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Matthew S. Racine', James D. Parham2, and M. H. Rashid, Ph. D.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514-5754
Tel: (850) 474-2976
e-mail: m-ashid(a:uwfedu

Abstract An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can fuelled by power surges and frequent blackouts in an economy
range from a 9 volt battery all the way to an extremely large driven by hi-tech industries, in particular the information
and costly battery system. The UPS sits between a power technology sector[l]. Although the growth of the industry is
supply such as a wall outlet and a device like a computer to limited only by the limits of the industry itself, currently there
prevent undesired features that can occur within the power are there major types of UPSes we will discuss in further
source such as outages, sags, surges, and bad harmonics from detail. The standby power supply (SPS) is usually derived
the supply to avoid a negative impact on the device. There are directly from the power line, until power fails. After power
several types of UPSes as they strictly relate to computers. failure, a battery powered inverter turns on to continue
The standby UPS is a battery backup to fill in the void of supplying power. Batteries are charged, as necessary, when
power loss, while the ferroresonant stand by couples the line power is available. This type of supply is sometimes
battery back up with the power supply by a transformer, called an "offline" UPS[2]. The second type we will discuss
where the transformer acts as a buffer from the power supply the Hybrid (or ferroresonant) UPS systems. The theory behind
to the stand by supply. The line interactive UPS uses an
inverter converter only, with a power supply the stand by these devices is fairly simple. When normal operating line
battery is charged up, and with a loss of the primary power power is present, the supply power is conditioned using a
supply, the inverter converter switches over to the battery ferroresonant transformer. This transformer maintains a
back up with a much quicker switching time that the stand by constant output voltage even with a varying input voltage and
UPS. provides good protection against line noise. The transformer
also maintains output on its secondary briefly when a total
Index Terms outage occurs. The inverter then goes on line so quickly that it
Converters is operating without any interruption in power[2]. The third
Ferroresonance popular type, which will be discussed further within this
Inverters paper, is the line interactive UPS. The line interactive UPS
Uninterruptible Power Systems "interacts" with the AC power line to smooth out the
waveforms and correct the rise and fall of the voltage[3]. The
I. NOMENCLATURE fourth type of UPS is the online UPS. It is the most advanced
Uninterruptible Power Supply - UPS and most costly UPS. The inverter is continuously providing
Standby Power Supply -- SPS clean power from the battery, and the computer equipment is
never receiving power directly from the AC outlet. Obviously,
11. INTRODUCTION there is no switchover time and this can be considered to be a
"true" UPS[3].
THIS document is to serve as a broad overview of the
functions of UPSes and types used throughout the computer
industry. Every computer from the smallest laptop to the
largest super computer has a UPS of one sort or another. For Obviously, the UPS desired will be determined from the
that matter, the 9 volt battery back up in your digital alarm application needing a "back up" power supply. The greater
clock is considered to be a UPS. Understandably, the industry the importance of the application, the more money would be
is continuously growing due the ever changing technological spent to have the online UPS. Each application should choose
landscape. In India alone, the UPS industry has reflected a its UPS by analyzing the level of failure it can withstand from
consistent growth rate of 30 percent over the last five years the specific power problems listed in Figure 1.

1,2: Senior undergraduate students in electrical and computer engineering

0-7803-9255-8/05/$20.00 2005 IEEE

primary power source is line power from the utility and the
A. Standby UPS secondary power source is the battery. The battery and
The Standby UPS is the most common type of UPS system inverter are still waiting "on standby" until needed. The big
encountered on a day to day basis. They can be found in use difference is that the standby UPS's transfer switch that selects
with our personal and office computers. The input line between power sources has been replaced by a ferroresonant
voltage is routed through a surge suppressor, filter, and transformer[5].
transfer switch before finally being routed to the output of the The transformer has a core of metal with two coils of wire
UPS device. In the event of a full power line failure the device wrapped around. When the current is applied to one coil, the
will switch over to battery back up power within a few other coil will magnetically couple to the first coil and will
milliseconds. induce the current. The transformer will smooth out power
problems from the input, without passing the problems to the
output[5]. The transformer is therefore very well suited as a
line filtering component in a UPS.
The transformer has three windings in a ferroresonant UPS.
Two are inputs, and one is an output. This allows the
transformer to act as a switch. Even better, however, is that
since the core of the ferroresonant transformer stores energy
Ulw Atme-stI NI' t Ahnon A ., in its magnetic field, this acts a buffer in the event that the
1"wac"VO pftiel H,tgh ia
I I _ Bti primary power cuts off and the switch must be made to the
secondary power source[5].
Llni¢ E < <E02
The benefits of the ferroresonant UPS is they are usually
available in a size range of up to about 15,000 VA, making
Fig. 1. Application chart for power needs. them suitable for even the largest servers.
.6'*~~~~S. 1~~~~RAKO&t4ER

