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Development of a Supercapacitor based Surge Resistant Uninterruptible Power Supply

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) provide short-term power back-up to sensitive electronic and electrical equipments, where an unexpected power loss could lead to undesirable outcomes. They usually bridge the connected equipment between the utility mains power and other long term back-up power systems like generators. A UPS also provides a “clean” source of power, meaning they filter the connected equipment from distortions in electrical parameters of the mains power like noise, harmonics, surges, sags and spikes. A surge resistant UPS or SRUPS is one that has the capability to withstand surges, which are momentary or sustained increases in the mains voltage, and react quickly enough to offer protection to the connected equipment from the same. Usually UPSs run off battery power when the utility mains power is absent. But the SRUPS developed in this design project uses super capacitors instead of battery packs. The reason for this is that the high energy-densities and medium power-densities offered by super capacitors allow for it to serve two purposes. One is to provide the DC power to operate the UPS in the absence of mains power, as an alternative to batteries. Secondly, super capacitors can withstand heavy momentary high current/voltage surges due to its high energy-density characteristics. Also as the life-time of super capacitors is much higher than that of conventional batteries and as they do not need regular topping-up or inspection, the end result is a truly maintenance-free UPS. Most commercial UPSs do not have inherent surge protection capabilities. The UPS is one entity while a discrete surge protection module is inserted between the utility mains and the UPS to provide for transient surge suppression. In the proposed SRUPS, the super capacitor, because of their inherent capability to absorb transient surges, forms a protective front end to the actual UPS rather than needing to have the involvement of discrete protection devices.
Type of thesis
Kozhiparambil, P. K. (2011). Development of a Supercapacitor based Surge Resistant Uninterruptible Power Supply (Thesis, Master of Engineering (ME)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5360
University of Waikato
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