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Difference Between UPS and Inverter

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Main Difference

The main difference between UPS and Inverter is that UPS is a power backup source in case of interrupted supply, whereas Inverter is used to convert direct current into alternating current.

UPS vs. Inverter

A UPS or uninterruptible power supply is an electrical device that is used to provide power in case of any interruption in the main power source. On the other side, an inverter is an electrical device that is used to change the single directional or unidirectional current into a bidirectional one. So, UPS plays its role as a flywheel storage system. On the flip side, an inverter plays its role in changing direct current or DC power into alternating current or AC power.

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A UPS can store energy as it has built-in storage and modular add-ons in order to extend time. On the other hand, an inverter cannot store energy, but some of its models may use an external source for storage. A UPS show immediate switch over, i.e., it shows the immediate response in around 10 ms. On the flip side, an inverter does not show an immediate response; it takes about 500 milliseconds.

The UPS is used as the electrical backup power. On the other side, the inverter is used as a power backup source. The UPS can provide supply for only a short duration. On the other hand, the inverter can provide supply for a long period of time. Moreover, UPS does not show voltage fluctuations, whereas there may be voltage fluctuations in the case of the inverter.

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There are different types of UPS, i.e., Online, Offline, line interruptive, or Standby UPS. On the other side, the types of inverter are stand-alone and grid-tie inverter. There are both AC and DC options in the input connection of UPS. On the flip side, the inverter has only a DC input connection. Moreover, UPS has receptacles to plug-in appliances. On the other side, the inverter has only an AC output connection.

So, the UPS may be directly attached to the appliances. On the flip side, the inverter is attached to the battery first and then with the appliances. The circuit of the UPS has a battery and rectifier in it. This rectifier plays its role in the alteration of alternating current into direct current and then it preserves the energy in the battery. On the other hand, there is an external battery in the inverter for the storage of energy.

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UPS has more rates than the inverter that has a low cost. UPS is important for both domestic and industrial use. On the flip side, the inverter is only used for domestic purposes.

Comparison Chart

UPSInverter
An electrical device that is used to provide power in case of any interruption in the main power source is known as UPS or uninterruptible power supply.An electrical device that is used to change the single directional or unidirectional current into a bidirectional one is known as an inverter.
Function
It plays its role as a flywheel storage system.It changes direct current or DC power into alternating current or AC power.
Energy Storage
It can store energy as it has built-in storage and modular add-ons in order to extend time.It cannot store energy, but some of its models may use an external source for storage.
Switch Over
A UPS shows immediate switch over.An inverter does not show an immediate response.
Time to Response
It shows the response in around 10 ms.It takes about 500 milliseconds.
Used As
It is used as the electrical backup power.It is used for electronics power backup.
Supply
It can provide supply for a short time period.It can provide supply for a long period of time.
Voltage Fluctuations
It does not show voltage fluctuations.It shows voltage fluctuations.
Types
Its types are Online standby, Offline, line interruptive, or Standby UPS, etc.The types of inverter are stand-alone and grid-tie inverter.
Input Connections
It shows both AC and DC input connection options.It has only a DC input connection.
Output Connections
The UPS has receptacles to plug-in appliances.It has only an AC output connection.
Connection with Appliances
It may be directly attached to the appliances.It is attached to the battery first and then with the appliances.
Circuit
The circuit of the UPS has a battery and rectifier in it.There is an external battery in the inverter for the storage of energy.
Price
UPS is expensive.The inverter has low rates.
Importance
It is important for both domestic and industrial use.The inverter is only used for domestic purposes.

What is UPS?

A UPS or uninterruptible power supply is an electrical device that is used to provide power in case of any interruption in the main power source. It works like a flywheel storing system. A UPS can store energy as it has built-in storage and modular add-ons in order to extend time. It is used as an electrical power backup.

A UPS shows immediate switch over. It needs only 10 ms to show its response. But, it can provide a supply for a short time period. The UPS consists of a battery that provides power supply to the attached equipment after sensing any loss in power from the main supply. Its circuit includes an inverter, a battery, and a controller. The rectifier of the UPS changes the Alternating current into direct current and then again DC power into AC power with the help of the inverter.

