Generator vs. UPS For The Home - What Are The Pros And Cons


Whether your house's electricity goes out every day, several times a month, or just once in a while, backup power can be necessary. You'll have to decide whether that means installing a backup generator or an uninterruptible power supply. The type of backup you choose depends on various factors such as the frequency of outages, available space, and budget, but the real difference is in how they work to keep your vital systems online.

When people face blackouts, they usually start to find ways to solve the problem. People sometimes use generators if they are aware of the use. Here I want to discuss the uses and shortcomings of generators and UPS as a source of power supply in houses.

To overcome this issue, people have been adopting alternative ways. Some of the most common alternative resources used by homeowners and offices include the use of UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) and Generators.

Both of these power supply systems typically serve as a backup to temporarily make up for the lack of original power supply. Although they serve the same purpose, how they operate is different which is where the need to discuss the pros and cons of UPS and generator comes into place.

Generator vs. UPS For The Home - What Are The Pros Anad Cons

Pros and Cons of UPS and Generators

There are many different types of generators, and UPS available in the market, and you can buy one easily based on its features, and affordability. But before that, it’s essential to understand the differences between both the systems how they work, what benefits they offer, as well as what are the drawbacks.

This article will give you a detailed insight into the usage of both systems, which will help you make the right decision.

What is UPS? 
What is UPS

UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply, which is backed up by a battery. In case of any power outage or voltage drop to an unacceptable level, UPS works as a backup source.

Some UPS systems only supply power for a short time like a few minutes. These are typically small UPS systems with small batteries just so one can save files and work on their PC. Whereas a bigger UPS has the potential to supply power for your house appliances for quite a few hours, which is why they are preferred for houses.

There are three main types of UPS systems, let’s take a look below:

Standby UPS System – It remains in standby mode unless there is a power failure.

Line Interactive UPS system – This system has an inverter and a battery that is connected to the output. In case of power failure, a switch changes the power flow.

Double conversion UPS system – The backup battery in this is charged by the input AC. Which powers the output inverter for a smooth switch.

Advantages of UPS

When it comes to the pros and cons of UPS and Generators, one of the most commonly used devices in Pakistani households is UPS. This comes with many advantages, and some of them are listed below.

Works in Silent Mode

UPS works in silence and is free of noise which is the best thing about having them. While they switch to the automatic backup power supply mode without creating any noise.
People that are sensitive to noise will appreciate this feature specifically.

Instant Power Supply

It provides an instant power supply that keeps your critical devices like computers and other equipment running without any disruption.

Consistency

A UPS is designed in a way that it automatically kick starts, providing alternative electricity, eliminating the chances of any kind of glitches, or power surges, which allows you to safely shut down the computer and other critical appliances.

Guard Against Damage

UPS senses the power fluctuates, surges, dips, etc. Hence it switches to the backup power resource, guarding the appliances against any potential damage caused by these irregularities.

Filter

A line-interactive UPS essentially works as a filter. As it refines the power that enters into the UPS then adjusts its output to make it compatible with the internal systems, so they receive a smooth, consistent power supply free from all the anomalies.

Low Price and Low Maintenance

The expenses of buying a UPS and installing it are lower than that of buying a generator. Buying a UPS can be one-time spending, as they work fine as long as their battery is working well.

In comparison to generators, they need almost zero maintenance. If you make sure that the battery is in good condition, your UPS can go for as long as many years.

Cons of UPS

Even though there are so many advantages of having a UPS, there are some drawbacks that can factor in the purpose you are using it for.

Unsuitable for Heavy Appliances

A major drawback of buying a UPS is that their batteries do not support appliances that require heavy power for instance Iron, Fridge, etc. The only recommended appliances are fans, and light bulbs.

This is why UPS is not suitable for the houses that are in areas of frequent power outages. They only fit in areas where the downfall lasts only for a few hours.

Batteries May Require Frequent Maintenance 

The battery is the backbone of the UPS system, so it is essential to buy a good quality battery. If you choose to buy a battery that is of low standard and cheaper, you will have to change the liquid in it now and then or replace it with a new one every 4-5 months.

What is a Generator? 
What is a Generator

When our major source of electricity – Dams – does not produce enough of it, there is a shortfall of power, and consumers like you and me have to cope with it. One common method is to get your own mini, portable electricity generator, which will produce enough electricity to support all your home appliances.

Unlike UPS, the generator is not backed by a battery, that stores, rather it generates electricity itself. It converts kinetic energy into electrical power that is used to run the appliances.

