Modern UPSs are far more than just a 'black box' providing power support for a few minutes while auxiliary generators take over. UPSs are complex systems that need to interact seamlessly with the different components of the data centre. A UPS can be the backbone of the critical infrastructure that supports the aim of minimising cost while maximising reliability and availability of power supply. Increasingly, UPSs are the main support when a power failure occurs, with generators only being powered up where the power failure is perceived as being for a significant period. A modern UPS needs to be capable of reliably addressing "what-if" scenarios: providing high-efficiency modes that enable greater energy efficiency and lower running and maintenance costs; allow for flexibility and scalability in implementation and utilisaiton; and minimise up-front capital expenditure costs, as well as providing the core capabilities of ensuring adequate coverage during power outages and in smoothing feeds from the energy grid.
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