As UPS systems become increasingly mainstream and necessary, advancements are making the technology more accessible.

Key takeaways

  • UPS technology ensures businesses and individuals retain power during an outage
  • New trends are making this technology more accessible
  • Additional industries are now getting on board
  • Installing a universal-power-supply system in your home or business is worth considering

With so many businesses storing digital documents and information on-site, there’s little room for error with a building’s power supply. A power failure could compromise an organization’s data center or security system, making businesses vulnerable to hacks. An outage could also make it impossible for off-site workers to access their files and remote desktops, creating problems throughout the organization.

However, we also live in a period where there’s significant demand for power due to expanding cities and populations. This demand, along with an uptick in severe weather events, puts pressure on the aging public-power grid, leading to more outages in many locations. In fact, 25.3 million Florida residents experienced a power outage between 2008 and 2018 — more than any other state.

A solution that many companies are turning to is uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), which are battery-backup systems that provide energy when a building’s primary source fails, or its voltage drops below acceptable levels. Estimates suggest UPS could become a $14.7 billion industry globally by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of over 5%.

Here’s a look at some universal power supply (UPS) trends that are making this technology more accessible for businesses and homeowners around the country and boosting the industry’s growth.

1) Remote monitoring

One advancement in UPS technology is the move toward remote monitoring. Many newer systems automatically examine potential problems and send the information to a monitoring center. 

End users can then access this information online and address potential problems with the system before it’s necessary during a power interruption. The result is a more secure UPS system that avoids problems when the company needs it the most.

2) Smaller sizes

UPS systems are no longer just for massive corporations with manufacturing facilities. As a result, there was demand for compact backup units that could easily fit within smaller spaces.

Advancements in insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology, a high-efficiency semiconductor power source, allow designers to create smaller UPS systems that are faster to react, have increased ampacity, and cost less. The trend of smaller, more efficient units appearing in buildings around the country is likely to continue as the technology advances.

3) Mechanical-energy flywheel technology

UPS systems are now more likely to use mechanical-energy flywheel technology, a development in energy storage. Flywheel energy storage accelerates a rotor to a high speed, and, once energy is drawn, the flywheel’s speed slows and energy consumption reduces proportionately. This technology replaces lead-acid batteries, allowing these units to store more energy and make them more energy-efficient. They’re also cleaner environmentally. Once again, the trend of using green energy is likely to last while ensuring the industry continues to expand.

4) Decentralized static bypass switches and controls

Furthering the trend of building more robust UPS systems is the upgrade to decentralized static-bypass switches and controls. Traditionally, these systems had switches and controls in a central area inside the unit. However, a single point of failure could bring the entire system down.

A new trend involves building redundancies into the system, eliminating single points of failure that could potentially stop the entire power supply. If one module fails, others pick up the slack and ensure the UPS remains functional.

5) Space-vector modulation

Speed is everything in the UPS industry, as an outage that lasts even a fraction of a second could damage a company and its digital properties. That’s where space-vector modulation comes in; this technology exists in the inverter controls of the unit’s drives. This technology allows the UPS to respond faster, minimizing downtime during load changes.

6) New markets

Away from the technological trends we see in the development of UPS systems, there are also market trends worth monitoring.

For starters, retail shops, health care facilities, and schools are investing in these systems to ensure they can operate when the power grid fails. Any industry relying on internal computer networks should invest in alternative power to keep their data safe. More residential property owners are also purchasing UPS systems. 

As homeowners rely more heavily on technology through smart home devices, security systems, and internal entertainment networks, having an uninterruptible power supply is becoming vital. Homeowners count on these devices to monitor their properties, start dinner before they get home, and keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Being without them is inconvenient and could become dangerous. 

People are also working from home at increasing rates, as Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the American workforce will stay home at least one day per week. Employees who want to continue working from home could invest in this technology to limit power outages that could leave their bosses asking them to return to the office.

Because busy people rely on so much technology, residential UPS systems are likely to become more common to ensure power outages don’t cause significant inconveniences.

What it all means

These trends show that UPS technology is moving in the right direction as these products become more widespread. Providers are meeting the goal of minimizing downtime and costs while ensuring the technology is more durable and faster to respond.

In the future, UPS systems could become a regular part of doing business, especially as populations continue to expand. A $3 billion grid upgrade in Florida didn’t keep the lights on during Hurricane Irma in 2017; organizations might have to take their backup-power needs into their own hands as confidence in public supply wanes and more problems arise.

Universal Electrical Services offers UPS installations in South Florida. We have installed solutions from 20-1500kVA and will ensure you select the right system to meet your current load and future expansion plans. We’ll also discuss a resolution that meets your budget.

Contact Universal Electrical Services today to speak with a representative about your UPS system installation in the South Florida area.