What is the difference between UPS and inverter?


The UPS stands for uninterrupted power supply, it is used to provide uninterrupted power to the equipment. A UPS can be described as an inverter with a built-in battery. The back-up time of the UPS is very less it will be 15-25 minutes. The UPS is used with computers so that in case of any power we won’t lose any data if the UPS is connected with the computer. A UPS would also give protection against voltage fluctuation, surges, under-voltage, overvoltage, etc. A UPS consists of several parts such as batteries, a charge controller, a transfer switch for switching between mains, a backup battery, and an inverter.


The inverter does the conversion of the battery DC to AC and then it supplies. The inverter would invert the DC to AC, in case of normal conditions the supply is direct feed to the load. It charges the battery by taking the supply from the AC source. In case of any power cut the inverter would receive power from the battery and then the power would be converted to AC and after that it is supplied.

Difference between UPS & INVERTER

We use inverters and UPS for power back up and both of their operations is almost similar then why are they called different names. So both of them will receive the AC power and then it will be converted into DC power and this DC power is stored and when the need comes it will provide the power to the equipment. We use UPS in computers and the inverter can be used to control all the equipment in our home. So we only use the UPS in a specified way but not the inverter, and it is because the power in the UPS is uninterrupted as the name says. But in the case of an inverter, it is interrupted because the inverter switching is different from the UPS switching.

So a UPS switching time will be 5 to 8 millisecond but in the case of the inverter, it would take 500 milliseconds,s and nowadays it is a little bit less. So we can see the inverter won’t take much time like before but it still takes 50 milliseconds. But this 50 millisecond would badly affect the operation of the sensitive devices and so a PLC or a computer could become off in case of a small power gap or the switching gap of the inverter. This switching gap would affect the life of the equipment, a UPS is smart when compared to an inverter. The inverter would check if there is power from the supply if not then it would give power, so the major part of the inverter is the battery and also the conversion of DC to AC. The UPS is a smarter device it can detect small power variations and would give a control signal output, so the UPS is safe and advanced. A UPS is unidirectional and the inverter is bidirectional. The back-up time of a UPS is less when compared to an inverter but, there are three-phase UPS which would give a better backup but it is really expensive, and they are used in big factories. Mostly we use UPS for electronic appliances and it is widely used in places where delays in the power supply cannot be tolerated. The inverter has a switching delay so that it cannot be used for places where delays in the power supply is a problem. A UPS only needs less maintenance when compared to a battery.


post-graduate in Electronics & communication.

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