Power outages are common, especially in developing nations like India. Frequent power cuts without any backup system can severely hamper the normal workflow in houses and workplaces. Even the most successful businesses complain about the detrimental impact of regular power outages on their businesses.
One can imagine the chaos at the workplaces, educational institutions, hospitals, or factories when the building suddenly loses power. The light turns off, machines and equipment stop running, and lives at various places screech to a sudden halt. Students amid an important exam, patients on the ventilator fighting for their lives, or a businessman finalizing the terms with a sought-after investor— everyone gets interrupted due to power cuts.
In the case of India, it was only recently that the small and medium industries began to recover from the debilitating impact of the pandemic and the ever-changing geopolitical situation. But, sweltering heat waves and long power cuts can paralyze the industry once again.
To avoid losses due to painfully frequent power cuts, the general public and businesses rely on two temporary solutions: Generators and UPS/inverters. However, over the recent years, UPS inverters are increasingly being preferred over generators. Let’s deliberate on the factors making generators less preferable before considering the benefits of UPS inverters, causing them to be more popular among the public.
What makes generators less suitable for people and businesses?
Generators have been used in the past in the workplaces and homes as a source of backup energy. But in recent days, their use has been considerably reduced. UPS/inverters have already taken over the demand for smaller generators. Now is the time to replace bigger generators with heavy-duty UPS/inverters.
Here are all the reasons promoting this shift.
Manual start causes delays and interruption
In most cases, generators require a manual start, which causes work delays and interruption. It is very annoying to suddenly lose electricity when you are in the middle of an important presentation or working hard to finish a consignment.
High running cost
Generators run on fossil fuels: oil (kerosene, petrol, and diesel) and natural gas. The skyrocketing fossil fuel prices these days increase its running cost, making it a less feasible option economically.
Pollute the environment
The smoke released from the generators also harms the health and well-being of the human beings working around them. Poisonous gases like carbon monoxide are lethal to health.
Generators also produce noise pollution. The annoying harmful noises can be bothersome when using generators in apartments or workplaces. Their consistent ear-shattering noise can make the environment tense and frustrate the workers wanting to concentrate on their job.
Make the surroundings hot
Generators produce a lot of heat. The cooling system and the heat exhaust ensure that the unit remains cool. But in the process, the surroundings become hotter. This added heat becomes unbearable in a country like India, where summers are already scorching.
Need space for the storage of fuel
Generators work with fossil fuels; you must always have fuel onsite to maintain the optimal fuel tank level. Therefore, they need additional space to store fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are inflammable, so they always carry a fire hazard.
Generators are run by smaller components that need regular maintenance. Running it on gas corrodes its parts, causing performance degradation. Therefore, you need to replace old worn-out parts frequently. Plus, recurrent malfunctioning and regular cleaning to keep the unit in the best running condition makes upkeep extremely expensive. Moreover, the moving parts in a generator restrict its life to a maximum of 10 years.
What is a UPS/inverter?
A UPS, short for Uninterrupted Power Supply, is a system that provides uninterrupted power to the houses and workplaces in case of a power outage.
A UPS can be a single-phase or 3-phase configuration. It could be a small black box protecting your personal computer from sudden power dips and surges to a mega 500KVA system powering buildings and workplaces.
With a UPS/inverter, the electrical circuit automatically receives the power supply as soon as there is a blackout from the main.
What makes it more suitable to use as a backup power?
Long power interruptions have caused people to look for alternative options. With continuous technological improvement over the years, UPS has presented itself as a much superior option to a generator. Read on to know why!
Cause no interruption— automatically supply power to the AC load
Under normal conditions, the AC current powers the operations. Simultaneously, it charges the batteries storing the energy in the form of DC current. In case of a power outage, a UPS draws DC current stored in batteries and converts it to AC power. When this happens, a static switch stops the battery from charging while the inverter starts supplying the stored battery power to the AC load. This swift supply of power to the main reduces interruptions and normal workflow.
In heavy UPS systems, the advanced static switches are so efficient and responsive that they reduce the switching time to a bare minimum. Hence, computers and other electrical appliances do not face sudden shutdown or data loss.
Use lithium-ion batteries
The new inverter/USP technology using lithium-ion batteries is revolutionizing the power backup industry due to these batteries’ impressive history of stability and cycle life. They are more efficient than lead-acid batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries take 2 to 3 hours to charge, whereas lead-acid batteries take 8 to 10 hours. So in case of frequent power cuts, the Lithium-ion battery is always ready to swiftly recharge and give you ample backup energy to withstand the energy cut compared to Lead Acid.
Unlike lead-acid batteries’ average cycle life of 300-400 cycles, lithium-ion batteries have an average life of 2500 to 5000 cycles with a life span of 8 to 10 years—a true game-changer.
Overall, lithium-ion batteries are much more efficient in storing and discharging energy. Contrary to fossil fuels, lithium-ion batteries have neither special infrastructure nor storage requirements.
Powered by solar panels
India receives approximately 2600 to 3200 hours of solar energy every year. Sunlight is abundant and free as long as you can harness its power and use it for your benefit. The new Heavy Duty UPS technology runs on solar energy with the help of MPPT charge controller circuitry.
UPS running on solar energy means these UPS/inverters don’t need electricity or fossil fuels to create the backup power. In case of power outages during the day, solar energy coupled with battery power increases the backup time. Solar energy reduces the running cost of the UPS by discounting the charging cost, making it almost a free-of-cost energy compared to the existing generators.
Avoid dips and surges in the power supply
Heavy-duty UPS are designed to maintain the health of the appliances by protecting them against oddities like surges and dips in power supply from the main. Using technologies like “Soft Start System” and the “Automatic Voltage Regulation” prevents sudden inrush of current to the electrical appliances. The gradual voltage supply to the sensitive devices prevents jerk voltage or spikes. Moreover, the switching time is so swift that the appliances won’t stop operating during power stoppage.
No pollution (noise, air)
Pollution levels are spiking in India. Population explosion coupled with heavy reliance on fossil fuels is adding fuel to the fire. Heavy-duty UPS is a greener alternative to pollution-causing generators. Heavy-duty UPS does not need any designated room for storing fuel (diesel, petrol, kerosene). Hence, they carry no fire hazard even when used on commercial premises. Furthermore, they create no noise or pollution due.
Low maintenance cost
Unlike generators, the life of a UPS is very long. They can run for as long as 50 years without any extensive maintenance. The lithium-ion battery bank needs a replacement every eight to 10 years. Plus, contrary to regular upkeep and malfunctioning of spare parts in a generator, heavy-duty UPS needs maintenance once a year by service engineers. So, the overall cost of using a UPS is considerably low.
Low running cost
Heavy-duty UPS runs on batteries powered by solar energy. Compared with the running cost of generators, the cost of a heavy-duty UPS is one-fourth approximately.
Portable and compact design
One of the biggest benefits of UPS/inverters is that they are compact and smaller than generators. Even heavy-duty inverters are not sore to the eyes.
With the small generator market already taken over by UPS, new tech heavy-duty UPS/inverter is the next big thing on the horizon. With the mounting fuel costs, now is the rigth time to renounce the bigger generators running in the offices, factories, apartment complexes, etc., and shift to heavy-duty UPS.