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What is a modular UPS?

A modular UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is designed in a way that some of its critical functions are built in modules. The most typical modular functions are power module, intelligence module, and static bypass module. By using modular design, a UPS offers benefits that may include increased redundancy (internal N+1), scalability, and reduced time to repair.
Most advanced modular UPSs also provide innovative functions, such as Live Swap of power or static bypass modules or redundant controllers, which increase availability and flexibility by eliminating the need for scheduled downtime.

The modular components in a UPS are usually as below (in order of frequency):

  1. Power module: the “power engine” of the UPS is built in a module, usually with connectors at the rear. The main benefits are the reduction of the mean time to repair/replace (less than 10 minutes) and N+1 redundancy, where an extra power module is used to continue protecting a full load even in case of a faulty module. UPSs using power modules sometimes offer Live Swap technology (modules can be added or removed while the system is running), self-detection, and scalability.
  2. Intelligence module: the system controller is built in a module, making it easy to replace. Sometimes a secondary intelligence module can be added to prevent the intelligence module from being single point of failure.
  3. Static bypass module: when built in a module, the static bypass switch can be serviced or replaced in a very short time (less than 10 minutes) compared to integrated designs.
  4. Battery modules: the batteries are embedded in modular cartridges. Modular batteries offer many benefits, including design redundancy (when additional battery modules are used), self-detection and configuration, proactive maintenance and management, and shorter time to replace.
  5. Distribution modules: the power distribution (downstream of the UPS) is built in modules that allow quick expansion or reconfiguration.


Because modular design increases flexibility and availability, most modern UPSs, in particular 3-phase UPSs, use aspects of modular design, but not all modular UPSs are equivalent. Check our Galaxy V series webpage for more information.

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