1 __ o

Fig. 4. Ferroresonant UPS simplified schematic[5]

C. Line Interactive UPS

Fig. 2. Simplified block diagram of the Standby UPS [5]. The line interactive UPS a third type of uninterruptible
power supply. It uses a totally different design than any type
The filter is designed to smooth out any line noise that may be of stand-by UPS[I0]. In this UPS the internal components are
coming from the AC source, while the inverter on the standby replaced by an inverter/converter assembly.
side takes care of any noise experienced while the battery is The inverter/converter receives the line voltage and then
powering the output. The benefits of this design are in its conditions it for output. The device also delivers a DC
simplicity. The battery only starts when the power fails, charging voltage to the battery of the UPS. In the event of a
therefore the "Standby" has a very high efficiency, small size power failure the battery will then begin to discharge through
and low cost[4]. the inverter/converter where the DC voltage will be inverted
t 0
an AC signal for output to the connected device.
The main advantage of this type of unit is that the
inverter/converter is continuously tied to the output. This will
decrease the amount of time it takes to switch in the event of a
power failure. The time that it does take for the switching is
significantly less than the back-up style UPS units.

Fig. 3. ES-500 Stand-by UPS manufactured by APC[6]. ~~~~~~~~~~~NaVERIER/

B. Ferroresonant or Hybrid UPS
The Ferrorresonant or Hybrid UPS is an improvement on
the design of the standby UPS. As with a standby UPS, the LvlmRIN LnvwERFt

>-| 6-~ - 1R~ANSFE
Fig. 7. Freestanding tower online UPS manufactured by
Fig. 5. Block diagram of the line-interactive UPS [5]. Falcon Electric, Inc [7].
This line interactive UPS is better than the standby type,
but is does however still have some transitioning time that will A draw back to the online UPS is the large amount of
elapse when the line input power fails. This is the only draw power the double conversion process consumes. This power
back to the line interactive UPS. consumption is given off as heat and greatly affects the
efficiency of the unit. The double conversion also is occurring
D. Online UPS constantly. Therefore, the reliability of components used the
create the charger, AC to DC, DC to AC, and the type of
The online UPS is the last of four types of UPS that will be battery used have to be of a higher quality. This drives the
discussed in this document. This type of uninterruptible power cost of theses types of units up very high compared to the
supply in also sometimes referred to as a "true" UPS and is lower quality back-up UPS.
the most costly of UPS types. Its intemal components are Just like the other UPS types, the onlitpe UPS comes in
similar to the standby UPS, but the way in which they are various cabinet configurations. One such example can be seen
used is much different. in Figure 7. These are tower style online uninterruptible power
The online power supply gets its name from the fact that the supplies manufactured by Falcon Electric which have output
input line power is not connected to the output during normal voltage ratings ranging from 1 kVA to 6kVA.
operation. Instead, the input power first goes through an AC
to DC converter where the DC voltage is used to charge the IV. UPS SUB-COMPONENTS
UPS' main battery. The battery then, in tum, is discharging
through a DC to AC inverter and routed through a transfer Each of the uninterruptible power supplies that have been
switch for the output voltage. This process can be referred to mentioned have the same basic purpose, which is to prevent
as a double conversion of the input power. Figure 6 is a the connected equipment from powering down or being
simplified block diagram of the online UPS. damaged in the event of commercial line power failures or
surges. However, each UPS does have different sub-
components. This section will discuss many of the sub-
components used to create uninterruptible power supplies.
A. Surge Suppressor
_ _
The surge suppressor is an important component in the
UPS. When the output of the device is not completely isolated
from the input line voltage there is a need to protect the output
equipment from current spikes that can occur on the input
Fig. 6. Simplified block diagram of the online UPS. [5]. line. This surge suppression is usually done by placing large
inductors on the input voltage lines. The inductors will resist
The online "true" UPS will only use the line input as output any sudden changes in current that occur during spikes. This
when the battery charger, battery, or inverter fail. In this case will in turn help reduce the chance for any damage to the
the line voltage will go through a surge suppressor and filter connected equipment.
before reaching the output of the device. B. Line Filter
The major- advantage of this type of UPS is the total
isolation between the input line voltage and the output The line filter usually comes after the surge suppressor in
voltage. A second, but no less important advantage, is the the input line power circuit. This filter is designed to remove
switching time when the input line power fails. In this case, any noise that may be getting introduced from the input power
the switching time is non-existent. The only component that supply line. The filter is designed with inductors, resistors,
fails during the outage is the charger for the battery [10]. This and capacitors in a "tuned" design to allow only the 60 Hz
allows there to be zero interruption when a power failure voltage to pass through removing any unwanted higher or
0 c c u r s lower harmonic frequencies. Figure 8 below is an example
I i n e f i 1 t e r

