What does it mean when a UPS is “on-line”?

In the wide world of backup power there are two types of Uninterruptible Power Supply. There are those which are “on-line”, and those which are not. But what is the difference? And does it really matter?

Essentially, an on-line UPS is constantly on-line in the sense that it is always operational. The inverter supplies 100% of the UPS load, 100% of the time and it constantly regenerates the output internally. What this means is in the event of a loss of AC, due to a blackout for example, the UPS immediately kicks in to provide power to the load. There is no transfer switch to be activated, no transfer time and absolutely no interruption to the loads power.

By this definition if a UPS is not on-line then it will not immediately power the load in the event of power loss, risking loss and corruption of data, and inevitably a loss of revenue. So does it matter if a UPS is on-line or not? Absolutely!

Being constantly “on-line”, a UPS typically creates slightly more noise, is much larger and more expensive than those which are not on-line. However recent advances in technology has allowed on-line UPS systems to be developed which are quieter, much more compact and importantly – cost effective.

Dale Power Solutions range of E series UPS systems are leading the on-line UPS market with a wide range of cost effective, flexible and reliable on-line UPS systems with a wide range of KVA options and additional services & support.

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