People use UPS systems to fill the gap between the moment a utility power outage occurs and the time onsite generators kick in to provide stable backup power. Kyle Ellenberger of Power Systems & Controls explains: “There are basically two UPS technologies. The traditional approach is rotary with a flywheel integrated into the UPS.” According to Ellenberger, PSC holds the original patent for rotary UPS, the technology that serves a large number of high-end users. It is favored because of the high degree of electrical isolation that it can provide. In operation, kinetic or rotary UPS units deliver power to a motor that generates momentum on a large flywheel. The kinetic energy is stored in the flywheel’s rotation as it turns. Each turn delivers power mechanically to a separate generator. The regenerating generator, which is isolated and insulated from the power grid, is used to produce the needed current, to the specifications desired by the customer, with a high degree of purity and reliability. He says rotary UPS systems are often preferred in industrial applications such as glass manufacturing where transient perturbations in utility power such as those caused by harmonics introduced through utility lines, can introduce chaos into finely tuned fabrication processes, and ruin the finished product. In static UPS technology, batteries or capacitors of various sizes are used to store power obtained by connection to the grid. Although static UPS appears to be the preferred technology for use in the data center arena, today Ellenberger says PSC manufactures a range of devices employing either technology, as well as hybrid UPS units that employ both technologies. He says UPS systems, in general, are capable of providing better quality power than a direct feed from the utility.
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