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Topologies for Uninterruptible Power Supplies

R Krishnan and S.Sriniwan

The Bradley Department of Electrical Engineering
Va.Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.
Ph:(703 - 231 4311 ) Fax : ( 703 - 231 3362)
e- mail : KRAMU@vtvml.vt.cc.edu

Some of the desirable features of an UPS are :


Sinusoidal input current drawn fi" the utility

paper reviews the development of

Uninterruptible Power Supply (hereafter referred
to PI UP8 ) over the years from one with a E R
front end charger with isolation at h e frequency
to one with a sinuaoidd current input c-r
with isolation at high frequenay (h.f.).Thip paper is
concerned with the developments in the single
phase low power (less than 1 kVA) UPS topologies.
Each scheme hi analyzed briefly and its principal
merits and demerits are identified.


UPS systems are intended to improve the quality of
ac power in order to provide continuos operation of
ac powered equipments[l]. To accomplish these
functions a UPS takes in utility ac input and
improves the power quality through power
processing. It also provides a redundant (Back-up)
power source so that the load will be interfaced to
the utility directly in the case of failure of any
subsystem. Power quality defects which may be
improved by the UPS include surges, noise, sags and
harmonics. A block diagram of the general UPS is
shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Block Diagram of a general UPS


Sinusoidal output voltage regardless of the load.

Isolation at low weight and cost.
High efficiency and hence minimum power
conversion stages.
High reliability.
Acceptance of wide variation of the input voltage
with no variation of output voltage.

No single topology satisfies all these requirements

simultaneously. Every topology tries to optimize one
or many of the desirable features giving rise to a
wide variety of UPS configurations. The choice of a
particular topology depends on the application and
selective optimization of the desired features. This
paper discusses the various UPS topologies from this
The UPS is classified depending on the power flow
path chosen. If the primary power flow is through
the surge suppressor and filter to the load when the
ac input is healthy, and through the battery and
inverter to the load when the ac input fails, then it is
a standby UPS system. If the primary power flow is
through the charger, battery, inverter and load
when the ac input is healthy then it is an on-line
UPS system. The path through surge suppressor,
filter and transfer switch is resorted to, when the
other path is out-of-operation due to failure or for
maintenance. The classification of UPS topologies is
shown in Figure 2.

The most recent developments having a profound

effect on the configuration of UPS topologies include

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 contains

standby off-line topologies. Section 3 contains online UPS topologies. Line-interactive UPS topologies
are described in Section 4. Conclusions are
summarized inSection5.

High frequency switching to minimize filter size.

New semiconductor power devices resulting
in a dramatic increase in the UPS power
Digital techniques with microprocessors and
DSPs to implement complex control algorithms.

1993 IEEE

2. Standby UPS characteristics

A block diagram of this configuration is shown in

Figure 1. In the standby mode the charger size is

small since it has to meet the power requirement of

charging the battery alone. Standby mode has a
transfer time associated with it during power

Ups Topologies




The ferroresonant transformer tends to be fairly

heavy and of low efficiency.
A conventional triport topology tends to be offline and transition from ac to inverter can be a
problem under certain low line or high line
Tbe quality of output wave form under nonlinear loads is generally poor.

- Onlinewithbackup

Online without backup

This technique has high efficiency and

reliability, as well as moderate cost.
The transformer has a special capability @ e m
Resonant capability) which provides limited
regulation and output wave-form shaping.
Isolation is provided from the ac power

Online with Low Frequency


Online with High Frequency

Standby Online Hybrid Topology

Line Interactive

Figure 2 : Classification of UPS Topologies

2.1 Triport UPS

A block diagram of this configuration is shown in
Figure 3 with a special transformer arrangement
with three windings known as triport UPS. Triport
UPS is an example of standby ferro topology, which
furnishes power directly to the load from the
commercial ac line through the triport transformer
in the n o d condition. When the ac input fails
power is furnished by the battery through the
inverter. Triport topology uses the ferro resonant
technique, where the transformer is used as a
voltage regulator.

