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Thread: Difference between Inverter and UPS

  1. #1
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    Default Difference between Inverter and UPS

    I have seen many companies which sell UPS and Inverter
    What is the exact difference b/w a UPS and an inverter

    I know both of them convert DC to AC but what is the exact difference

    I was going through the SU-KAM website and they sell both UPS and invertor, not sure what is the difference

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    The basic difference in layman's terms is:

    While both provide backup power during mains outage, with the UPS the switch is instantaneous whereas with the Inverter there is a gap of a second or two. This gap is OK for household gadgets such as lights, fans, fridge, etc. but not OK for computers.

    In technical terms:

    UPS: The mains power comes to the UPS. The AC is converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. The output of the battery is fed to the Sine wave inverter and it converts DC to AC and this feeds the equipment. Since power out is always drawn from the battery, there is no time lag when mains swicthes off; it justs stops the battery from being charged and the UPS continues to supply power till the battery runs out.

    Inverter: The mains power comes to the Inverter. This is directly sent to the output but the AC is also converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. A sensor and relay mechanism checks whether the mains is ON or OFF. When the main switches OFF, the relay actuator triggers to switch from mains to inverter. Rest is same like the UPS. Because of this sensor and relay, there is a gap between triggering.

    UPS involves more costly circuitary and is therefor more expensive to make and sell.
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    Thanks a lot
    you have made it crystal clear

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    Thanks for the valuable info

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    cheers to just4kix!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    The basic difference in layman's terms is:

    While both provide backup power during mains outage, with the UPS the switch is instantaneous whereas with the Inverter there is a gap of a second or two. This gap is OK for household gadgets such as lights, fans, fridge, etc. but not OK for computers.

    In technical terms:

    UPS: The mains power comes to the UPS. The AC is converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. The output of the battery is fed to the Sine wave inverter and it converts DC to AC and this feeds the equipment. Since power out is always drawn from the battery, there is no time lag when mains swicthes off; it justs stops the battery from being charged and the UPS continues to supply power till the battery runs out.

    Inverter: The mains power comes to the Inverter. This is directly sent to the output but the AC is also converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. A sensor and relay mechanism checks whether the mains is ON or OFF. When the main switches OFF, the relay actuator triggers to switch from mains to inverter. Rest is same like the UPS. Because of this sensor and relay, there is a gap between triggering.

    UPS involves more costly circuitary and is therefor more expensive to make and sell.

    Just to add to this valuable info UPS provides the pure sine wave AC but this is not in the case of Inverter so there are chances that Inverter might damage the complex electronic circuitry of computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktmnr View Post
    Just to add to this valuable info UPS provides the pure sine wave AC but this is not in the case of Inverter so there are chances that Inverter might damage the complex electronic circuitry of computer.
    Actually there are inverters from SU KAM which come with pure sine wave, so no problems with that

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    Quote Originally Posted by gardencityboy View Post
    Actually there are inverters from SU KAM which come with pure sine wave, so no problems with that
    Yep and thats why they even claim in their Ads that you can use it to run computers...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gardencityboy View Post
    Actually there are inverters from SU KAM which come with pure sine wave, so no problems with that

    these inverters are called online UPS and they are very costly comparing to normal sinewave inverters

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktmnr View Post
    Yep and thats why they even claim in their Ads that you can use it to run computers...
    ... as long as there is no delay in switchover.

    Quote Originally Posted by player View Post

    these inverters are called online UPS and they are very costly comparing to normal sinewave inverters
    You know what ... now the major cost in a UPS or Invertor is not the device itself but the batteries. It appears that batteries have become extremely expensive. From what I heard, now batteries' cost is almost 70% is an invertor that gives 1 KVA backup for 4 hours.
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    The guy who maintains the inverters in our apartment block has advised me a small 500VA UPS for my projector. He told me that in case of sudden power interruption, my projector will switch off at full lamp heat and consequently damage the lamp or reduce its life. Also, the UPS will by itself act as a voltage stablizer.
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    i agree with you
    i just inquired about the UPS and SU KAM said that a local batter UPS will cost Rs 13000 for 800 VA and Rs 17000 for Exide battery, which is huge difference

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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    The basic difference in layman's terms is:

    While both provide backup power during mains outage, with the UPS the switch is instantaneous whereas with the Inverter there is a gap of a second or two. This gap is OK for household gadgets such as lights, fans, fridge, etc. but not OK for computers.

    In technical terms:

    UPS: The mains power comes to the UPS. The AC is converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. The output of the battery is fed to the Sine wave inverter and it converts DC to AC and this feeds the equipment. Since power out is always drawn from the battery, there is no time lag when mains swicthes off; it justs stops the battery from being charged and the UPS continues to supply power till the battery runs out.

