, 2022


by Michael Ruhe, Product Manager, Engineered Solutions

When most people think of an uninterruptible power supply, they think about supplying back up power in case of a total power loss.


However, that is not the only power quality event a UPS can correct - especially when using an online double conversion UPS.

As the name implies, a double conversion UPS takes the AC input, converts it to DC, and then back to AC.


Through this process, it can correct a multitude of conditions, such as sags, swells, frequency variations, and line noise, thus providing over all power conditioning.


Some UPS, like those in Mitsubishi Electric's 9900 Series, can even run in “power conditioning” mode, where a DC voltage source - like batteries - are not even needed.


This allows end users to benefit from all the capabilities of a double conversion UPS without the extra expense if additional back up time is not required.


A great example of where power conditioning plays a major role is in medical equipment applications, such as MRI and CAT scan machines.


Medical device OEMs typically have strict power specifications, and operating outside of these specifications can lead to machine shutdowns or even damage.

Both of those scenarios are undesirable and costly to the end user of the equipment. The “costly” part of that statement doesn’t even necessarily have to mean monetarily. Those events create problems that cascade all the way down to the patients who could be waiting on using that equipment to get a diagnosis.


Some problems that relate to power quality might not always be as obvious as the requirements needed for medical equipment.


Take, for example, events that could be seen in a manufacturing plant with running pieces of equipment.


Maybe there are machining errors that occur during a storm leading to scrapped product, or the programmable logic controller (PLC) is intermittently losing its programming, or maybe it even needs to be replaced more than normal.


Issues like those might be traced back to small power quality events that could be corrected through power conditioning. These might not seem like major issues, but they still result in material losses and downtime that adds up.

These are just two examples of where power quality can be a concern, but there are many more out there that go unnoticed and can lead to costly events and failures.


And, while a UPS might not always be the best fit to correcting a power quality issue, it should always be in the discussion because when it comes to power quality, the application of a UPS can go far beyond an end user just looking to maintain operations when there is a loss of power.

Edited by Nicole KristofDigital Marketing Specialist

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