In recent years, there have been frequent power outages from last year's 513 and 517 power outages to this year's 303 power outage. In addition to affecting daily life, it also reduces people's confidence in Taiwan's power supply stability. At this time, an "uninterruptible power supply system" will become a lifesaver for your own valuable electrical appliances.
Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS) have a long history. In the past, in order to prevent voltage from power outages and tripped fuses from impacting electrical appliances, UPS came into being. Through its batteries, when there is a problem with the power grid, it acts like a relay racer over the baton. It can provide short-term power supply for electrical appliances and buy us 3~5 minutes of time for "normal" archiving or shutdown operations.
Elena Chiang, Associate Marketing and Technical Support Manager of Eaton Taiwan, pointed out that when the power grid is suddenly cut off, computers will shut down and files and reports will be lost. The UPS is a life-saving device to avoid damage. The power outage system is regarded as residential infrastructure, another kind of "water tower".
Nowadays, the scope of application for home UPS systems include backups for designers, architects, animators, e-sports, and other professionals. Some advanced audio systems will also be affected. These systems can prevent home appliances from being damaged by power fluctuations such as power outages and unstable frequency. Elena Chiang pointed out that maintaining uninterrupted power supply is the basic function of UPS system equipment. Another key point is to ensure the quality of power consumption. If multiple loads are used at home at the same time, voltage will plummet and affect equipment.
In addition to household and personal UPS systems, small and medium-sized UPS systems can also be used in animal husbandry and aquaculture. Elena Chiang gave an example. Since Taiwan has never been free from the bird flu crisis, many chicken and duck farmers have switched to a semi-open type of breeding space. Although there is shade to prevent poultry from contacting the outside world, it is necessary to maintain air circulation and temperature of the space. At this time, UPS is a backup for advanced deployment.
For different needs, there are also different UPS specifications. Capacity depends on the number of electrical appliances in the home and power consumption. Discharge time is related to battery capacity, power factor, and discharge voltage. In addition, there are pure sine waves, analog sine waves, external batteries, multiple parallel connections, management software, and other extended function options.
The operation mode of the UPS systems is also divided into three types: offline UPS, online interactive UPS, and online UPS. There are different solutions according to the demand for power quality. An offline type is usually connected to equipment to provide the most basic power protection. Usually the device is connected to the mains, and once a problem is detected, it will switch to battery power. In addition to preventing sagging voltage, online interactive UPS can also actively adjust voltage without interruption to maintain voltage at 110V. An online UPS allows equipment to be powered by the UPS, isolates the equipment from the original mains, and provides the highest level of protection.
Elena Chiang pointed out that since May 2021, the sales of small and medium-sized UPS have continued to hit record highs. Even though they have been worried that they will not be able stock goods in time and lack materials, they have been rushing the production of goods. It is estimated that this year's buying momentum will be more prosperous than last year. Talking about the buying momentum of UPS in recent years, she pointed out that demand has always existed, but just like home appliance air conditioners, there are seasonal changes. Personal use and household use are indeed affected by seasonality.
Taiwan's power supply has been stable for a long time, but from the 815 blackout in the summer of 2017, to the 513 and 517 power outages in 2021 to this year's 303 blackout and other power incidents, society is aware of the shortcomings of the centralized power grid and the stability of the transmission system. Especially during climate change, extreme high temperatures makes electricity consumption rise calamitously in summer. In the past, UPS was common in factories and large enterprises and now the household market is also expanding.
As time passes, batteries in UPS equipment have also changed. In the past, batteries were mainly lead-acid batteries. Cost was low but the battery lifespan was only 3 years and needed to be replaced every few years As the cost of lithium-ion batteries gradually decreases,, Elena Chiang said that consumers can also choose an UPS system using lithium-ion batteries. Although a price difference is still there, the battery lifespan can be extended to 10 years, which prevents finding out that batteries were not replaced at a critical moment.