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Backup Power

Backup Power Supply refers to an alternative source of power that can be used in case of a power failure. Therefore Backup Power Supply can have a wide range of meanings. Even the term Electric Backup Power Supply is a pretty broad concept. It can range from a 9 V-battery powering a Radio-Receiver to a Coal-Fired power-plant generating 10MW in case of a disruption in a Hydro Electric power plant.

Fig 1. Examples of Backup Power Supply units

alarm clock/radio Coal power plant
a. Small unit(1W) b. Big Unit(10MW)

Figure 1b above depicts an old Coal-Fired power plant in Fairbanks, Alaska that belongs to Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA). GVEA plans to replace a substantial part of its Coal-Fired backup power supply with a huge battery system generating 26MW. This system consists of 13760 Nickel-Cadmium cells manufactured by Saft AB in Oskarshamn, Sweden.

Other examples of Electric backup power includes:

  • Solar Electric Power
  • Electric generator powered by a combustion engine.
  • UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) where switching between ordinary and alternative power supply can be done without any interruption.

HowStuffWorks – How Emergency Power Systems Work