Uninterruptible power supplies

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are battery powered backup power supplies usually used on computer systems to allow for an orderly shutdown when the mains power has failed.

The quality of UPS units varies and good quality units should be purchased to ensure reliable operation.  The well know brands such as APC, HP, and Liebert are generally of good quality and reliability.

It is important to check the UPS battery status on a regular basis.  A good UPS will have an indication on the front panel of the battery status.  If this is not the case the battery capacity can be tested by turning off the power going to the UPS and noting how long the equipment supplied by the UPS remains on.

Most UPS units use lead acid gel cell batteries.  The batteries have a set lifetime depending on the quality of them and the charge/discharge regime.  They are usually easily replaced and replacement batteries or battery modules are available.

UPS units are relatively easy to recycle.  They have a metal or plastic case, control circuitry, cabling, and batteries.


Further information