You will find various types of generators in the markets, depending on their use – houses, industries, and commercial sectors.

They can run a whole office/building, or household appliances, based on their power-generating ability. Depending on their size and model, they require three different types of fuel.

Gasoline or Petrol Power System

Diesel Fuel Power System

Natural Gas Power System

Advantages of Using a Generator

All three types of generators come with different advantages, which are given below.

Portable

Despite being heavy, portable generators can be carried from one place to another. This is because of the wheels attached with them, which makes it portable as well as easier to use in other places, unlike the UPS system.

No Installation/Extra Wiring Required

No special wiring or installation is required for the generators to work. To use it, you can just turn the main system off, start the generator, and use any switch to plug it in.

In the case of distributive connection, or Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), you will need an additional switcher.

Supports Heavy Appliances

The KVA ratings of generators tell us that they can run heavy appliances such as iron, TV, refrigerator, motors, etc., making generators a good choice for people that live in areas of heavy and frequent power outages.

During the hot summer season, they can be particularly helpful in keeping the food fresh and rooms cool with their respective systems.

Disadvantages of Having Generators

Besides advantages, there are also many disadvantages of using generators. Some of them are mentioned below.

Disturbance by Loud Noise

Although they generate electricity for most of your house appliances, one of the worst sides of using a generator is that you will have to hear a loud noise.
For people that live in small apartments, or in areas where houses are in close vicinity of each other, using generators can be very more troublesome because of the noise pollution that it can create.

An alternative to this is the inverter generator, but these are usually more expensive than regular generators.

Regular Maintenance

It has an engine and is a mechanical device, which is why it requires frequent maintenance. It also needs to be refilled with fuel, which makes it heavier on one’s pocket.

The quantity of the fuel matters a lot, so you will have to check the fuel regularly, as running it on low gasoline will damage the engine. Other things that you need to take care of include air filters, carburetors, plugs, etc.

More Expensive

The buying and maintenance cost of it makes it an expensive option. You will have to refill the fuel regularly, which itself will cost you a lot. Also, the fuel erodes the engine, which is why it needs regular maintenance, which again will cost you some money.

Emission of Poisonous Gas

Besides being high maintenance, and noisy, generators emit dangerous poisonous gases as well. They downgrade the air quality inside your home. These gasses not only add to air pollution but are harmful to humans if inhaled.

Manual Switching

If one does not install the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), they would have to start and off it manually, which can be quite hectic.

Electricity is important in the current era for things to run smoothly, which is why there are different means that people bring in use to overcome its shortage. This detailed overview of the pros and cons of UPS and generators will help you choose according to your requirements, situation, and affordability.

UPS OR A GENERATOR: KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO DEVICES

Let’s learn about the difference between a UPS and a generator, which has been highlighted in the pointers below, and find out which option is best for you when it comes to buying power backup devices in Pakistan.

PURPOSE

Both generators and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems are designed to use as power backup systems. As discussed, UPS systems are designed to provide a backup power supply to keep the small electrical equipment running in your home without interruptions during an outage. They protect the connected appliances against power surges. On the other hand, generators can be connected to the main power supply since they’re designed to handle multiple devices. This also makes the larger models of generators (which also come with a stand-by power option) suitable to be used in commercial and industrial sectors.

UPS OR A GENERATOR: THE MAINTENANCE FACTOR

UPS systems run on batteries, which means you have to check the level of fluids in your battery every month to make sure it doesn’t run dry, exhausting, and damaging your power backup system. On the other hand, power generators in Pakistan run on either petrol, diesel, or gas, which means they need to be constantly supplied with the fuel they require. However, the cost of maintaining a generator may be more than the cost of maintaining a UPS at home. The battery of your UPS system is charged from the electrical supply in your home, which may cause your electricity bill to increase but it may still be cheaper than running a generator. 

Note: Power generators produce more electricity than any UPS system and power up multiple appliances at a time, which is why they require more fuel to run.

UPS VS. GENERATOR: THE NOISE FACTOR

One of the biggest factors for people preferring to buy generators over UPS is noise. Power generators run on combustion engines, which is why they cause noise pollution. People living in small homes and apartments just can’t bear the loud noise produced by generators, especially when it echoes with the walls and roof of a building. However, with some cutting-edge improvements, the technology of sound-proofing has been introduced to power generators. This is why these days; you can easily find different types of models of power generators that cause little or no noise pollution at all. 

