Generator or Uninterruptible Power Supply – a Short Guide to the Difference

When the original power supply is interrupted, both generators and UPS systems provide backup to your primary power source. They help to protect your devices and electronics from damage and data loss in the event of a power outage. However, there are some fundamental differences in what the two solutions offer.


Generators provide a much longer lasting back-up power supply and can sustain your business for much longer than a UPS.

There are many different types of generators available on the market, so choosing the right one for your particular company is fairly straightforward. This depends on the type of business you have, your facility size, and how much equipment you have. The stationary generator is the largest, and the most expensive model available. It is connected to the main power supply and is designed to handle several devices. As a consequence, large companies tend to use these.

You don’t need an existing power source for a generator, or a fixed power supply. It means that a generator is very useful if there is no electricity for a very long time or if you are in an environment where no power supply exists at all. A generator is very powerful and if you want to supply a whole building or equipment with current, you can buy a generator according to your requirement.

UPS Systems

UPS is an almost instant battery back-up that prevents your devices and power from being interrupted, while generators have a longer start up time. UPS systems power on automatically in the event of an outage, whereas generators need to be manually turned on. Here are some of the other differences:

  • The power supply for a UPS comes from AC mains, whereas generators convert mechanical energy into its own power.
  • UPS systems produce zero carbon emissions making them more environmentally friendly. Generators most often run on diesel, natural gas or other liquid fuels.
  • UPS systems are entirely noiseless, while generators can be very noisy. There are, however, soundproof versions and upgrades available.
  • UPS also require no maintenance, while generators do.
  • UPS are a cheaper alternative to generators.
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