Fig. 8. Example schematic for a line noise filter[8].

C. Battery When the AC source is outputting it positive current the
The battery is a key element of the UPS device. The battery diode Dl and D2 conduct creating a positive output across the
will supply voltage to inverter circuit when needed to create resistor RL. When the AC source transitions into its negative
the AC output voltage. Some UPS systems contain only a current output, diodes Dl and D2 no longer conduct, but
single battery while others have multiple batteries. There are diodes D3 and D4 begin to conduct and then fully turn on.
even uninterruptible power supply systems in use that have When this happens the current direction through RL stays the
external cabinets dedicated to housing the large batteries same keeping the output voltage positive. This causes the
required to generate the output AC power in case of line output of the circuit to be a purely DC output.
failures. Figure 9 is a typical battery contained in small home
use UPS systems.
These batteries are usually of the sealed lead acid or gel cell
type which prevents spilling of any dangerous and harmful
chemicals from inside the battery into the UPS device itself. If
the acids from inside the battery leaked out into the device
cabinet they would destroy the electronic components inside
the system rendering it useless.

F 4 C2

Fig. 10. Schematic of a bridge or full wave rectifier.

E. Inverter
The inverter section of the UPS is conversion device that
will convert a DC signal to an AC signal. It takes the DC
Fig. 9. Typical battery used in home UPS systems[9]. power supplied by the battery and converts it to a usable AC
power for the component.
Other than the internal make up of the battery they can
differ in two other ways. The first is the actual physical size of
the battery. Most are shaped like the battery in figure 9 above,
but the dimensions of length, width, and height can be almost
any combination. Another key specification of the battery is
_ _
J DI 6sL
its current capacity. This is usually rated in milliamp hours, or
in larger batteries -the rating will be in amp hours. The amp
hour rating is the amount of current the battery will supply
and for how long. An example would be if the load is going to
cause a .5 amp load on a 20 amp hour battery it should be able
I- 4 t D4
t 0 Fig. 11. Single phase bridge inverter schematic[10].
supply its rated voltage to the load for 40 hours.
In figure 11 a bridge single phase inverter is shown. V,
D. Battery Charger would be the battery of the UPS device. To allow a positive
With the exception of the "online" style UPS, an output voltage on the load both switches Ql and Q2 must be
uninterruptible power supply can not run on its battery power on. Then when the voltage and current is driven negative
indefinitely. The amount of time it can run depends on the switches Q I and Q2 must turn off and then switches Q and Q4
amount of power the load connected to it will consume and must turn on. This process would be repeated every 16.67
the current capacity of the battery, as stated in the previous milliseconds or at a frequency of 60 Hz. The diodes in the
section. When the line power comes back on the amount of inverter circuit shown above are freewheeling diodes used to
power that has been depleted from the battery has to be prevent voltage spikes during the transitioning time of the
restored. switches.
To restore the power a battery charger is used. The charger
is essentially an AC to DC converter. It will receive an AC All uninterruptible power supplies have an
input voltage and rectify it to a DC current. This can be done inverter/converter at some point. When high power devices
in many different ways. The most efficient way to rectify an are connected to the output a three phase inverter could be
AC signal to DC is the use of the bridge or full wave rectifier. used. The three phase inverter is basically three single phase

inverters connected in parallel to form the configuration of a corporations even with power interruptions. For instance, an
three phase inverter[ 10]. average power outage of half an hour can cause a company to
To obtain the desired three phases, the gating signals lose $6,000 in revenues[l]. The research that drives the
should be advanced delayed 120 degrees to obtain a balanced market of uninterruptible power will continue to find newer
t h r e e and more efficient ways of meeting the needs of the clients.
phase inverter[ 10]. With the three single phase inverters
The authors are grateful to the University of West Florida's.
Electrical and Computer engineering department for their
gracious allocation of both time and reference materials that
were contributed to the completion of the project. This
project was done in conjunction with a Power Electronics
course (EEL 4242C) and was completed without financial
resources or gain in mind.

