What are the differences between an Inverter and UPS?

differences between an inverter and ups

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power inverters are both used to provide energy and are frequently mistaken. Understanding how a UPS and an inverter operate is the best approach to understand the differences between an Inverter and UPS. Let me explain everything in detail in this article this may help you to understand the difference between an inverter and ups and how to choose those for your home purposes or office purposes.

Differences between an inverter and ups

What is an inverter?

what is an inverter

An inverter is an electric device that changes direct current (DC) to alternative current (AC), In most situations, the input DC voltage is lower, while the output AC voltage is equivalent to the grid supply voltage, which is either 120 or 240 volts depending on the nation.

An inverter is a device that provides continuous power to electrical equipment in the home. These inverters come in a variety of voltages and load capacities. When examining the differences between an inverter and a UPS, it’s important to remember that such power backup systems require an extra DC (battery) source to store the converted energy. Another thing to keep in mind is that an inverter helps charge the battery by converting the AC supply into DC current when the power is turned on. Because the battery is connected to the inverter outside, bigger capacity batteries (usually 100Ah-200Ah) are utilized, providing 2 to 5 hours of power backup.

It also takes around 10-20 ms for inverter relays to convert from mains power to battery power during Mains Power Off. Even a tiny delay of 10-20 milliseconds is not tolerated in the banking industry, where lakhs of transactions are processed every second, hospital, where individuals on life support require continual oxygen, and households where computers or other complex equipment are utilized.

UPS comes on screen to eliminate such obstacles.

Read: how to use a microwave oven in your kitchen with cleaning tips

What is UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and how does it work?

differences between an inverter and ups

A UPS, like an inverter, is a device that delivers electricity to loads in the event of a power outage. A low-capacity UPS with a capacity of up to 1.5 KVA includes a 5 to 10 Ah integrated battery that offers 15 to 30 minutes of power backup during a power outage. External batteries are used in high-capacity systems, although their functionality is dependent on the UPS type. UPS are generally divided into three types based on how they operate:

a) Online UPS:

In normal operation, an online UPS delivers power to the AC load and employs an inverter to supply AC power during a power cut. The output power supply is constantly ON in an online UPS, which means the UPS continuously charging the battery and drawing electricity from the battery to power the load. As a result, there is no switching and, as a result, no time delay between its sources. In the event of a power failure, even for an instant, there is no delay.

The UPS stops charging the battery in the event of a power failure but continues to drive a load from the inverter battery. As a result, while switching the power source, the Online UPS has no delay. It is also known as Online UPS because it stays ON even during its normal operation.

b) offline UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply):

In normal operation, an offline UPS directly delivers power to the AC load from the AC mains and utilizes an inverter to power the AC load from the DC battery. The output supply must be switched between the two sources because there are two distinct suppliers. An offline UPS has a switching time of 6 to 10 milliseconds, which is sufficient for running PCs and other sensitive equipment at home but not suitable for banks or hospitals, as previously stated. The battery stops charging when the mains is turned off, and the relay or static switch immediately moves the output line to the inverter side.

The inverter begins taking electricity from the battery at the same time, which is subsequently delivered to the AC load. It is called Offline UPS because it does not take electricity from the AC line during normal operation.

c) UPS Interactive Line

The features of Line-interactive UPS are derived from both Online and Offline UPS. The inverter is part of the output of a line-interactive UPS. While the AC input is usual, the inverter will charge the battery in reverse and switch to battery power if the input fails.

The switching time is less than that of an offline UPS and is usually about 5 milliseconds. Filtering and voltage control is provided by internal components. Before switching to battery backup, line-interactive UPS systems provide a broad range of input voltage fluctuations. This technique works particularly well in places where outages are rare, but power fluctuations are regular.

d) Combining UPS and Inverters:

After you’ve learned about the variations between UPS and inverter, you’ll need to decide what you need. In a large workplace with a lot of computers and communication equipment, for example, an offline or line-interactive UPS is usually required. A bank or a hospital, on the other hand, may demand an Online UPS. An inverter can provide prolonged power backup for hours in a house that solely utilizes ventilation and lights. 

However, because UPS units are more expensive, it does not make sense to size them for hours of operation with no power supply. Selecting an inverter that can also serve as a UPS or vice versa is a preferable option. In comparison to UPS, the inverter battery combination proved to be more durable, long-lasting, and low-maintenance.


We hope you’ve figured out what the difference between a UPS and an inverter is and which power solution is best for you. The differences between UPS and inverter in terms of switching times and backup time requirements have been discussed in this article, which you should bear in mind when choosing a power backup option for your house or workplace.

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