Inverters and UPS are pretty confusing to most people. Basically, they are power backup devices. They use a big rechargeable DC battery which is used to provide AC power when needed. Most of the times, Inverters are used in house and office to supply electricity during a power outage. Many households have Inverters but at the back on the control panel, there is a switch usually. It is to change the mode of Inverter to UPS. It is quite interesting so we want to share some knowledge on the UPS mode Vs inverter mode.
Big offices and households use inverters. People mostly use UPS for their computers and other small devices. Both of these can be a lifesaver because they give an uninterrupted supply. As tech enthusiasts, we keep on trying to learn about technology. We have an 800 VA Inverter running on 150 Ah battery. This is because Nepal suffers up to 16 hours of daily power cut. Students can’t study, factories are in loss and local entrepreneurs can’t do business.
Even the telephone and internet (ADSL) goes dead after certain hours. It is because telecom companies can’t support such longer power cut. This is why most of the people use inverters in their home. While tinkering, we found a switch that turns on UPS mode as well. In general understanding the UPS and Inverter are same. But there is a difference between UPS and Inverters actually. There are working and microcircuit differences between them. This creates a huge change in its definition and working capability.
UPS are recommended for providing backup to delicate electronic equipment. For example servers, computers, workstations that need continuous power. The main difference between them is the time interval in power switching. In inverters when the mains go out or power outage happens. The 12 Volt or 48 Volt DC battery power is inverted to 240 Volt or 110 Volt AC using inverter circuit. This change takes around some milliseconds but the same transition happens in a fraction of time taken by inverter.
This small time delay in the electronic circuit causes large havoc for continuous supply demanding devices. Computers, big TVs and servers restart because of a small time interval of no power. So if you want continuous power without any interruption then you should turn into UPS mode. This small thing causes a lot of change in normal inverters. We notice that inverters would not take main supply if there is voltage supply less than standard such as 220V. They would take that as outage or issue and start sending power from battery backup.
Details on Inverter vs UPS Mode and choice
UPS mode is used when someone requires a continuous supply of good electricity. There is a challenge in this process. The system requires a good mains supply to maintain the status quo. Some places don’t have a good supply of mains. It means that the voltage fluctuates in a huge range. These types of system usually require a good electricity supply for health working.
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More battery is used to supply electricity during UPS mode. So the biggest con is if the mains don’t supply standard 220 V-240 V or 110 V for charging, it won’t take input. UPS mode will cause to drain the battery in such case. In contrast, Inverters can accept mains voltage anywhere from 140V to 240V. So you will have to compromise your battery because UPS mode will reduce the battery life significantly.
In some inverters, there is a mode named W-UPS which means Wide UPS. In this, the backup works for a wide range of voltage like 100v-240v instead of smaller range. It is good for many devices but as the switch time is high, there is a risk in using sensitive devices. Devices a restart in this mode. Some companies also label W-UPS as an unregulated mode and label UPS mode as a regulated mode. We can change these modes using switch or slider in the back of inverters.