Uninterruptible Power Supply vs. Power Generator: Which Do You Prefer?


For a country that has been struck by numerous natural disasters, owning emergency power systems such as uninterruptible power supplies or power generators is a must. The Philippines suffers from approximately 80 typhoons annually. For the past 365 days, the country underwent 190 earthquakes. As a result, power outages occur.

The Philippines has also been suffering from electricity issues. With the population of the Philippines rising to roughly 100 million, there is a presence of limited energy supply which causes electricity shortages.

With the advent of power outages and electricity shortages, buying an uninterruptible power supply or a power generator in the Philippines is your option. You might be thinking, what is the difference between the two? The aim of an uninterruptible power supply and a power generator is the same: to provide backup power when there is power interruption but what sets them apart?

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Image source: panther.ph

According to Lifewire, a battery backup, or an uninterruptible power supply, is primarily used to provide a backup power source to important desktop hardware components. It keeps your computer and other devices running long enough so that you can properly shut it down and not lose any data.

UPS systems work when the power is on and it uses stored energy to support electronic devices the instant the power is out. Since uninterruptible power supplies serve as a battery, it makes use of chemical energy. Here are some features of a UPS device:

  • The device is smaller compared to a generator, thus, it is more portable. 
  • A UPS system usually has an automatic switch which provides immediate power supply. 
  • It makes no noise. 
  • It requires minimal maintenance. 
  • It provides backup power for minutes or even hours. 

Power Generator

Image source: readiness-plan.com

An electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy obtained from an external source into electrical energy as the output. The electric motor is responsible for the conversion. Just like the uninterruptible power supply, it provides power supply during outages but the two have some key differences. A generator has the following properties:

  • It’s typically larger than a UPS system. 
  • It costs more. 
  • When the electricity goes out, a generator switches on and supplies power within 10-20 seconds. 
  • It requires regular maintenance checks. 
  • A generator emits air and noise pollution. 
  • It is capable of providing emergency power to home appliances for hours or even days. 

Which is better?

Since UPS provides power for a short amount of time, it’s impractical to plug appliances that take too much energy such as television, refrigerators, and amplifiers. Uninterruptible power supplies here in the Philippines are best suited for computers and appliances that don’t take too much power. Generators, on the other hand, might be more appropriate for home appliances that require a higher voltage but it may come with several downsides as well. Now that you know the comparison between an uninterruptible power supply and a generator, you can now choose the appropriate apparatus for your power backup needs.

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