The role of generators and UPS systems in power protection is sometimes misunderstood. Though, this is true – the transformation of batteries having lithium-ion into UPS power supply and UPS into energy storage devices. Find below the main differences among a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and a generator.
Maintaining Backup of Uninterruptible Power
The three kinds of UPS systems are on-line, off-line and line-interactive. Read further to know the functions of UPS systems.
Where the main grid line electricity fluctuates beyond the limits set in advance, line-interactive, as well as off-line devices, enable battery backup. The UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) usually includes spike, filtering of electrical noise, whereas, line-interactive type of UPS may include automated voltage stabilization. The voltage stabilizer element, which might be possibly electrical or a transformer (usually tap-changing), protects the mains electricity from sags, brownouts, and surges.
An online UPS usually consists of a continuously operating inverter that generates an AC waveform, which is digitally operated and functions within the tolerable limit that is always superior to the mains electricity. Due to the failure of mains electricity, the UPS provides battery protection, also, the battery set can function for a longer number of hours.
Online UPSs also have a configuration of automatic bypass. A circuit built within the UPS device tracks the output waveform of the inverter. Some breakdown of the current waveforms or voltage triggered by any fault condition or overload will initiate the bypass, causing the load to be transferred to the mains electricity of bypass. As a result, an online UPS device will fail within safe limits.
Onsite Generation of Power
Generators supply electricity/power using a turbine or motor that is powered by either petrol, diesel, or LPG, that is stored in a septic tank inside the nearby storage tank or in a generator set.
Generators may be designed to provide standby or prime power. To supply power to their loads, generators providing prime energy/power work continuously, whereas generators providing standby power offer intermittent power backup when called for doing so, such as after a power outage.
Energy Storage and System Generators
Power storage systems are intended to supply battery power in a similar manner as UPS power supply systems do but they work on a more frequent cyclic basis. In a UPS configuration, a collection of lead-acid battery is used. The technology of lead-acid battery is ideal for temporary power protection when the period between prolonged power outages is long.
Lithium-ion batteries with higher power density are used in energy storage devices because they are more suitable for regular and fast charging and discharging cycles. Such function enables a facility of energy storage, which helps in storing power from locally available renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic installations, etc.
UPS systems can be converted and used as energy storage systems. The standard lead-acid battery collection is replaced with a lithium-ion battery set with a unique battery control system for this kind of use.
Backup Generator and UPS System Installations
To protect the critical load, this type of scenario of power/energy protection necessitates installing both a power generator on standby and a UPS or collection of UPS structure. The UPS battery must be large enough to control UPS installation as well as all other critical utilities such as air conditioning and lighting.
If an increasing number of data centre and server room operators move to UPS power supply based on lithium-ion batteries, their use in the form of energy storage devices will grow. The choice to be completely ‘grid-independent’ could be appealing for installations having electricity generated from renewable sources and a local backup power generator. However, it is advisable to consult an expert with in-depth knowledge about the system’s technicalities before installing it.