Should I get Backup Power or a UPS? This is the question looming large over many South African households for several months. After beginning 2023 with continual power outages, South Africans have enjoyed a slight reprieve from the advanced stages of loadshedding, however, Eskom has recently announced its intention to return to stage 4 and above. This, in an effort to reduce the load. And so, again, South Africans are grappling with investing in alternative energy solutions, and for many homes, choosing between backup power and a UPS is the more logical choice.

But what exactly is the difference between backup power, backup inverter, inverter battery backup, inverter backup and UPS?

Inverter Backup Power or UPS explained

As determined, a backup power system refers to an electrical system that powers your home or business when the primary power fails. A backup power system is known by many different names in the energy sector. So why do you call inverter battery backup systems "backup power" and why do we call Portable Power Banks "UPS"?

  • Inverter battery backup/backup power inverter: This uses grid power to charge a battery bank. During a power outage, the system seamlessly switches critical electrical services to battery power. The inverter automatically transfers energy from the battery bank and converts the DC power stored in the batteries to AC electricity utilised by your home when the grid goes down. I.e. “backup power”
  • Portable Power Bank/UPS: A UPS is an advanced version of battery backup. In other words, all uninterruptible power supplies are battery backups with increased electrical charge protection. I.e. “backup power”

These terms are used interchangeably. In its simplest form, a standby UPS unit is used to protect smaller appliances, i.e, kettle, toaster, wifi router and laptops. Alone, a UPS will not be sufficient in supplying energy in more demanding environments where delays in electrical switching will cause long-term problems.

Inverter Backup Power vs UPS

 Why having backup power is important in South Africa (right now)

A backup power system refers to an electrical system that powers your home or business when the primary power fails, in South Africa, when Eskom implements loadshedding. A backup power system is able to power devices and small appliances. For this reason, a backup power system has become a non-negotiable in many homes. It has become an important resource for comfort, convenience and in many instances, health reasons. A back up power system is able to provide seamless power, albeit for a short period of time, allowing for access to essential appliances or systems.

The inconsistency in loadshedding stage changes has meant that home and business owners have become more acutely aware of the amount of power consumed during the outages. This is key in determining whether an inverter battery backup or UPS is best suited to the energy needs

Thanks to loadshedding, convenience is now the lifestyle that we have been forced to subscribe to. With an intelligent backup power system, from InPower, inverter battery or UPS, you can be assured that you will remain connected even during longer periods of loadshedding.