    Inverter: The mains power comes to the Inverter. This is directly sent to the output but the AC is also converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. A sensor and relay mechanism checks whether the mains is ON or OFF. When the main switches OFF, the relay actuator triggers to switch from mains to inverter. Rest is same like the UPS. Because of this sensor and relay, there is a gap between triggering.

    UPS involves more costly circuitary and is therefor more expensive to make and sell.

    That was the good one!!!

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    thanks a lot for valuable information

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    My situation is somewhat unique. I bought a UPS (with 10+ min backup) along with my laptop. Then due to frequent power cuts, I was forced to get a better backup. Then I bought an inverter with 10+ hours back up. What I have done with the inverter and UPS is this,

    The Main Power Supply -> Inverter -> UPS -> PC/Laptop.

    So when the power fails, I still have power (I mean without any delay) from UPS for my PC/laptop. Of course, the UPS would be off for a fraction of a second before it gets power from inverter when the power goes off from the mains.

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    Hmm nice trick pothi..

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    Default Summary

    I made another post asking the answer to the question originally discussed in the first post of this thread. Thanks.

    So if I understand this correctly, if you have a regular su-kam type of sineway inverter but no ups, when the main goes off the computer will also go off. On my su-kam there is a choice of PC. I did not want to experiment using it yet till I discussed it here. If I switch the inverter to PC, then still there will be a slight gap in time, my computer will shut down if there is no regular UPS? Am I right or wrong. The second thing I read is that the regular sine wav inverters do not out pure sinewave dc and thus can damage the computer. Those who are tech smart can confirm or correct me please. Thanks.

    I have a second question that I bought a proview ups. It is 600VA. I have a desktop computer with a 17"CRT, and 2 hard drives. The UPS proview never lasted more than 3 minutes. Is this normal for proview, or really wrong? I keep reading that other guys get 15 minutes of up time with a similar setup as I have.

    Last question is that my inverter has a 165G Tata battery with six regular cells and is 600V. Right now if I keep on just the computer and one light I get max of 2 hours. Is this right or is my battery on the way out. The guy we bought it from is, well, not my choice the next time.

    Many thanks

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    Default Difference between UPS and Inverters

    A Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) broadly consists of:

    1. Rectifier (Charger) - To convert AC Power (from Power Grid) to DC Power (to charge Battery)

    2. Inverter - To convert DC Power (from Battery) to AC Power (to power load i.e., electrical and electronic equipment.)

    3. Controller - To control functions of Rectifier (Charger) and Inverter. (i.e., when to start or stop charging battery, when to start or stop power from battery to load, how fast to change from Grid Power to Battery Power and so on)

    An Inverter broadly consists of:

    1. Inverter - To convert DC Power (from Battery) to AC Power (to power load i.e., electrical and electronic equipment.)

    2. Controller - To control functions of Inverter. (i.e., when to start or stop power from battery to load and so on)

    Inverters are usually used with Solar Photovoltaic Cells/Modules (Solar Panels) or Windmills, which directly generate DC Power to charge batteries and therefore no Rectifiers are required.

    Batteries be directly charged via Battery Chargers. Typically, hawkers in India use Inverters to power light sources. At the end of the day, they give their batteries for charging.

    Notes:

    1. Change over time from Grid Power to Battery Power is typically set to less than 10 milliseconds to avoid sensitive electronic equipment and computers from rebooting. As change over time is set in Controller, both UPS and Inverters can run sensitive electronic equipment and computers.

    2. DC Power from Battery is converted to AC Power for load in either Pure Sine (Sinusoidal) Wave (Waveform) or Modified Sine Wave. Pure Sine Wave is ideal and recommended for increasing life of electrical and electronic equipment and is a must for sensitive electronic equipment. Modified Sine Wave damages electrical and electronic equipment over a period of time and generates humming noise from load during operation. Both UPS and Inverters can generate either Pure Sine Wave or Modified Sine Wave.

    Misinformation:

    Indians typically call a device:

    UPS
    • when it has a built-in battery

    • when it has a short backup duration

    • when it is used in Office

    • when it is not used for lighting purposes

    • when it is used for computers

    • when it does not reboot computer

    • when its output is pure sine wave


    Inverter
    • when it has an external battery

    • when it has a long backup duration

    • when it is used in Home

    • when it is used for lighting purposes

    • when it is not used for computers

    • when it reboots computer

    • when its output is modified sine wave


    Sometimes Inverters with the above features are incorrectly called Invertors (word not in dictionary).

    Published with permission from Mr. Kamath, Archenergy, Mysore
    Source: Archenergy - www . archenergy . in
    Last edited by sinstoic; 13th September 2009 at 08:24 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Good one................

