An uninterruptible power source (UPS) is an electrical equipment that provides emergency power supply to a electric load when the input power source or mains power fails. A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels. The on-battery run-time of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short (only a few minutes) but sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment. It is a type of continual power system.
Typically, it is deployed to protect computer hardware when an unexpected power disruption could cause undesirable outcomes or serious business operational disruption or data loss. UPS units range in size from ones designed to protect a single computer without a video monitor (around 200 volt-ampere rating) to large units powering entire data centers or buildings. The world's largest UPS, the 46-megawatt Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), in Fairbanks, Alaska, powers the entire city and nearby rural communities during outages.