There are differences between Online and Offline UPS Systems – the big question is – what are they and what are the biggest challenges and advantages that we could face by incorporating these devices to keep our electric up and running all the time. The power utility, Eskom, is constantly in the news and is obviously facing huge challenges to keep our lights switched on, but for most of us running homes and businesses, not having power could prove to be a huge issue.
Investing in devices to protect our devices and keeping on the lights takes a little bit of creativity, and investigating the options could prove to be the solutions for many of us faced with a future with erratic power that could cause damage to our sensitive equipment whether this means blowing your TV and PC or simply keeping that necessary fan or stove up and running.
The commonality between the two, is, naturally, to provide a reliable backup of power when the lights go out or when they dip or hike.
Online UPS Explained
- Your Online UPS System is different to the Offline system in that the power is derived directly from power–conditioning components
- Your Online UPS System is not directly connected to the power utility
- The power is stored in a battery so that when the power goes off power is drawn from the battery
- This power is then converted into AC power to continue the operation of household and other electrical devices
- Online UPS is Double Conversion UPS
- The main applications for the use of your Online UPS system will usually be in critical care environments and production houses where the continuation of power is vital
Online UPS advantages
- Online UPS can regulate the voltage correctly
- The mains and load are presented separately
- There are no fluctuations (dips and surges) in the voltage, which means that the quality of the voltage is stable
- The reason for this is that the inverter is always switched into the “on” position
- The conversion time from DC to AC is negligible (the same reason being that the inverter is never switched off)
- When the utility power goes down there will be a continuation of power and no imbalances will be noted
Offline UPS Explained
- Your Offline UPS System is a straightforward, inexpensive option to keep the power on and is directed through the UPS bypassing the inverter to the device.
- There is a small amount of filter to protect against instability.
- If the utility is unstable or goes down your Offline UPS System will switch to the inverter’s output to provide constant and a continuous power supply
Offline UPS Advantages
- Your Offline UPS System is user-friendly and straightforward to operate
- Offline UPS is less expensive than the Online UPS option
Advantages of offline UPS
- The efficiency of this system is high. This is because the charger is not constantly on.
- These are affordably priced.
- The internal controller is simpler.
- The power handling capacity of the charger is greatly decreased.
- Applications using offline UPS include emergency power supplies, printers, computers, EPABX, scanners, etc.
Often households opt for offline UPS systems than their online counterparts because of the higher energy efficiency and economical nature of the former. However, households that use highly critical loads should opt for the latter so that sensitive electrical appliances and data are protected.
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Lower Cost Offline UPS generally, when on inverter/battery backup, provide a square/pseudo sine wave output waveform. Given the nature in which switch-mode power supplies used in modern computer/office systems draw power this type of output power waveform is usually more than adequate. In situations where a square/pseudo sine output waveform is not acceptable then true sine wave more expensive Offline or Online UPS are recommended.
Online UPS’s take the incoming AC mains supply and convert it to DC which feeds the battery and the load via the inverter. If the mains supply fails, then the batteries feed the load via the inverter with no interruption to the output supply at all. An Online system, by nature of the dual conversion design (AC-DC/DC-AC), ensures a far higher degree of isolation of the load from the irregularities on the mains supply. In general, Plug N Play Online systems are more expensive than similar Offline solutions because the inverter has to be rated for continuous operation.