Difference between Generator and Inverter and UPS
An idiots guide to power supply backup
Whenever your main power supply goes off, the supply of electricity to your electric or electronic equipment is stopped and the device naturally stops working. However, if you have a power back up like an inverter or generator or if the power supply resumes, your device starts to function again.
In the time between the interruption of power and resumption of power, your device will stop functioning. This can be a disturbance sometimes and a real problem many other times.
Current or electricity or power supply is something which is so much
a part of our life that we cannot imagine that once upon a time people
lived without electricity !
We find it so difficult to live without electricity that we have devised newer methods for backup of electricity. Three of the most commonly used devices are generator, inverter, and UPS.
When and which of these do we need ?
Let us see some of the most commonly used devices and how power supply affects the device or our life and what sort of a backup is good.
(1) Fan and power supply.
(2) Light and power supply.
(3) Television and power supply.
(4) Impact of power failure on your refrigerator.
(5) Power supply and your cordless phone.
(6) Affect of power supply on
(7) Power supply and your washing machine.
(8) Power failure and lift.
(9) How power failure affects surgery.
(10) Power supply and your computer.
(1) Fan and power supply: Suppose you are using a fan in your room where there is enough day light, then suppose suddenly the power goes off, then your fan will stop functioning. This may cause a minor discomfort for you as you have to adjust without the fan. In this many people will adjust without a fan. If it is summer and feel they just cannot do without fan because of frequent power disruption, then the best thing people can opt is an inverter. In this case an generator or UPS is not required.
(2) You are in your home and having dinner at 9 p.m. and if suddenly the power goes off, there will be sudden darkness and this would lead to more problem than what you faced during day time. In this case an inverter is again the best option. A generator or UPS is not required.
(3) Television and power supply: If you are watching television and power supply goes off, then to avoid interruption and to watch television during power failure, an inverter is the best option. A generator or UPS is generally not recommended. However, if you are having a very sophisticated television and the frequency of power interruption if very high, then a UPS is better an inverter.
(4) Impact of power failure on
your refrigerator: Generally people do not bother much about the
refrigerator during power failures as the refrigerator retains it coolness
for prolonged period of time. So if there is going to be a power
failure of 1 to 2 hours, then it is not going to have much of an impact
on what is inside your refrigerator in a normal case at home. A
voltage stabilizer is recommended as voltage stabilizers for fridge does
not allow the fridge to be switched on and off immediately whenever the
current goes off and on every now and then. Once a
refrigerator is switched off, around 5 minutes should pass before
switching it on again to avoid damage to the functioning of the
refrigerator or fridge.
(5) Power supply and your cordless phone: In some of the cordless phones if the power supply is not present, supply to the base set is cut off, and your cordless will stop functioning. In this case, the call might not get disconnected, but might resume if alternative power supply is supplied within a stipulated period of time or if you can use pick your regular phone. In such cases an inverter is sufficient where one can resume talking once the inverter is switched on. However, in some types of phones/exchanges, even an inverter may not be sufficient to prevent disconnection, and in such a case you may need a UPS if you want to prevent your call getting disconnected. However, if you do mind making the call back in case it is temporarily disconnected or your call getting interrupted, then an inverter is sufficient.
(6) Affect of power supply on electronic gadgets: Different type of electronic gadgets are build with different functionality and sophitication. So you have to buy a power backup based on your type of gadget. Usually frequent switching on and off of any electronic gadget is not recommended, but many have built in functionalities to prevent the actual direct impact on the gadget. Many devices which use temporary memories might lose the stored information in the memory of the device. So an inverter or UPS is recommended.
(7) Power supply and your washing machine: Washing machines usually are not put on inverters or UPS. However, some programmable washing machines will get reset if power goes off and might start wash program from the beginning itself even though it has already been washed.
