Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, which use a built-in energy storage source such as a battery, flywheel, or other device to supply clean and sufficient power during grid power outages, have demonstrated their value in preventing undesirable downtime, data loss, or even catastrophic failures. Traditionally, however, most of these systems were point solutions designed to protect an individual PC, server, medical device, airport, or factory. Today, new technologies and architectures are emerging that can more effectively integrate UPS systems into the larger power infrastructure and take advantage of the large amount of energy storage already installed worldwide.

In particular, as green IT becomes an important goal for many IT vendors and users, UPS systems that can fit into and augment existing IT infrastructures to support the vendors’ overall green IT objectives will be in increasing demand. According to a recent report from Pike Research, these trends, along with significant growth in emerging economies, will lead to strong growth for the UPS sector in the next few years. The global market for UPS systems will expand from $8.2 billion in 2011 to $9.4 billion in 2012, a year-on-year growth rate of 14%, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.

Going forward, the market will grow to $13.2 billion by 2015. “UPS systems are already an important energy storage feature in cost-efficient and smart buildings,” says vice president of research Bob Gohn. “The emergence of hybrid topologies that automatically switch between different power modes can reduce energy costs over time without compromising power quality.” Next generation UPS systems will combine several key features, including a built-in energy storage source, such as batteries, flywheels, or compressed air, and circuitry to supply clean and sufficient power over periods lasting from a few seconds to several hours. Most leading UPS systems also have some form of surge protection or power filtering circuitry.

These advanced features enable these systems to play a larger role in the overall smart energy infrastructure, making them indispensable to a holistic energy management strategy. Pike Research’s report, “Next Generation Uninterruptible Power Supplies”, provides a comprehensive examination of the global market for uninterruptible power supplies including a focus on small, medium, and large UPS industry dynamics. Emerging technologies and key industry players are analyzed in depth, and market forecasts for each segment and world region extend through 2015. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.