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How to determine the right UPS topology for your needs

June 4, 2020
Read Time 2 mins

Choosing the right UPS topology comes down to your current systems, space, requirements, and protection needs. There are three topologies or types of UPS: offline or standby, line-interactive and online or double-conversion. 

ups topology

Covered In This Article

Which UPS topology is best for protection?
Standby UPS systems are also known as single-conversion systems. They can be more effective compared to double-conversion systems, however, they do not offer the same level of protection. In systems that have a reduced risk of failure, they work well. These systems are also ideal for computers and other smaller applications. Line-interactive systems are best for network applications, smaller sized servers and data storage in facilities that have access to power. Online UPS systems are the most reliable choice, with the highest efficiencies in protecting all equipment, including non-critical equipment.

So which UPS topology is the best choice for full protection? Let’s take a look.

Which UPS topology is best for protection?

Expanding on our brief overview above, here’s how each type of UPS topology works to provide power protection.


This topology is also known as passive standby or single-conversion UPS. This is the most commonly used UPS for the protection of computers against threats such as power surge or sag and power failure. In its normal mode, it powers applications from the mains without active conversion. The battery is charged from the main power supply. In the event of an outage, the system delivers power from the battery. Benefits of this topology include lower costs and suitability for offices. If you have an unstable or low-quality power supply, this system may not be the best choice.


This topology provides protection to enterprise networks and IT applications. It protects against power sag, surge and failure as well as undervoltage and overvoltage. In its normal model, it is controlled by a microprocessor that monitors main power supply quality, reacting to any changes in capacity. It has a voltage compensation circuit in order to increase or reduce voltage in the event of fluctuations. The biggest benefit of this topology is the compensation of undervoltage and overvoltage without the need for batteries.


Online or double-conversion topology is made to provide continuous power for critical equipment. This topology is able to protect against a full range of power issues, from power failure to surge and sag, undervoltage and overvoltage, switching transient, line noise, harmonic distortion, and frequency variation. A consistent quality of power is provided even in the event of outages or interruptions. This type of UPS system can be used to power any type of equipment, with no risk of transients when switching to battery power.

Now that you better understand how each works, it should be much easier to choose the UPS topology that is best suited to your specific needs.


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