UPS vs Inverter: Difference and Comparison

Electronic devices require a constant flow of electricity for operation. Hence when the flow of electricity is disrupted, the devices will shut off, which is a major concern as it may also disrupt the workflow.

Both UPS and Inverter are used to provide the backup power supply in the event of a power shut-off to keep the electronic devices running.

Key Takeaways

  1. UPS provides instant power backup during a power outage, whereas inverters have a slight delay in supplying power.
  2. UPS devices protect sensitive equipment from power surges, while inverters primarily focus on power backup.
  3. Inverters are more energy-efficient for long power outages, whereas UPS systems are better suited for short-term backup.

UPS vs Inverter

The difference between UPS and Inverter is that UPS is a device used to provide uninterrupted electric power to sensitive devices, such as computers, in the event of a power failure. Inverter, on the other hand, is a device that can convert DC power to AC power and supply it to non-sensitive devices such as lights, fans, and so on. 

UPS vs Inverter

UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply. It is a device used for providing a power supply to sensitive electronic devices in the event of a power failure.

The device is connected to a battery which is used to store the power. It supplies a continuous flow of AC to the electronic device connected to it.

An inverter is an electronic device that is used to convert DC into AC. It mostly supplies electric power to essential devices such as lights, fans, and other non-sensitive electronic devices.

The device is primarily connected to a DC power supply, such as a battery.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison UPSInverter
Definition UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power SupplyThe inverter is a device that can convert DC power to AC power
Function UPS is used to supply uninterrupted AC power to devices for a small amount of timeThe inverter is used to convert DC power to AC power and supply it to non-sensitive devices such as lights, fans, etc
Switching time The switching time of UPS is about 2 to 5 milliseconds The switching time of the Inverter is about 200 to 500 milliseconds
Backup time It has a very small backup time It has more backup time than a UPS
Circuitry It has a complex circuit It is a simple DC to AC conversion circuit 

What is UPS?

UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply. It is an electronic circuit that is used to supply an uninterrupted and continuous flow of AC power to sensitive electronic devices such as computers, TVs, and so on.

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The circuit of a UPS is very complex compared to other power sources. The UPS mainly consists of a battery source to store DC power. The battery is charged from the AC power supply connected to the UPS.

The battery is also connected to an inverter circuit which is used to convert the DC power of the battery into AC power used to supply to the electronic devices.

The inverter is connected to a charge controller, which helps in the switching of the UPS. The UPS circuit draws AC from the regular AC outlet. The current flows to the electronic devices, as well as to the battery, for storing the charge.

In the event of a power failure, the UPS quickly switches from the AC outlet to the battery to supply power to the connected device. The switching time is very small, in the range of 2 to 5 milliseconds.

Thus this allows the UPS to supply uninterrupted backup power to the devices without much delay in switching.

uninterrupted power supply

What is Inverter?

An inverter is an electric circuit that is used to convert DC power into AC power. The circuit is connected to a source of DC power, such as a battery and converts it into AC power for supplying to other devices.

An Inverter is mostly used to power essential or non-sensitive electric devices, such as lights, fans, and so on, where the power fluctuation in the supply does not disrupt the device’s functioning.

Hence power-sensitive devices like computers and TVs should not be operated on the inverter supply. The circuitry of an Inverter is very simple compared to other power supply devices, such as a UPS. 

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An inverter’s switching speed is much less than that of a UPS, with a switching time in the range of about 200 to 500 milliseconds. Hence the device cannot provide a quick current supply to the connected devices.

But the backup capacity of the inverter is higher than most other electric power supply devices. Hence an inverter can supply AC power for longer than most other backup sources.

The only drawback of inverters is the device’s lack of an internal charge controller. Hence, an external charge controller is required to charge the battery in an inverter.  

Main Differences Between UPS and Inverter

  1. UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply. Inverter is a device which is used to convert DC power to AC power.
  2. UPS is used to provide a constant and continuous flow of power to sensitive electronic devices for a short amount of time. Inverter converts DC power to AC power and supplies it to non-sensitive devices such as lights, fans, etc.
  3. The switching time of UPS is about 2 to 5 milliseconds. The switching time of the Inverter is about 200 to 500 milliseconds.
  4. UPS has a very short backup time. Inverter has more backup time than a UPS.
  5. UPS has a complex circuit, whereas Inverter is a simple DC-to-AC conversion circuit
Difference Between UPS and Inverter
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1198057/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/103455/

Last Updated : 22 June, 2023

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9 thoughts on “UPS vs Inverter: Difference and Comparison”

  1. According to the provided information, UPS is the better choice for sensitive equipment while inverters have other advantages.

    Reply
    • It’s important to consider all aspects of these devices, and the focus of the post was mainly on the technical differences.

      Reply

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