2.2 Improvements in Triport Technology

The instability problem of almost periodic oscillation
in triport systems using the constant voltage
transformer (CVT) [2] has been addressed. A
stability problem exista a t light load condition
requiring the use of a dummy load. Such a solution
tends to deteriorate the efficiency and result in a
temperature rise of the system. A stability
improvement technique by utilizing the active filter
as a feedback element is proposed. An improved
version of the triport is presented[3]. A tetra port
topology has been derived to correct ac output
distortion when the inverter fails. It uses two
parallel reversible inverters. This has the advantage
of redundancy in supplying energy to the load in
case of a network's failure. Another advantage is
the better waveform given by the inverters, which
allows no saturation in the transformer magnetic
core, and obtaining a high stability in the output

3. On-Line UPS characteristics

A block diagram of this configuration is shown in
Figure 4. The power flow in an Ups of this type has
been explained in the introduction. The other
features of this configuration are :
Figure 3 : Block Diagram of a Standby F e m UPS


Line conditioning is passive and the technique

is very robust.
During normal power conditions the converter
can be used in the rectifier mode to recharge the
battery. This essentially gives rise to a
chargerless topology.


In case of power failure, there is no transfer

time associated with this configuration.
The charger is much larger and of much higher
rating than a standby UPS, since it has to be
designed to meet the load requirements during
normal operation. This w i l l ensure that the
battery will not be discharged when the input
power is normal.
The flow of power through the charger and
inverter during normal operation causes

3.3.1 Scheme 1

additional power loss and poorer efficiency

compamdtostandby UPS.
Power conditioning can be provided during
normal operation.

Scheme 1, &own in Figure 6, has the step down

chopper reducing the mctiied ac voltage to the level
of the batfay. Note that larger the difPerence
between them voltages, d e r w i l l be the duty
cycle of the chopper which impoms a large output
filter requirement. The scheme has minimum
number of switches, lende itself to compact
packaging and has a 3 etage power proceasing with
the consequent advantage of high efficiency.

Schemes 1 to 10 diecussed below u88 a diode

rectifier bridge, most of them without idation at
line hquency. The manner in which the rectified
voltage is pmceecred to charge the battery and
maintainthe input to the inverter leads to diffemnt


3.3.2 Scheme 2

Figure 4 : Block Diagram of a On-Line UPS

Scheme 2, shown in Figure 7, has an SCR chopper.

To reduce the filter size, the chopper is preceded by
a step down lransformer at the ac input. But this
ad& to the weight, voland coat of the s y h

3.1 On-line up8 with Bypass

This is an on-line UPS h
w a transfer switch or
me~haniemamwciated with it 80 that the l a d Will
be fed by the a~ input diredly in the event of the
inverter/ charger failure.

and redbin a low p o w e r - h d t y packaging.

is poor due to the additional 1-8
in the
input transformer fi.am enhanced harmonic 1-8.
Tlk input power factor is also poor.

3.2 On-Line UPS Without Bypass

A block diagram of this configuration is shown in

Figure 6.

. In

this topology, the general UPS is set to

operate in the on-linemode, but the entire backup path is removed.
Since there is no back-up power source or bypaee, the UPS does not provide Back-up power
in the case of failure of any subsystem.
Redundancy, one of the most important
charactmistics of UPS is not achieved in this
typeof UPS.
Mnf RT



3.3.3 Scheme 3
A block diagram of this configuration is given in
Figure 8. The use of multi-phaae chopper reduces
the ripple and hence the capacitor rating.The input
p.f. is poor due to the use of a buck chopper to scale
down the rectified dc voltage.

H t----rI


Figure 6 : On-LineUPS witbut b y p a


3.3 On-line Ups with Low F'requency

Transformer Isolation



The topologies under this configuration have a

transformer isolation at the output which ia at low
frequency*This haS the baWback Of
and large in Size,
the Weight and
volume of the UPS.