So, the UPS shows both AC and DC input connection options. It has receptacles in order to plug-in appliances. Therefore, it may be directly attached to the appliances. Moreover, there are no voltage fluctuations in the UPS. The UPS is expensive and is used for both domestic and industrial purposes.

Types

  • Offline Standby: It is the type of UPS that acts as a power backup source and avoids the system from power surges.
  • Online or Double Conversion: It is a type of UPS in which batteries and inverter are always connected to each other. So, this circuit does not need extra power transfer switches.
  • Line-interruptive: This type of UPS possesses a transformer of variable voltage that can subtract or add the power coils of wire.

What is Inverter?

An inverter is an electrical device that is used to change the single directional or unidirectional current into a bidirectional one. It changes direct current or DC power into alternating current or AC power. The inverter cannot store energy, but some of its models may use an external source for storage. It is used for electronics backup power and shows voltage fluctuations.

An inverter cannot produce electric power. So, the power is provided by the battery. It has only DC input connection and AC output connection. Therefore, the input voltage is always the constant direct current power source. But, its output may be in the form of sine, square, or pulse sine wave on the basis of the circuit and design of the inverter. An inverter, the output wave frequency always equals to the standard frequency, i.e., equals to the 50 or 60 Hertz.

An inverter does not show an immediate response. It takes about 500 milliseconds to start its action. Its time of action is based on the power of the battery. So, the running time of the inverter will decrease with the increase in the number of devices using it. In order to increase its action timing, a large number of batteries should be used. But, it can provide supply for a longer period of time as compared to UPS.

Types

  • Stand Alone Inverter: It is a basic kind of inverter that changes direct current into alternating current and provides output in the form of the sine wave. Sometimes, its shape may be changed due to distortion.
  • Grid Tie Inverter: It is a type of inverter that provides Alternating current to the large grid of the power system.

Key Differences

  1. An electrical device that is used to provide power in case of any interruption in the main power source is known as UPS or uninterruptible power supply. On the flip side, an electrical device that is used to change the single directional or unidirectional current into a bidirectional one is known as an inverter.
  2. The UPS plays its role as a flywheel storage system. On the other hand, the inverter plays its role in changing direct current or DC power into alternating current or AC power.
  3. A UPS can store energy as it has built-in storage and modular add-ons in order to extend time. Conversely, an inverter cannot store energy, but some of its models may use an external source for storage.
  4. A UPS shows immediate switch over whereas, an inverter does not show immediate response.
  5. A UPS shows the response in around 10 ms. On the other side, an inverter takes about 500 milliseconds.
  6. The UPS is used as an electrical power backup. On the flip side, an inverter is used for electronics power backup.
  7. A UPS can provide supply for a short time period. On the other hand, an inverter can provide supply for a long period of time.
  8. The UPS does not show voltage fluctuations, whereas an inverter shows voltage fluctuations.
  9. The types of UPS are Online, Offline, line interruptive, or Standby UPS. On the flip side, the types of inverter are stand-alone and grid-tie inverter.
  10. The UPS shows both AC and DC input connection options while the inverter has only DC input connection.
  11. The UPS has receptacles to plug-in appliances. On the other hand, the inverter has only an AC output connection.
  12. The UPS may be directly attached to the appliances. On the flip side, the inverter is attached to the battery and then with the other devices.
  13. The circuit of the UPS has a battery and rectifier in it. On the other side, there is an external battery in the inverter for the storage of energy.
  14. The UPS is expensive as compared to the inverter that has low rates.
  15. UPS is important for both domestic and industrial use. On the flip side, the inverter is used for domestic purposes only.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that the UPS is the electronic device that helps in case of interruption of power supply due to any reason by acting as a backup source without any voltage fluctuations. On the flip side, the inverter is the device that inverts DC into AC and shows voltage fluctuations.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss