Electrical Contracting News (ECN): Tackling The 6 Top Myths About UPS

We separate the fact from fiction by exploring some of the most common misconceptions electrical contractors have about uninterruptible power supplies.

Despite being an integral part of many electrical installations, UPS systems are still seen as a bit of a mystery. It could even be argued power supplies are undervalued by electrical contractors.

electrical contracting news magazine logoAs one of the leading UK UPS companies, we couldn’t let this lie. Our General Manager Leo Craig speaks to Electrical Contracting News (ECN) magazine to take on the top 6 myths about UPS head-on.

The first myth to debug is that a UPS system is far too complicated. That there are too many varieties that it’s difficult to choose the right UPS.

In truth, a UPS is a complicated piece of equipment. But to start specifying one, an electrical contractor needs just two things. Firstly, the size of the load that needs protecting. Secondly, the required runtime. In other words, how long does the battery need to last?

While there are many other factors to consider, those are all incidental to those primary factors. Not as complex as it might seem, eh?!

Myth 2 is that an uninterruptible power supply is big, bulky, and energy-intensive. Again, there’s a caveat of truth in this… If you were talking a decade or more ago.

Modern UPS technology has come on in leaps and bounds. Transformerless systems can now achieve up to 97% efficiency. While modular UPS offer a whole host of economic and environmental benefits. Higher power density in less space, using less electricity and tailored to the capacity requirements of the load.

Facts circled vs myths, and pencil on textured paper
FACT OR FICTION? We’re tackling some of the most common myths about UPS systems

Myths About UPS Maintenance

The piece goes on to explore a couple of misunderstandings about maintaining and servicing a UPS. Firstly, an uninterruptible power system doesn’t actually need any maintenance at all. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Leo explains the benefits of UPS maintenance, which include minimising downtime, improved efficiency, and better budgeting and future-planning. Preventive maintenance is proven to extend the life of many key UPS parts by as much as 25-50%.

A second maintenance-related myth is that all UPS maintenance contracts are created equal… Sadly this isn’t the case. Which is why electrical contractors should ask any UPS supplier several important questions before agreeing to any maintenance plan.

Clarity on emergency response times, spare parts, service engineers, and what’s actually included in a UPS maintenance and service agreement are all recommended.

We won’t spoil your enjoyment of the full article, but there are two more myths about UPS to bust. Firstly, they’re only needed during an actual power failure. And finally, the lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in UPS aren’t safe to use.

Explore the full myths about UPS article from page 52 of the March edition of ECN magazine