UPS PRICE IN PAKISTAN

The starting price of a UPS system in Pakistan (capable of powering up to 2 fans and lights at a time) is around PKR 10,000. However, this doesn’t include the battery and installation charges. Installing the complete UPS system in your home may cost you around PKR 30,000

GENERATOR PRICE IN PAKISTAN

The price of a power generator in Pakistan (capable of producing 1KVA of power) starts at around PKR 35,000. It will be enough to power a small home (with two to three rooms).

SAFETY TIPS FOR USING A UPS SYSTEM
SAFETY TIPS FOR USING A UPS SYSTEM

Some important safety precautions you need to take while using a UPS system in your home have been listed as under:

Do not lay metal parts or any types of electric tools on top of batteries. 

Disconnect the charging source before connecting or disconnecting battery terminals

To reduce the risk of fire, avoid overloading your UPS system.

SAFETY TIPS FOR USING A GENERATOR
SAFETY TIPS FOR USING A GENERATOR

one of the most important safety tips for using a generator at home is as follows:

Always operate your power generator in a well-ventilated area in your home

Never pre-plug any electric appliances into the generator before turning it on to avoid electrical hazards like electrocution and fire incidents.

Turn off and let your power generator cool down before refueling it

So, is it a UPS or a generator? What have you decided to install in your home after learning about the key differences among these power backup devices discussed in the blog above? 

Safeguard the UPS generator system by considering the following:

1. Survey the generator recurrence. Each UPS has a set information voltage and recurrence window that whenever surpassed, will make the UPS go on battery. Assuming a generator's recurrence range is excessively wide for the UPS to acknowledge, then, at that point, the UPS might decipher the generator as a shaky power source. Assuming that this happens, the UPS stays on battery for all time, which will eventually make the battery fizzle and drop your heap.

2. Size up the generator. Appropriate generator estimating is fundamental to guarantee the security of both the UPS load and an association's workforce during an extensive blackout. Many organizations anticipate that the generator should oblige cooling, crisis lighting, interchanges, and other fundamental administrations. However, if the generator isn't measured sufficiently huge, it will not have the option to hold voltage and recurrence inside input resistances when the UPS comes on the web.

The greater the generator motor, the more steady the recurrence, and subsequently the more it can deal with as the UPS falls off of the battery. Considering that, at whatever point spending plans grant, it is astute to evaluate and furthermore take into account some expected development with the generator well-disposed UPS. The overall suggestions for UPS models up to 25 kW are as per the following:

twice the absolute burden (counting the UPS, A/C, and any remaining gear that should stay on the web) for petroleum gas-fueled and mechanical lead representative generators.

1.5 times the complete burden for propane-or diesel-fueled generators and those with an electronic lead representative.

3. Consider the fuel source. The most widely recognized generator fuel choices incorporate propane, gaseous petrol, and diesel, every one of which accompanies its own arrangement of its own benefits and burdens. Flammable gas working generators can be slower to answer and maybe estimated bigger than their propane partners. Diesel is generally viewed as the best fuel and is prevalent for generator arrangements 50 kW and bigger; notwithstanding, it has a short stockpiling life and its expense can strain spending plans.

4. Try not to ignore the lead representative. Compact generators are furnished with a lead representative, which restricts the speed of fuel being conveyed to the motor to a protected level amid burden changes. Electronic lead representatives rush to answer, while mechanical lead representatives are increasingly slow and additionally cause alignment challenges.

5. Think about the UPS geography. The kind of UPS will likewise affect UPS generator similarity and design, as not all can make up for recurrence varieties without depending on the battery. Both reserve and line-intelligent UPSs use battery ability to keep recurrence varieties from influencing the safeguarded load. A twofold change, online UPS, then again, reproduces the sine wave and channels recurrence varieties as a component of its generally expected activity, in this way protecting battery duration. Since it continually redresses AC to DC and afterward transforms the DC back to AC, the web-based UPS produces a result that amends for voltage and recurrence deviations. Consequently, twofold transformation innovation is the most widely recognized for basic burden applications, and the most worthwhile sort of framework for generator reconciliation.

6. Talk with the makers. Regularly you can stay away from a scope of likely issues and the UPS not chipping away at generator power by first guaranteeing that the generator producer has tried and supported the items expected to use with UPSs. To guarantee that ideal UPS versus generator measuring is accomplished, it is insightful to talk with both the UPS and the generator maker before concluding a buy. Moreover, limits of forthcoming burdens to be safeguarded can commonly be found in the producer's particulars.

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