UPS 101 - Knowledgebase
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UPS 101
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Often overlooked, is the physical construction of a UPS.  UPS are purchased to protect critical loads from
power problems that are typically caused by tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, explosions,
lightning, high winds, falling trees, snapped off power poles, vibration from passing trains, the constant
motion of an oil rig, etc.   The UPS must be physically strong enough to hold up under these types of
conditions in order to protect your critical load.  

Evaluating how a UPS is constructed is a very important step in the process of selecting the correct UPS.  
Many UPS today are assembled using light gauge metal or plastic and may not be fit for duty in some
tougher environments.  Modular or N+1 UPS consist of multiple low power inverter and battery modules
plugged into a common vertical rack.  These types of UPS have a high center of gravity and with their
exposed architecture, are more susceptible to damage.  

The preferred UPS design offers a wider footprint with a low center of gravity and an inner cabinet framework
built with at least 11 gauge steel.  To achieve this, the isolation transformers are typically placed in the
lowest level of the cabinet.  The enclosure panels and doors should not be lighter than 16 gauge steel and
should contain reinforcing ribs or bracing.     

The UPS cabinet should be assembled using ground washers
or straps to allow the entire cabinet to be one common electrical
ground path.  The enclosure should also provide a means to
securely anchor the cabinet to the floor and/or wall.  A properly
grounded, rigid steel enclosure offers the highest protection for
the critical load and UPS components.  

If disaster strikes, having a robust UPS to rely on will be a
welcomed quality.  Evaluate how the UPS is constructed during
your selection process to ensure the UPS will be there when you
need it most.  
Why is UPS Enclosure Construction Important?
UPS frame 11 gauge
11 ga. Steel Framework with Proper
Grounding Hardware
Ground Washers Create an
Electrically Common Path to
Ground Straps Should be Used on Hinged Panels.
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