Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

uninterrupted power supply (UPS)
(1) a power supply designed to charge an energy storage medium, while providing conditioned output power, during the presence of input power and to continue providing output power for a limited time when the input to the supply is removed. These power supplies are typically used in critical applications to prevent shut-down of these systems during power failures, power surges, or brownouts.

(2) a device that provides protection for critical loads against power outages, overvoltages, undervoltages, transients, and harmonic disturbances. A typical UPS is a rectifier supplied battery bank for energy storage, and a PWM inverter-filter system to convert a DC voltage to a sinusoidal AC output. UPS systems can be on-line, as shown in the figure, where the UPS inverter powers the load continuously, or off-line where the load is connected directly to the utility under normal
operation and emergency power is provided by the UPS.