What is a Backup Power Solution?

diesel-generators-09UPS and Diesel Generators in high-vulnerability installations

The combination of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and a generator set is an increasingly frequent solution used to supply sensitive loads such as computers, telecommunication centres, industrial processes, hospitals, airports, etc. These two types of equipment offer complementary functions for the supply of critical loads.

A modern UPS uses the double-conversion technique (rectifier/charger and inverter) to provide quality power and isolate loads from upstream disturbances.  It also supplies battery backup power that can last from a few minutes up to several hours. However, the longer the necessary backup time, the larger the battery installation, with the corresponding servicing requirements.

For this reason, diesel generators are used to reduce the size of the battery in installations requiring long backup times. In the event of a prolonged utility power outage, the diesel generator is started to supply the UPS before battery power runs out. Diesel Generators will fire from start to be ready to take the load within 30-45 seconds.

When looking to purchase a diesel generator remember to allow for start-up time, local site regulations, minimum operating times, in addition to installation and maintenance costs, fuel storage, servicing, etc.

What is more, use with a UPS involves a number of technical aspects that must be examined to ensure correct operation of the backup power solutions.

A UPS requires a constant air-conditioned environment, ideally at no more than 22 degrees Celsius. No moisture or dramatic changes of temperature.

A modern UPS should give up to 15 years’ service before becoming obsolete. Every generator is robust and ready to serve. A generator will give you up to 35 years service.

Both the UPS and generator of any backup power solution must have a regular service regime, otherwise expect failure of the system .

NOTE- It’s not a cost saving to do without the maintenance and service of your backup power solutions.

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