  20. #20
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    an inverter has a long battery back up whereas ups has little.

    also ups is computer ups but inverter is home ups.
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  21. #21
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    I thought both were the same just different ways of naming them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Preeti_20 View Post
    I thought both were the same just different ways of naming them!
    Hmm... but now a days there is very little difference left between them.. the difference in backup time is one..

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    Another difference between UPS and inverter is ¨pure sine wave¨ technology.
    UPS has pure sine wave characteristic, but inverter lags it due to the high implementation cost of this specific ¨inductor based¨ technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pothi View Post
    My situation is somewhat unique. I bought a UPS (with 10+ min backup) along with my laptop. Then due to frequent power cuts, I was forced to get a better backup. Then I bought an inverter with 10+ hours back up. What I have done with the inverter and UPS is this,

    The Main Power Supply -> Inverter -> UPS -> PC/Laptop.

    So when the power fails, I still have power (I mean without any delay) from UPS for my PC/laptop. Of course, the UPS would be off for a fraction of a second before it gets power from inverter when the power goes off from the mains.
    hey are you sure.. ? Can I use like you mention ? The Main Power Supply -> Inverter -> UPS -> PC/Laptop.

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    i just got installed luminous ups sinewave 875va now according just4kix its supplying output directly from battery means battery in ups down more fast as compare to same battery used with inverter .second thing means ups output load will be limited to battery ah or ups load thats 875 va but as i check manual its says under normal electricity input ouput is on main electricity not on battery it will only turn on battery when mains supply to ups is cut thats in case of electricity failure another thing as i asked for inverter to shopowner he sales puresine wave ups not inverter as no stock packing has inverter word on it thats all sinewave class although squarewave one may have inverter word on packing .
    so simple iam still confused what this means although iam agree with just4kix talk as i also know same thing about differ between inverter and ups but after installing luminous device iam still confused what it is as to clear confusion i write a mail to luminous later

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    Hello...
    This is best site for talking about thread related to computer and software...

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    i just got installed luminous ups sinewave 875va now according just4kix its supplying output directly from battery means battery in ups down more fast as compare to same battery used with inverter .second thing means ups output load will be limited to battery ah or ups load thats 875 va but as i check manual its says under normal electricity input ouput is on mai

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    what is the difference between an online ups and a offline ups

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    The difference's between an inverter and a UPS are as follows

    1) CHANGE OVER TIME: An off-line ups (the standard) switches to the batteries in 3 to 8 milliseconds, after the main power has been lost.
    The typical Inverter changes over in about 500 milliseconds

    2) SIZE: Off-line UPS's go up to about 2kVA
    Inverters go to 16kVA, 3 phase(what i could find browsing)

    3)VOLTAGE REGULATION: UPS's have automatic voltage regulation (AVR) set on average at 220v
    Inverters output voltage is the same as the mains input voltage (South Africa = 230V)


    An inverter can transform a voltage from say 12volts dc and up to 230v AC.
    UPS means Uninterrupted Power Supply. If you use an UPS between your computer, and your socket in the wall, and experience a power failure, the UPS will act as a battery and give you some extra minutes work time to save your work, and turn of the machine properly. Without the UPS your machine would die immediately.
    *note: the UPS is NOT a normal battery, so you cant put a battery between your computer and the mains.



    2) The basic

    difference in layman's terms is:

    While both provide backup power during mains outage, with the UPS the switch is instantaneous whereas with the Inverter there is a gap of a second or two. This gap is OK for household gadgets such as lights, fans, fridge, etc. but not OK for computers.

    In technical terms:

    UPS: The mains power comes to the UPS. The AC is converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. The output of the battery is fed to the Sine wave inverter and it converts DC to AC and this feeds the equipment. Since power out is always drawn from the battery, there is no time lag when mains switches off; it just stops the battery from being charged and the UPS continues to supply power till the battery runs out.

    Inverter: The mains powercomes to the Inverter. This is directly sent to the output but the AC is also converted to DC and this DC is constantly charging the battery. A sensor and relay mechanism checks whether the mains is ON or OFF. When the main switches OFF, the relay actuator triggers to switch from mains to inverter. Rest is same like the UPS. Because of this sensor and relay, there is a gap between triggering.

    UPS involves more costly circuits and is therefore more expensive to make and sell.

    Apart from these there is another difference. The AC supply has a pure sine wave whereas in an offline UPS the output is a near sine wav, not a pure sine wav where as for a inverter its step wave. This is the reason that we hear a hum when we attach a inductive load to a UPS or a inverter but we do not hear anything when its on AC supply.

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    both are same storage device

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