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Understanding the Differences in Industrial and Commercial Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

While looking for a new Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system, you may have come across both commercial and industrial systems in your searches. You may have asked yourself; “Why the need for two types? What’s the difference between these? Which one do I need?”

Industrial UPS systems are designed with the critical process control applications they serve in mind. In many of these applications, the interruption of AC power may cause dangerous situations from process instability or cause expensive damage to the processing systems. Petrochemical facilities and Electrical Power Generation plants are a good example of operations that use chemical or steam processes that can be dangerous if controlled power is interrupted, because of this risk, UPS systems intended for industrial applications must be designed and performance tested to a more rigorous level than commercial equipment.

You may also find industrial UPS systems in light industrial applications like pharmaceutical manufactures or the food and beverage industry. These applications fall into a middle ground where the processes are not inherently dangerous, even if AC power is interrupted, but failure to supply continuous AC power could result in the loss of finished products or revenue loss in production equipment down time.

Commercial UPS systems have become associated with information technology (IT) applications because these systems are often purchased with a computer room as a package through the construction contractors. The specifications for a commercial system are not technically demanding and typically only require safety certification. Data centers in banks, hospitals and insurance companies are common examples of applications that utilize commercial UPS systems because the interruption of AC power may disrupt data processing and telecommunications but does not create an inherent risk or injury to people or property.

Here are some key differences between industrial and commercial UPS systems to keep in mind when researching new equipment and choosing the right piece for your application.

 Industrial UPS System  Commercial UPS System
  • Won't drop critical load, static switch fails to bypass source
  • Performance Testing usually is not required
  • Design Life: 20+ Years
  • Design Life: 5 - 7 Years
  • Larger span of ambient temperature range and air humidity
  • Smaller span of ambient temperature range and air humidity
  • Built for environments with corrosive air contaminants or that may be very dusty
  • Build for environments with low levels of air contaminants
  • Battery Support Time Range: 60 - 480 Minutes
  • Battery Support Time Range: 15 - 30 Minutes

When researching and selecting a new UPS system, it is imperative to ask yourself how critical your application is. Keeping this in mind will help guide you to the perfect system. Click here to learn more about the differences between industrial and commercial UPS systems or contact us to discuss if our industrial systems are the right fit for your application. 



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