Home UPS vs Inverter - What's the Difference?

Home UPS vs Inverter - What's the Difference?

Can you think of life without electricity? Well, none of us can. Electricity has become an indispensable part of our lives today. However, occurrences of power shortages and outages are not uncommon. In such situations, life seems to come to a standstill for a while. To combat such situations, there are sources of power backup in the form of Home UPS or inverter. Many people have a notion that UPS and inverter are the same devices. But they are different from one another. In this article, we will explain both UPS and inverters along with their differences as well as uses. 

What is a UPS?

The full form of UPS is ‘Uninterrupted Power Supply’. It is evident from the name itself that a UPS helps in combating the interruption which is caused to various devices and appliances during a power outage or shortage. 

One of the best instances in this regard is UPS for computers. When a power outage happens or there is a sudden voltage fluctuation, the UPS provides sufficient time for the computer to remain operational so that you can save your data and then shut down the computer properly or till the power is restored. 

How does a UPS work?

The main component present in a UPS is that of a rectifier. It helps in converting alternate current (AC) into direct current (DC) while also charging the battery. The connection of this battery is made with the inverter where DC gets converted into AC again when the battery has to supply power to the computer (because computers or any device, for that matter, works on AC). There is also a controller, which helps in controlling the functioning of the system. 

Apart from using UPS for a computer, many people have mini-UPS for home too. However, the main concern with a UPS is that it provides power backup for a very short period, only for around a few minutes. Therefore, UPS is mainly suitable for electronic devices and IT systems, which have a chance of getting damaged due to sudden power shortages or outages. Inverters offer a better solution for supplying power for an extended time. 

What is an inverter?

Now that we have a general idea about UPS, let us understand what is an inverter. To define in simple terms, inverters are powering devices for electronic appliances. The main function of this device is to change DC into AC. In inverters, AC mains is the source of the power supply and the rectifier is used for converting AC to DC. 

This DC functions in charging the battery. The majority of household and industrial systems run on AC power. It is the inverter that converts the DC from the battery to AC. When a power cut or power shortage occurs, the inverter gets the supply from the battery and gives the power supply to the electrical appliance/equipment to which it is connected. 

Inverters are mainly used in homes so that the power supply is retained even after there is a power outage or power shortage. An external power supply is not required for the functioning of inverters.

Also Read: Schneider Electric & Its Choice Of Mini Ups For Home 

Understanding the differences between a UPS and an inverter

From the above sections, you already have a brief idea about UPS and inverter and their ways of functioning. Let us now quickly give you a sneak peek into the differences between the two:

  • Energy storage

    In UPS, there are built-in batteries for storing energy. There is also a charge controller. However, in inverters, there is no option for in-built energy storage, the battery is externally located and the inverter derives power from the battery when required.

  • Main function

    UPS provides a backup power supply for appliances, particularly computers so that they keep on functioning properly for a few minutes during a power outage. On the other hand, an inverter’s main function is to convert DC to AC by driving power from an external battery source.

  • Backup time

    For UPS, the power backup is provided for a very short period of, say, around 10 to 15 minutes only. However, with an inverter, you can enjoy power backup for a longer time.

  • Battery maintenance

    No battery maintenance is required in a UPS. But for an inverter, continuous battery maintenance is recommended so that the device can provide optimal performance. 

  • Price

    When compared, UPS are more expensive when compared to inverters. 

  • Changeover time

    The changeover time of UPS is extremely rapid, at around 10 milliseconds. However, for the inverter, the changeover time stands at almost 500 milliseconds. 

Also Read: How To Pick The Right Ups For Your Desktop Computer

Buy high-quality UPS and inverter at the Schneider Electric eShop

As a homeowner, you might be looking for a power backup option for your home. Both home UPS systems and inverters come with their own set of features, advantages as well as disadvantages. Study them well before you make the final decision. 

And if you are looking to buy authentic and best quality UPS and inverter in India, you can browse through Schneider Electric eShop. The eShop has a wide collection of both UPS and inverters from renowned manufacturers.
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