By Roberto Michel, APC by Schneider Electric
There are so many types of uninterruptable power supply (UPS) products on the market that it can seem complicated helping customers make the right choice. To pinpoint the best options, it’s a good idea to let customer concerns be your guide, according to John Precopio III, senior product manager with APC by Schneider Electric for the Smart-UPS On-Line & Symmetra LX single phase product lines.
For smaller power protection applications, standby UPS products are often a good choice because of their simplicity and low cost. For larger, more mission-critical equipment, the choice often comes down to a line interactive UPS, or a double-conversion on-line UPS product, noted Precopio, especially in the range of 1 Kilo Volt-Amps (kVA) to 5 kVA where the two types tend to overlap.
Schneider Electric offers white papers with more background on UPS types, but basically, double conversion online is needed for scenarios where you don’t want to have any switch over time between loss of power on the input side to when the UPS battery supplies power on the output side. Line interactive units typically have a switch over time under 10 milliseconds, but with double conversion online, because of the topology of these systems, there is no switch over time. In other parts of the world where power quality is a concern, double conversion online also extends battery life, but in North America, zero switch over time tends to be the key factor.
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