Main » TERM » U »

UPS - uninterruptible power supply

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a type of power supply system that contains a battery to maintain power to provide power to electronics in the event of a power surge or outage. 

Typically UPS power keeps a personal computer (PC) running for several minutes after a power outage, enabling you to save data that is in memory and shut down the computer gracefully. Many uninterruptible power supplies now offer a software component that enables you to automate backup and shut down procedures in case there's a power failure while you're away from the computer.

An uninterruptible power supply system generally offers multiple outlets, allowing you to maintain battery back-up power to more than one device and will also include additional outlets for surge protection.

Types of UPS

There are two basic types of UPS systems: the standby power system (SPS) and on-line UPS system. The standby UPS is the most common type of UPS used for desktop computers and other individual electronic devices. The line interactive UPS is more commonly used in small business and server situations.

Standby Power System (SPS)

The standby power system monitors the power line and switches to battery power as soon as it detects a problem. The switch to battery, however, can require several milliseconds, during which time the computer is not receiving any power.

Standby Power System (SPS)

Image Description: The standby UPS, produced by Schneider Electric's Data Center Science Center

On-Line UPS System

An on-line UPS avoids these momentary power lapses by constantly providing power from its own inverter, even when the power line is functioning properly. In general, on-line UPSs are much more expensive than SPSs.

Texting & Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top... Read More »

Huge List of Computer Certifications

Have you heard about a computer certification program but can't figure out if it's right for you? Use this handy list to help you decide. Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »