FAQ - UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - About UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)

Frequently Asked Questions - Image

What is a UPS?

An Uninterruptible Power Supply(UPS) is an electrical device that provides power to a load even when the input source (usually mains power) fails (is interrupted). Most UPS provide near instantaneous backup but many solutions have a short interruption or variation in voltage/current. The backup can be provided by any energy storage technology like batteries, super capacitors or flywheels, stored potential energy - but most are based on batteries. You can read more about UPS in this Wikipedia Page on UPS.

Why do I need a UPS?

Usually UPS are used to operate critical computer, medical or other electrical workload to make sure any interruptions, voltage fluctuations, brownouts (extended low voltage) or extended power outages do not impact these workloads. They are used to avoid any data loss, data corruption, impact to patients or availability of critical information for any other products/services.

What are different types of UPS?

Described in simple terms there are primarily two types of UPS Standby and Online.

A Standby UPS (also called offline UPS) passes through mains power in normal operation and upon power failure does a fast switch over and turns on a battery operated inverter to supply power to the electrical workload. There is usually a very small delay (milli second) in the cutover. The standby UPS are AC (Alternating Current) UPS, meaning the output is similar to mains power and many are designed for providing backup power to IT workload for short period of time (15-30 mts) while the backup power comes back. Most standby UPS use Lead Acid batteries, these are similar to batteries used in cars.

An Online UPS has circuit where by the inverter is always on and supplying power to the workload. Most of these UPS are designed for critical workloads so there is no interruption. Most of these UPS available in the market are also based on Lead-Acid batteries and provide a short backup. 

What batteries types are used in UPS?

Most conventional UPS use Lead-Acid batteries. The same kind used in your car. Lead-Acid batteries are proven and times tested but they are heavy, have a significantly lower depth of discharge (meaning more capacity is needed), have a short lifespan and contain liquids (acids). Lead-Acid batteries have worked well for short duration backup power needed for professional data center equipment but for home router use, having a UPS that is 25 times the volume of a router for an hour or so of backup is not a practical and economical solution

Our UPS uses LiIon (Lithium Ion) cells. Same type of cells that power your cell phone and most of the electric vehicles. These batteries are smaller (they have over three times the energy density of Lead Acid batteries), are efficient (do not generate much heat or any vapors) and last longer

What is a router UPS and how is it different?

As explained above, most conventional UPS are based on Lead-Acid batteries and provide and AC output using an inverter. This is where our Router UPS is fundamentally different.

We use LiIon cells in router UPS. LiIon cells as materially smaller (energy dense), are more efficient, can take much higher depth of discharge and most important of all, have a long lifespan. The picture below compares a conventional UPS with a router UPS. Our router UPS is almost 1/50 in volume to a conventional UPS. Yes 1/50th the size. The difference between size and volume is primarily due to battery type.

 

Additionally for you as a user, most Lead Acid battery based conventional UPS come with a warranty of 6-12 months. We are able to provide you with a warranty of 3 years.

Another key difference is that our UPS is a DC online UPS. A conventional UPS converts mains AC power to DC to charge the battery. This DC power from battery is then converted to AC using an inverter. All routers electronics work using DC power and the router adaptor converts this AC from inverter back to DC. In our Online DC UPS we are able to skip this AC ⇢ DC ⇢ AC ⇢ DC conversions, thereby making our UPS smaller, reliable and efficient.

Voltage Rating of UPS

Most DC UPS available in the market today work with 12V devices only. We recognize that may newer WiFi Routers operate at different voltage. We have solutions for 12V/9V/5V/19V WiFi routers. We can also build custom UPS for different voltage or embedding inside your special device.

What is battery life of a UPS?

Battery of a conventional Lead Acid based US lasts 1-2 years. Most such UPS come with a warranty of 6-2 months only. Many provide no warranty for battery at all. Our LiIon battery based router UPS come with a warranty of 3 years and the expected usable lifespan of five years. Since have designed and manufacture our products in India, we can service them also (unlike the imports)

What capacity UPS do I need?

The UPS configuration you will need depends on three key parameters

  • Current rating of your router (in Ampere)
  • Voltage rating of your router (Most are 12V, some are 9V and there are a very few that are 19V or 5V)
  • Hours of backup you need  - this depends on how much power outage you have

Sample calculation - 12V, 1.5A rated router will need 18WHr capacity UPS for one hour of backup (12V x 1.5A x 1Hr = 18Whr)

Best way to find the voltage and current rating of your router is to look at the label on the adapter of your router. It will look something like this

 Adapter specification plate 

If you have questions about which model is best for you please free to contact us by Emailing us here

Can I use a power-bank as UPS?

While technically you can use a power bank for supplying power to your WiFi router in case of power outage, there are a few things you needs to be aware of.

  • most power-banks are not designed to be powered on all the time and provide no thermal balancing
  • power-bank output is usually a USB-A type and provide 5V.  To power a WiFi router you will need a special cable that converts from USB-A to a DC barrel type. Then you will need a voltage adjustment circuit to convert that voltage to 12V/9V/19V as per the need of your router
  • you will also need a special charging circuit that charges the cells continuously yet does not damage the batteries in the process (in our case we have a patent pending charging-discharging design that extends the battery life)
  • some of the WiFi routers are voltage sensitive and you may also need a voltage equalizer circuit, else as the power bank drains, your WiFi router will shut off

So unless you have experience with electronics and have the right equipment it may be hard to leverage a power bank as a WiFi router UPS.

 

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