Backup Power is Different
In the event that you lose power, a battery backup kicks in to provide backup power. Also known as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), these are an essential piece of technology. In short, these allow you to be unaffected by voltage drops, power outages, as well as shut down computer or connected equipment safely.
Another key thing to note is the size of these batteries will determine how long it’ll be able to supply power. Furthermore there are different types of topologies that provide specific levels of power protection. Those topologies are standby, line interactive, and double-conversion. Understanding these topologies will help you in understanding how these batteries work.
Backup Battery Topologies
The most basic topology is standby. As the topology suggests, this battery is on standby at all times until it is absolutely necessary. If you experience power problems like voltage sag, voltage surge, or a blackout, this battery is designed to kick in and provide power.
Getting into specifics whenever the incoming utility power drops or goes above safe voltage levels, the backup battery will switch to DC battery power followed by inverting AC (Alternating current) power to run connected equipment.
These ones you’ll find in most homes since they are designed for consumer electronics, entry-level computers, security systems and any other basic electronic equipment.
Getting to higher levels, you’ll find line interactive batteries. These batteries incorporate technology that allows the battery to correct minor power fluctuations without switching to backup batteries.
The reason it can do this is thanks to auto-transformers that regulate low voltages and over voltages without the need to switch to a battery to cover for them. Examples of these “low” and “over” voltages are things like brownouts or swells.
These line interactive batteries you can also find on a consumer level but also for those running low-end servers, home theater electronics, and network equipment. Naturally, these batteries will also provide power during more severe instances like voltage sag and surges, blackouts or over-voltages.
The last topology to cover is double-conversion. This model will provide the most consistent, clean and near perfect power regardless of any incoming power. This particular battery will take any AC power and convert it to DC (direct current) power and then back to AC. The technology that uses these batteries operate on isolated DC power the entire time and have zero transfer time because they never never need to switch power.
Because of these features, you won’t find these in typical houses. These are commonly found in data centers, IT equipment, high-end servers, telecom centers and advanced network equipment. In short, equipment that could be damaged badly in the event of blackouts, frequency noises, voltage sags or surges, over voltages, voltage spikes, or harmonic distortions need this.
Backup Battery Output Waveforms
Now that you have a grasp of the topology, one other thing to cover is the output waveforms. These waveforms are commonly used for timing signals, trigger pulses or clock signals. It’s through these waveforms that allow various equipment to function in the first place. There are two kind of waveforms: sine wave and simulated sine wave.
These waves are the highest quality output. The wave itself is smooth, and repetitive oscillation of AC power. Batteries that output this kind of waveform is designed to operate sensitive electronic equipment. On top of that, power supplies that use this never shut down when you are switching from utility power to battery power.
Simulated Sine Wave
As the name suggests, this puts out a waveform that’s similar to sine waves. It creates a stepped sine wave that aims to supply power to cost-effective batteries. This type of production of power is not as costly to manufacture and you’ll find this power in standby and line interactive batteries.