Uninterruptible power supply UK: Does your business need it?

29th March 2022

In a power cut, power outage or surge, your business’s electronic equipment is at risk. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is an essential battery backup, stepping in to provide vital energy when you need it. A UPS delivers battery power required to backup systems, power them down or switch to a more stable supply.

A UPS is at the heart of business continuity for organisations of all sizes. Here we describe what a UPS is, how it works and why it provides essential protection. Does your business need a UPS? Let’s find out.

What is an Uninterruptible power supply?

Uninterruptible power supplies provide a steady supply of emergency power when the primary source drops or is cut off during a utility power outage. They also offer surge protection from energy spikes that can damage any mains equipment. In addition, UPS systems protect business-critical equipment, infrastructure and systems, such as data centres.

A UPS is essential to business continuity plans and ensures your business can remain productive, profitable, and data safe and secure during a crisis. It also enables you to safeguard systems and power them down, ensuring they last longer.

What businesses need an Uninterruptible power supply?

Every business that uses mains-powered systems, servers and storage can benefit from a UPS system. UPS systems come in all sizes, from small units for an individual computer system to those large enough to power entire data centres. When choosing a UPS, you’ll need to ensure it’s large enough to power your systems with enough run time for you to react.

Here are some business-critical applications that UPS systems can protect in a power outage.

  • Comms rooms – A UPS system can ensure that your crucial communication systems stay operational. As a result, you’ll be able to communicate with colleagues, customers and clients.
  • Data centres – UPS systems are often used to provide a continuous source of power that protects essential information and data. A UPS enables you to safely power down your data centre, reducing the risk of damage.
  • Server room – Your servers are at the centre of your business, and a UPS can ensure they’re always online and protected. In the event of a power outage, a UPS steps in enabling your contingency plans to kick in, and you to safely power down your servers. Your data is safe and your business is protected.
  • Food production & distribution centres – A power break could lead to a dramatic loss of stock, particularly for those working with perishable goods, chilled or frozen foods. A UPS enables you to enact emergency plans.
  • Manufacturing – A power outage could delay production and damage machinery, so a UPS system can enable the implementation of a safe pause.

At Carter Sullivan, we specialise in UPS systems for organisations of all sizes, from SMEs to stadiums. Here are some of the specific use cases and sectors that benefit from our UPS expertise, insight and support

  • Banking & finance
  • Data processing & management
  • Emergency service
  • Events & stadiums
  • Industrial
  • Manufacturing
  • Public sector 
  • Retail

We’re a team of experts that can work across all sectors. It doesn’t matter what your business does; every UPS design process is the same. It begins with a free on-site survey where one of our experts will explore your current power requirements and specify a UPS that will deliver the protection you require.

What types of uninterruptible power supply are available?

UPS systems spring into life when the power is cut, the voltage falls below a certain level, or it spikes. When shopping for UPS systems, you’ll see they’re split into two types: single-phase UPS systems and three-phase UPS systems.

The difference between the two systems is how consistently the power is delivered, and the total amount of power supplied.

Single-phase UPS systems use two wires to provide power, with one delivering it the other taking it away. When the system is in use, power pulses, coming in peaks and dips. Power is shared across three wires that work out of phase in a high-efficiency three-phase UPS. The result is more consistent power delivery, higher output voltage and supply with no dips or losses.

So, why bother with a single-phase UPS? These systems are cheaper and more efficient, mainly when delivering low power. On the other hand, three-phase systems are more expensive and suitable for business-critical applications with high power requirements, such as data centres and server rooms.

You can learn more about the differences between single-phase and three-phase UPS systems in our detailed blog here.

Don’t worry; our UPS experts will explain the differences between systems and help design one suitable for you. We’ll explain the difference between single-phase and three-phase UPS systems, double conversion and line-interactive systems.

Popular UPS brands

While there are several UPS brands on the market, only a few have a proven pedigree, and we’re proud to call them partners. We have established close relationships with Eaton, APC and Riello, the world’s leading suppliers of UPS systems.

Why does this matter? Our partnerships provide us with unrivalled expertise in technology and technical insights that our competitors can’t match. Our partnerships with Eaton, APC and Riello enable us to offer UPS systems from all manufacturers at market-leading support.

As an official installer of Eaton products, we have up-to-date information on every product. We regularly put all UPS systems through their paces at our dedicated training centre at our headquarters in Bedford.

UPS aftercare & servicing

Designing and installing a UPS is just the start. Every product needs a complete package of aftercare, servicing and support. We offer all customers comprehensive UPS maintenance, aftercare and support packages that provide total power protection.

Our trained technicians will ensure your backup power is there when you need it. We have engineers across the UK who complete annual maintenance according to the manufacturer’s schedules. We also offer all customers free site audits and condition reports to ensure your mission-critical systems will work in a power failure.

You can learn more about our industry-leading support packages here.

Does my business need a UPS system?

A UPS system provides peace of mind and protection for your critical power systems. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about how a UPS system could benefit your business. Our expert advisers can provide impartial advice on whether a UPs is suitable for you. If you’re interested in taking things further, we can arrange a free site survey where we can sketch out a total power protection system together.