UPS vs Generator

We have a lot of clients enquiring about a UPS when actually a generator would be better suited to their application and vica versa.
Aside from the technical aspect of Clean Power vs Dirty Power, I’m going to touch on some practical questions to ask when making the choice for yourself:

• Physical space

Have you considered the actual area you want to put your system?
A generator needs to be outdoors with adequate ventilation and security.
A UPS with large battery bank may need its own dedicated UPS room with air conditioning.
Is the area you’ve picked out close to your electrical distribution?
Can the floor loading capacity take the weight of your system?

• Noise

UPS systems run silently, however a generator might start aggravating your neighbours.
Have you considered practically continuing with your work operations against the groan of a generator?

• Ventilation

A UPS system needs to be located in a cool, dry environment to operate optimally.
A generator needs to be located in a well ventilated area to expel exhaust gasses and keep the motor cool.

• Run Time

Ultimately there are a finite number of batteries you can add to a system before the physical space and cost becomes impractical.
A Generator on the other hand can run indefinitely in the right conditions provided you keep it topped up with fuel.

• Loading

The higher your loading requirement, the larger your UPS or Generator system needs to be.
Large generators can be efficiently housed in containerised solutions for easy delivery and installation.
Large UPS systems are very labour intensive to install and require specialised UPS and Battery Plant rooms within a building.
Small offices can very often be supported by a portable generator as and when it’s needed.

• Cost

All the above questions and factors play together in determining your cost. If by answering the above you come to the conclusion that both a UPS and Generator system would suit your requirement, then I’d suggest a cost comparison with a pros vs cons analysis.


JUP Solutions is a specialist Standby Power provider with experienced staffing in the industry of over 50 years. If you get stuck along the way or need a site specific in depth analysis feel free to contact our sales offices.

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