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Reasons a UPS Will Transfer to Battery
A UPS system protects data by supplying network-grade battery backup when power fails. Computer hardware is protected and system life extended through superior full-time surge suppression and noise filtering. An Uninterruptible Power Supply can switch to on-battery operation as a result of power disturbances or software initiated commands. There is a common misperception that a UPS system will use its battery based only on voltage fluctuations. The following list provides the possible causes for a Uninterruptible Power Supply switching to battery operation, along with a brief definition of each.
No Voltage (Blackout): A total loss of utility power.
Low Voltage (Brownout): A decrease in voltage levels. Sometimes this is not visually noticeable.
High Voltage (Over Voltage): A surge is a short-term increase in voltage.
A spike is an instantaneous dramatic increase in voltage.
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): Periodic distortion of the sine wave. Harmonics add to the fundamental frequency in magnitude.
Change in Voltage (dv/dt): Rapidly changing voltage. If the voltage increases or decreases rapidly, the UPS will transfer to battery because the UPS does not know how high or how low the voltage will go.
Frequency Changes (Hz): Deviation from the nominal 60Hz in North America.
Computer Interface/Accessory Issues
A UPS has a microprocessor inside which allows communication with the UPS monitoring software software, accessories, and other native UPS shutdown programs for various operating systems. Interaction with these products could cause a UPS to operate on battery. A Self-Test or Runtime Calibration can be initiated through a graphical user interface, command prompt, or even when there is a communication problem.
Before concluding that the a UPS system is malfunctioning merely because it is operating on battery, be sure to consider all of the above possibilities.
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