UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) Beginners’ Guide

If you are not familiar with what UPS is and what it does, then you won’t be aware of the key role it could play for your business. UPS stands for Uninterruptable Power Supply and it provides a critical function to businesses in the event of a power outage.

What is a UPS?

A UPS provides a backup power source to IT systems and memory-based technology hardware when power is lost. The sudden loss of power can cause damage to hardware components, data loss and general business interruption. Backup generators can take some time to get started up, so using a UPS will protect IT systems and hardware in the interim by providing uninterruptable power throughout the outage.

How does it work?

When there is a mains blackout or other type of power outage, the UPS provides power for a limited period of time, to ensure that damage is not caused to equipment. The simplest UPS systems collects and stores power from the wall socket to provide enough power to enable a controlled shutdown, giving crucial protection to IT systems and hardware. Even in the case of an accidental unplugging, the UPS instantly switches onto the backup power to prevent damage.

Different types of UPS

While there are many different types and subsets of UPS systems, each designed to suit different requirements for businesses, here we focus on the 3 main groupings:


The online UPS system is one that is always delivering electrical flow to your IT system, even when there is no power outage. This type of UPS offers the highest level of protection against sudden power loss and will usually be the most expensive solution but for most companies, the reliability it provides and the consequences that it prevents, ensure that it is money well spent.


With the offline UPS, the power supply is only used once an issue is detected with the electricity supply from the wall socket. So, it is effectively on standby until it is called into action, in which case it immediately switches the power supply onto an internal battery power supply.


A hybrid UPS system is a combination of the online and offline systems. It provides a balance between the cost and the performance of the two solutions, offering a variety of operating modes. The modes will usually be economy mode, active filter mode and double conversion mode and the UPS is able to determine which mode should be used, to provide the relevant performance, while managing costs.

Secure Power has been providing UPS systems to companies of all sizes for many years and is one of the leading suppliers in the UK. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and we will be able to provide advice and guidance on the more appropriate type of UPS for your business.

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