The importance of UPS components

Power Control
25 May 2020

The role of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is essential but is surprisingly often overlooked and consigned to being recognised as a mere battery system. UPS solutions are in fact multifaceted devices, made up of a multitude of critical components. It is the quality of these components that ensure that UPS systems can effectively deliver several functions; from safeguarding against power surges, sags, spikes and brownouts through to ensuring a reliable and continuous source of clean power.

From the exterior, all UPS systems look much of muchness. Often a black chassis, with a LCD screen and several different ports at the rear. Thankfully UPS solutions are not purchased based on their external aesthetics but chosen for their technological advantages. The supreme reliability of a UPS system, comes down to the quality of components and the diligence of the user to ensure that the equipment is properly maintained.

Component quality within UPS solutions cannot be compromised. Cutting corners and opting for cheaper parts can have devastating consequences. Understanding the specific role that each component plays in the overall performance of the UPS unit can also prevent catastrophic failures.


Starting with the most obvious, the battery – this is the core of any UPS system and is what controls UPS reliability. Despite this, it might be alarming to learn that poor battery maintenance results in over 20% of UPS failures. A typical lead acid (VLRA) UPS battery has a typical lifespan of five to ten years. The longevity of batteries can be determined by a number of factors, the most significant being the environment in which they are kept in. It is also important to note that a single battery fault can affect an entire battery string.


Another core component is the rectifier, which not only charges the batteries but also converts utility power from AC to DC. The quality of this element should be of the highest grade and regular servicing is recommended to ensure that the rectifier has not corroded or dried out. The same practice applies to inverters.


The final area to address are the capacitor banks, which comprise of fans and multiple capacitors of differing types and sizes. The smaller capacitors smooth out the power supplied to the UPS processor and the larger ones regulate the power flow into the equipment being protected.

Precisely designed and expertly manufactured capacitors will only show very gradual changes over time and frequent servicing will prevent any unplanned failures. However, the perishables within capacitors degrade at the normal rate for each material and so a preventative maintenance approach is paramount to maintaining healthy UPS components.

As an independent leading power protection specialist, Power Control Ltd has aligned itself with international manufacturing partners, which are all renowned for superior component engineering. The business prides itself on its influential role within the emergency power sphere and invests a great deal of resource in being as close to its manufacturing partners as possible.

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