(8) Power failure and lift: Getting stuck in a lift due to power failure is a dreaded experience. A temporary back up inverter to get the power inside the lift would make the people stuck inside feel better with light and fan rather than getting stuck in a dark dumb box with no air. A generator is required to get the lift running due to the heavy power consumption and since lift will be in big buildings, it will be help with other things as the main backup supply source.
(9) How power failure affects surgery: In something where human life is at stake there will be multiple backup options including UPS, inverters, and finally generator. This is because failure of any of the devices might lead to damage of equipments or a temporary failure of equipment or devices might end up being fatal to the patient.
(10) Power supply and your computer: For computer, a UPS is essential avoid the computer getting restarted, which can lead to loss of data on the computer. From UPS another backup supply can be given depending on whether you want to continue to work or shut down or if you want to work, how long you want to work.
A generator is a machine that converts mechanical energy into
A generator generally requires fuels like kerosene, petrol, diesel, etc. This is used as the source of mechanical energy. A generator is used mostly when a lot of power is required. Generally small devices do not require generator. When you want to use multiple applications or devices or equipments simultaneously for a prolonged period of time, a generator is used.
What are the advantages of a generator?
For a generator you do not need existing power supply or stored power supply. This means when there is no power for a very prolonged period of time or if you are in an area where is no power supply at all, a generator is very useful. A generator is very powerful so when you want to supply current to a whole building or machinery, etc. you can buy a generator according to your requirement. There are very small generators to very huge generators.
What are the disadvatanges of a generator?
When the generator is running, if you do not use the full capacity of it, the rest of the current or power will simply be a waste.
A generator usually needs to be started once the power supply goes off. This would leave power disruption between the time power supply goes off and until the generator is started.
A generator cannot be kept inside the room you work. This is because generators create lot of noise and lot of smoke pollution and they can turn out to be somewhat smelly.
An inverter helps to restore power supply almost immediately after a
power failure. It has an option to automatically restore power or
for manual restoration. Manual restoration can result in blanking
out of power until the restoration. If an automatic restoration is
there, then it might take as much as a few seconds for power
Inverter supplies power from a battery, which should already be having power and it should be recharged regularly or rather should be always on.
Advantages of Inverter
An inverter is convenient in a small
office or home setting. There are small capacity inverters as well
as large capacity inverters. If power supply goes for a very small
amount of time, the interverter will be useful, especially for a few
hours. When power supply interruption is going to be prolonged,
one can start the generator.
Disadvantage of Inverter
If there is no power supply at all in an area, if the power in the battery is drained, then the Inverter will be of no use. Inverter can be used only for a few hours as otherwise the battery will be drained out. Battery maintanence is required. Some electronic goods like computer will get reset even if on an inverter, because there is a small disruption in power supply.
What is a UPS?
UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply.
What is the use of UPS?
UPS prevents an electric/electronic device from getting switched off by providing uninterrupted power supply.
What is the difference between an inverter and UPS ? What is the advantage of UPS over inverter ?
The difference between a UPS and an
inverter is the time difference for restoration of power supply.
In UPS, the time of restoration is so fast and in microseconds that your
computer or other electronic devices are not affected at all and they
will not get reset or switched off.
So how does it happen?
In an inverter, current from outside is directly supplied to your gadget. The battery is not involved. However, there is a mechanism that will check if power supply is present. Once it is detected that the power supply is not present, then immediately a change over happens and supply takes place from battery. However, the small time of 1 or 2 seconds for the detection and change over causes problems for many sophosticated electronic gadgets.
In the UPS, the supply is always from the battery. So for the gadget, it really does not matter if the main supply is present or not. The main supply is used here only to charge the battery. So only when the battery is drained does the UPS stop working.
One more advantage is UPS has protection from voltage fluctuations as the supply is from battery while for inverter the output voltage is based on input voltage.
Because of the more complicated circutory involved, the UPS is costlier than inverter.
The advancement of technology has led to products which has a combination of the above 3 built in them. For example a backup that will act as an UPS at first and then will change to a built-in inverter or a generator by itself.
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This Hub was last updated on September 30, 2009
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