In today’s world, we cannot imagine a single day without electricity. Our gradual dependency on electrical and electronic devices makes it difficult to live without a steady and uninterrupted electrical power supply. Imagine yourself working on a dream project of yours, and suddenly there is a power cut or, say, a fluctuation in the voltage, and your PC shuts down without saving your file. Or you are studying for an important exam on a summer evening, and the current goes off. With the advancement of technology and science, we are no longer slaves to the central power system.
Among the other options that become the saviors in blackouts, two mainly used devices are Inverter and UPS or an uninterrupted power supply. Now, it is pretty natural to get baffled between these two popular options. Based on your purpose and the money you would like to invest, you will likely pick up a suitable device for your home, office, or other purposes. Whatever your requirements are, this article will offer you insights into the fundamental difference between UPS and Inverter to make you more aware of the differences in functionality, reliability, and other parameters.
Before we differentiate between the two power supply devices, we need to learn a bit about them.
What Is A UPS?
UPS or Uninterrupted power supply is a device that serves as a medium to provide electricity during a power cut. It helps to keep the power supply intact in the devices or appliances it is connected with. Though it can supply power to any electronic gadget, it is mainly used with desktops to lose data in an unprecedented power cut. A UPS functions through a rectifier that converts an alternative current (AC) into a direct current (DC) and charges the battery. The power backup ranges between 15 to 30 minutes. Hence, it is rarely used in any sector other than IT.
What Is An Inverter?
The inverter is an electronic device that performs almost the same functions as that of a UPS. Inverters are mainly used for domestic purposes. When a power cut occurs, the inverter receives power from the electricity stored in the batteries. It then distributes it into all the electrical gadgets and appliances it is connected with. An inverter does not depend on an external power source for its functioning.
Now that you have a brief idea of both the emergency power supplying devices, let’s jump into the key actors that differentiate an Inverter from a UPS.
Fundamental Differences Between A UPS and An Inverter:
Based on certain key factors, we have explored these fundamental differences between a UPS and an inverter:
Both UPS and inverter are almost the same in terms of functionality or work principles, with some differences. A UPS monitors the required power-voltage level and operates the voltage regulations smoothly. An inverter converts the power stored in its battery and converts DC into AC to fill up the power deviancies in the connected devices and appliances.
- Changeover timing:
UPS is ahead of an inverter when it comes to changing over from one source to the other. The changeover time is quite fast as it takes just about 10 to 15 milliseconds to change into a different source of operation. An inverter needs about 500 microseconds to respond to the changeover. Due to its fast changeover time, a UPS is used widely to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply to a computer.
- Frequency of use:
Before you decide to purchase an emergency power supplying medium, you need to ask yourself this simple question first: How often do blackouts occur? If your locality does not record long power cuts in recent years, you may buy a UPS. A UPS will protect you from losing out on your essential data from your computer. If your computer is the only device connected to the UPS, you may expect a good power backup for your computer of around half an hour.
On the contrary, if your area is frequent with power cuts, you should go for an inverter. An inverter is a heavy device. It can easily be connected to almost all your domestic electrical appliances without having to worry about a sudden crash down of the emergency power system.
- The power back up:
Truth to be told, if you are looking for hours of power back up and power supplies to more than one or two devices or appliances, then UPS will not be the correct option for you. The power backup of a UPS is about 30 minutes if it is connected to your computer. If used to provide a power supply to several devices, it is likely to give power back up for just around 15 minutes.
Unlike a UPS, an inverter is going to cater power to multiple devices for hours. The inverter is powerful enough to supply electricity to an entire household or an office. So, depending upon the nature of utilization, you should pick between inverter and UPS.
- Maintenance cost:
If you go for a UPS, you will save on the maintenance charges after regular gaps. Once you invest in a UPS, you won’t have to bother about maintenance. Inverters, on the other hand, require you to pay a little extra for their rewiring. Also, you need to fill it up with purified distilled water every time there is a faulty performance. Many brands have come with an alternative to the regular filling of distilled water with the latest version of inverters with advanced technological solutions.
- Life-span and reliability:
The battery of a UPS has to be charged continuously as long as your computer or other devices are running on the central power supply system. When you are shutting down the system, your UPS is also getting disconnected and discharged. Due to its frequent charging and discharging it loses out on its performance and does not last like an inverter. If maintained carefully at the regular intervals as recommended by the brand, an inverter may last for years. However, the battery might have to be replaced once the performance is on the wane.
So, if we compare and contrast these two devices based on the parameters of lifespan and reliability, an inverter will always stay way ahead of a UPS.
A UPS is much more affordable than an inverter. Naturally, suppose you are looking for a complete power backup for your home or office. In that case, you have to invest in a heavy device with solid backup, excellent battery storage, and reliable power supply to multiple devices and electrical appliances. Hence the purchasing cost will automatically rise. Since UPS has the power supply capacity to only a few devices, it is lower priced. If you don’t need heavy emphasis, you must go for a UPS as it is less expensive and takes up a smaller space than an inverter.
Both an inverter and a UPS are great for providing power supply during the time of blackouts. Based on the parameters discussed above, you will choose according to your requirements and budgets.