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What happens if a UPS fails?

Publisert 15.05.2023

If a UPS fails, it can have serious consequences. Not only can it lead to damaged equipment and financial loss, it can also pose a risk to health and life.

The primary function of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is to guarantee uninterrupted power supply to the connected equipment.

Industries such as manufacturing, maritime, aquaculture, healthcare, and tunnels are just a few examples of the many industries that rely heavily on uninterrupted processes and tasks, no matter what happens. Therefore, it is important to have a reliable uninterruptible power supply that can be trusted.

Here you can read more about what a UPS actually is.

Although UPSs are reliable and provide an extra safety margin for electronic devices, failures can still occur, leading to power loss to connected devices.

Causes of UPS failure

When a UPS fails, various scenarios can occur depending on the underlying cause. Overheating is a common reason for UPS failure.

If the fan inside the UPS or the room fails to function, the temperature can rapidly rise, resulting in the UPS ceasing to operate. In the worst-case scenario, this can even lead to a fire.

Another occurrence known as "thermal runway" can also take place. It involves a self-reinforcing process where rising temperature leads to further temperature increase, subsequently increasing the load and raising the temperature even more. This can result in the damage or even explosion of devices such as batteries.

Thermal runway usually occurs when the temperature in a device increases due to misuse or overloading.

Increased temperature can also result in IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) failure. Possible causes of IGBT failure include overload, overheating, overvoltage, or short circuit.

UPS capacitor failure

Another possible failure that can occur in a UPS is related to the capacitor.

The capacitor in a UPS stores electrical energy and smooths out power variations in the circuit. When a capacitor fails, it can cause voltage in the circuit to increase or decrease, which can damage other components or cause the circuit to malfunction.

Learn more: 3 types of UPS - these are the differences.

UPS maintenance is crucial

To avoid UPS failures, it is essential to perform regular service and maintenance.

All UPS units come with a manufacturer's recommendation for how often maintenance and service should be carried out.

In this article, you can read more about how to avoid unnecessary downtime when performing UPS maintenance and service.

Get immediate notifications of UPS failure

If you want to feel confident that your UPS is functioning properly at all times, monitoring is a good option.

With the monitoring solution Anda Cloud, real-time data is collected, which you can access through your PC or an app on your phone. Not only will you be able to see the status of the system here and now, but it will also greatly help predict upcoming operational issues, allowing you to stay ahead with maintenance and service work and avoid unnecessary downtime. The app also sends you alerts in case of a critical system failure.

Here you can read more about how our app-based monitoring solutions work.