F&ure 9, a boost chopper

in the hnt-end which is modulated to proGds a cine
input ac current and unity power factor. S i the
boost output voltage ie greater than the peak input
m e scheme, shown in


voltage,the inverter operates with this high voltage

with high efficiency and thus removes the drawback
of all previous schemes. The low voltage battery is
charged through a buck converter. The boost
converter charges the dc link when the ac input
f d s . The buck converter requires a very small
rating whereas the boost requires a 1 p.u. rating.
Due to hf operation, the front-end converters lend
themselves to compact packaging. Isolation is
provided only at the output.

additional device negating the advantage of a

reduced number of switches.



Figure 10 : Circuit Schematic of the new converter

3.4 On-line Ups with
Transformer Isolation

High Frequency

The topologies under this category have a high

frequency transformer link. The use of high
frequency transformer reduces the weight and
volume of the Ups significantly. The use of high
frequency FWM techniques reduces the size of the
filter required in the UPS additionally. Most of the
modern static UPS are in this category. The
following topologies use the above technology.

Figure 9 : Scheme 4
3.3.5 On-line UPS With a Reduced Number of

A new UPS topology is proposed [5] with single

stage power conversion and a reduction in the
number of active switches. A block diagram of the
topology is shown in Figure 10. When the input line
current is positive diode D5 conducts. During this
period turning on switches S1,S2 results in V,=O
and turning on S3,M c a m s Vx=Vb . The inductor
current thus keeps increasing and decreasing for
this switching sequence. Current feed-back helps to
keep the input current profile sinusoidal. The diodes
D5 and D6 cause the power flow from the supply to
be unidirectional. The circuit thus functions Like a
semi-controlled converter. The inverter is of a single
phase full bridge type. Turning on S1,S2 or S 3 , a
causes Vy=O. When S2$3 are on V -Vb and when
SI,= are on vy'-vb.
thus form
single phase inverter to supply the load. A current
regulator with load feed-forward is used to obtain
output voltage regulation in the presence of
nonlinear loads. The transformer tap is selected
such that under low-line conditions the inverter can
fully supply the load. The static switches bypass the
inverter and connect the load directly to the supply
in the bypass mode. The topology has many
desirable features like a common neutral between
input and output, sinusoidal input current
irrespective of the load current and battery
chargddischarge control without any additional
devices. However the main draw-back of this
approach is that the battery has to be rated for the
peak input voltage V Any effort to decrease the
battery voltage resurts in the necessity for an

3.4.1 Scheme 6

The acheme 5, shown in Figure 11, has a high

frequency link for isolation, replacing the line
frequency isolation in Schemes 1to 4.The battery ia
of low voltage type. The differential voltage between
the battery and boost output voltage is handled
through a buck converter stage, the rating of which
needs to be very 4.


Figure 11: Scheme 5

The boost chopper provides sine input current and
unity power factor as in Scheme 4. The same boost
chopper is used to charge the dc link from the
battery when the input fails. The efficiency of the
systam may not be high during this mode. But
during normal operation, it will be high since only
four power processing stages are involved and that
too a t high voltages. The hf transformer reduces
the packaging size and cost.

3.4.2 Scheme 6


A UPS wing a variation dt$e above topohgy, is

shown m
12 [4]. "he charger cont&da of a
isolated dc-dc awitch mode converter using a full
bridge transislm circuit and a hf transformer. By
SUitaMe ccmtrol ofthe gata signals to the bridge
circuit, the input mnmnt is forced to maintain a
E i n d d a l protite m phee with the input voltage.
This impmystha input p o w factor of the circuit
to near
The output dc link voltage is
mainhind constant by voltage feedback thereby
charsingtbe bathry.


3.4.6 Scheme9

The Scheme 9,shown in Figure 16, has aboost and

buck converter with hf isolation stage. The booet
stage provides a eine input current at unity power
factor. The buck stage matches the syetam voltage to
that of the battery. This Still has the drawback of
the output inverter operating at low battery voltage.

Figure12: schsme6

The inverter is of high voltage full bridge type with a

Lx:output tilter. Output voltage feedback keeps the
wadd i d d l* a l b e even for non-linear loads.
The UPS baamany deejrable &aracbWcs such as
high input p"-factor, high efPiciency, small size
and good trcllrrrirwt reep~nfre.The draw-back of this
lacheme is that ths battery I6 ofhigh voltage type.
3.4.3 Scheme 7

Figure 15 :scheme 9
3.4.6 Scheme10
The scheme 10 shown in Figure 16, d i s the
desirable features of Scheme 8 and Scheme 4. Here
sine input current, unity power factar and operation
of output inverter a t high voltage are obtained.

