Your computer is just one of the many electronic appliances that can be adversely affected by electrical problems. Power supply can be easily cut off and from mere fluctuation, the situation can progress into a total blackout. With the total loss of power, you worry about two things – when the power will be turned back on and power surge.
So why should you worry about a power surge? This is a situation when there is a considerable increase in electrical power which can take anywhere from a fraction of a second to a number of seconds.
One other problem that the power supply often encounters is the power sag. This power fluctuation can last for just a few seconds or even up to several hours. This can even happen when bulky equipment is being used.
There is one device that can have your computer and other appliances protected when these problems occur. This is called the UPS or an uninterruptible power supply.
Using the power supply ensures that there isn’t a direct link between the computer’s power supply and the wall outlet. What happens is that the power supply and the wall outlet are both connected into the power supply.
Power supply has the capacity to stop noisy power sources as well as power surges. It is a device that is configured to counter blackout or power sag.
The UPS is able to provide the necessary power supply for your laptops and other appliances using internal batteries. It can provide electrical power for up to 20 minutes. It does not last more than this number of minutes because this is enough time for the utility company to solve your problem. If you want a UPS that provides hours of power supply, then you can buy one – just do not expect it to be cheap. In case the utility company is not able to solve the problem before the UPS runs out of power, then you still have ample time to save your work as well as to safely shut down the machines.
There are two types of uninterruptible power supply devices – the standby UPS and the continuous UPS. Standby UPS works as soon as it detects a problem with the power. As soon as the power fluctuates or shuts down, then the UPS will automatically power the machines using its own batteries instead of the power provided by the utility company.
There is a problem with this type of setup, though. The internal batteries offer DC power yet the computer’s power supply wants to use 120-volt AC power. The good news is that the UPS comes with an internal power inverter which converts the DC power to usable AC power. The transition happens before the power even reaches the computer.
If you think that the transition takes place in minutes, you are mistaken. It only takes five milliseconds to transition from electrical power to the power provided by the UPS.
The other kind is the continuous UPS which provides uninterrupted power from its internal batteries. While this happens, the batteries are simultaneously recharged by a wall outlet. Just like the standby UPS, this device also comes with a power inverter. There is a continuous conversion of power from DC to AC. If the utility company is not able to provide power right away, then the internal batteries’ power will be used up instead. Make no mistake of thinking that the uninterruptible power supply is as good as a generator, though. Standby generators can be used to provide power where the main line is already disconnected. Also, it takes about 10-15 seconds for a generator to power up.