Wondering whether you need a UPS or generator for your business to protect against the predicted winter power cuts? Here’s all you need to know about how they work, how they differ, and in which situations they might be the most beneficial.
What is a UPS?
UPS stands for ‘uninterruptible power supply. As the name suggests, a UPS power supply system provides a power supply that will not be interrupted, even in the event of an electrical issue or power cut.
Due to this, a UPS is used to provide backup power to businesses that cannot afford to have any downtime or use a lot of essential electrical equipment. In this sense, a UPS is a key component of a disaster recovery plan and a risk management strategy.
What is a generator?
Similarly, a generator is used to provide a backup power supply to businesses in the event of a power failure.
On the other hand, generators are machines that take mechanical or chemical energy from an external source and convert it into electrical energy, which can then be distributed to connected devices.
What is the difference between a UPS and a generator?
The main difference between a UPS and a generator is that a UPS is uninterruptible, whereas generators are used when the main electrical input is interrupted. As the generator won’t kick in until the mains is down, you can have a split second where there is no power whilst you wait for the generator to switch on – something you won’t have to worry about with a UPS.
Another way the systems differ is the way they get their power. As we have mentioned, a generator uses fuel or movement to produce electricity. On the other hand, a UPS has a backup battery, which keeps things running for short periods of time whilst the mains electricity is down.
A UPS also operates slightly differently from a generator – a generator merely provides a backup power supply, whereas a UPS will also monitor the electrical current. This means that, with a UPS, you will also be protected against power surges as well as power outages.
Due to these pretty significant differences, a UPS and a generator can suit some applications better than others. Here are a few examples.
If a data center were to lose power or experience a power surge, the results could be catastrophic, potentially damaging equipment and losing the data it is storing. In this sense, a UPS will likely be the best option.
IT systems are another sector where an issue with power supply could cause significant issues. Computers and other IT equipment can be damaged if they don’t shut down properly – and, of course, if there were to be a power cut, there will be no warning. Again, a UPS might be the best option here.
If your building is relatively remote or rural, however, a generator may be your best option. This is because generators tend to offer a longer-term solution, whereas a UPS’s backup supply is limited to the size of its battery.
Overall, UPS and generators have a plethora of advantages and applications – with these in mind you can better evaluate which might be the best option for you and your business.