The Scheme 7,shown in Figure 13 has a chopper at

the input to match the required output voltage to
tbe battery volttaget. The battery voltage is then
stepped up to high voltage through a high frequency

Figure 16 :Scheme 10

FAF'igure 13 :Scheme 7

The hf link ia the stage of bolation. The output

inverter operaters with a high input voltage and high
efficiency. The disadvantage of this scheme is that it
requires 5 stages of power processing.
3.4.4 Scheme8

T6e Scheme 8 shown in Figure 14, has isolation at

both the bathery input and output, at high and line


Thie is achieved by
the buck and
hf link function in the hf i n d r stage with the hf
t r " e r . The dieadvantageof this scheme is that
the output inverter has a low voltage input and
hence the aystem efficiency is not high.
removing the chopper and comb-

The battery is interfaced with a buck and booet

converter for charging and discharging reqmctively.
The isolation is a t hf leato compact.packaging.

3.5. Standby On-LineHybrid Topology

A block diagram of this configuration is shown in
Figure 17. The load is fed by the filte#iiverhr
combination when the power is normal.
Consequently the size and rating of the battery
charger is small. It thus has the advantage of
standby UPS topologies. In case of ac power
failure, the load is fed by the battery. The standby
Wdc converter is switched on during the power
failure. It is used to d e the battery voltage. This
topology does not exhibit a transfer time during
power failure. It thus has the advantage of on-line
UPS topoloees also. There is no backup power
provided in the cane of the failure of any subsystem.


impact on the perfo"e,size,cost,

isolation, and
other aspects. Further research and emerging power
devices will result in better topologies thus enriching
the UPS system practice.
6 . References

Figure 17 : Hybrid Standby On-line Topology

American Power Conversion Technical notes,

1991American Power Conversion Corp,Jan 20
Harada.K.; Ji, Y.; Katayama.Y.; Chen.C. J.;
constant voltage transformer for Triport UPS
systems", INTELEC'88, p536-!341., Oct., 1988.
Murata.K., Harada.K., "An improved AC
Triport without transients in the output
voltage",INTELEC'83, p 558-562, Oct.,1983.
T0mokuni.Y. ; Nagai.Y.," A novel 3-kVA Ups
Divan,D.M.,"New topology for single phase
Ups systems", IEEE Industry Applicatiod
24th IAS Annual Meeting, part-1, p931-936,
Oct., 1989.
Tadahito Aoki, Katauichi Yotaunoto, Seichi
Mmyama, Yoshitaka Kemnochi,"A new UPS
INTELEC'W,&24-429,Oct., 1990.

4 . Line Interactive UPS

A block diagram of this configuration is shown in

Figure 18a. Configuration of the cycloconverter is
shown in Figure 18b [SI.In this hybrid design the
battery and bidirectional cycloconverter are always
connected to the output of the UPS.
tine hlerrupkr




Figure 18a : Block Diagram of a Line

Interactive UPS

7. Acknowledgment

Prof.RKrishnan thanks Mr.RChellapan, Chief

Executive Officer, Numeric Engineers, Mylapore,
Madras-4, India, for introducing to him the basics,
practice and challenges of UPS systems, both small
and large.
8 . Intellectual Property

Figure 18b : Configuration of Bidirectional


Some schemes, particularly 4, 5 and 10 with

modifications are under disclosure.

Battery charging is provided by operating the

converter in the rectification mode during times of
normal ac input power. In this mode no power
conditioning is provided since the load is connected
to the ac input directly. When power fails, the
transfer switch opens and power flows from the
battery to the load. The fact that the inverter is
always operational provides better control of
switching transients compared to a stand-by UPS.
Battery isolation is provided with a hf transformer
in the bidirectional cycloconverter.
5 . Conclusions

The UPS technology trend is tracked in this paper

with respect to topological developments and their