Fig. 12. Three phase bridge inverter schematic[ 10]. VIII. REFERENCES
[1] "UPS industry's strategy to beat slowdown" The Hindu,
connected in parallel, there will be six transistors and six online edition of India 's newspaper, October 25, 2001.
diodes. Only two transistor switches will be on at any one [Online]. Available:
time. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2001/10/25/stories/0625
There are six modes of operations in a cycle and each mode 056i.htm
is 60 degrees. This allows there to be three separate phase [2] N. Christenson, Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
outputs. When switches Ql and Q6 are on there is a positive FAQ version 2.3. [Online]. Available:
voltage developed across nodes a and b. To transition from a http://www.jetcafe.org/-npc/doc/ups-faq.html#06
positive to negative voltage across node a and b Ql and Q6 [3] UPS. The free dictionary dot com. [Online].. Available:
must turn off and then Q4 and Q3 would turn on. http://computing-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/UPS.
To complete the remaining two sets of phase voltages [4] The Stand by UPS, Grid Systems and Controls. [Online].
across nodes b and c as well as nodes a and c we will turn on
Available http://www.gridups.com/faq.html#l.
[5] UPS, the stand by power supply, The PC Guide [Online].
the following switches. Switches Q3 and Q2 will be on for a Available
positive voltage across node b and c, then switches Q6 and Q5 http://www.pcguide.com/ref/power/ext/ups/typesStandby-
for a negative voltage across node b and c. Finally, to obtain a c.html
positive voltage across nodes a and c switches Ql and Q2 will [6] APC Legendary Reliability [Online]. Available
be on, and to develop a negative voltage across these same http:/www.apc.com
two nodes switches Q4 and Q5 need to be on. [7] Falcon Electronics, Industry Leader in UPS Design
V. OTHER APPLICATIONS http://www.falconups.com/pressO2.26.03.htm
This paper was an overview of the basics on UPS systems. [8] TYCO Electronics [Online]. Available
There are many other applications for uninterruptible power http://www.corcom.com/catalog/filters/S/schematic.htm
supplies. One such application is that of military use. These [9] The Battery Station LLC [Online]. Available
UPSes are capable of being used in almost any location from http://www.batterystation.com/ups.htm
here in the United States to locations over seas. These types of [10] Muhammad Rashid, Power Electronics Circuits Devices
units have been configured to accept different standards in and Applications Third Edition, 2004
both input voltage and frequency and are also available in
many output power ranges from 650VA to 6KVA. IX. Biographies
Matthew Racine was bom in Harve De Grace, Md on
VI. CONCLUSIONS October 19, 1977. He is studying at the University of
West Florida, in Pensacola, Florida to complete a
The ever growing industry of uninterruptible power degree in Computer engineering. His employment
supplies is a staple in the entire computing technology market. experience includes eight years active duty service in
As the technology for our everyday electronic lifestyle the United States Air Force. During his first seven
advances into the space age, the market for the UPS years his specialties included aircraft maintenance on
the C-130.
technology will grow to unbounded ends. On the personal Matthew received three associate degrees from
side of the spectrum, stand by UPSes are becoming more and Okaloosa-Walton College in both aircraft
more important in computers at home and at the office. maintenance and computing technology. He received awards for his
leadership and distinguished academic career from the Air Force on four
While, in the supercomputer and business side, an emphasis is separate occasions. He currently lives with his wife and son in Pensacola,
placed on ensuring the ability to generate revenue for the Florida.

James Parham was born in Griffin, Ga on July
8, 1974. He is studying at the University of West
Florida, in Pensacola, Florida to complete a degree
in electrical engineering.
His employment experience twelve years active
duty service in the United States Air Force. During
his first ten years his specialties included aircraft
avionics component repair. His special fields of
interest include unmanned aerial vehicles.
James received two associate degrees from
.Okaloosa Walton College in both avionics systems technology and electronics
engineering technology. He has been lauded throughout his career for his
leadership and selflessness. He currently lives with his wife and two dogs in
Pace, Florida.