The Difference Between Quality And Cheap Battery Backup UPS Systems August 09 2019, 0 Comments


Battery Backup Power, Inc. only sells quality battery backup UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems. View Available Products By Clicking Here.

Quality systems have the following features:

  1. They are double conversion (no transfer delay)
  2. They are pure sinewave output
  3. They are 90% efficient or greater 

1. Double conversion (also referred to as online) uninterruptible power supplies have absolutely no delay in switching to backup power or filtering out electrical problems because they are always online. They typically continuously convert the input AC power to DC power (for the batteries), then take the DC power from the batteries and convert it back to AC power for the attached electronics. This separates power issues at the input source (grid power, generator, etc.) from the output of the UPS providing clean, continuous power no matter what happens on the input side. There is also additional electrical noise filtration, voltage regulation, frequency correction, and other power conditioning that occurs depending on the unit purchased. These units are used to backup and filter out power problems for critical electronics and ultra sensitive electronics. Their output power is equivalent or better than what comes out of a wall socket (utility power), so any electrical device will work with this type of UPS. This is why NASA uses a Battery Backup Power, Inc. double conversion unit at its Moon Rock Analysis lab in Huntsville, Alabama (see below picture). 

Marshall Space Flight Center | NASA

2. What does pure sine wave mean? 
When you plug your electronics into a wall socket, you get pure sine wave power. Newer electronics and energy efficient electronics such as those with Active PFC or an Energy Star 5.0 or higher rating typically require pure sine wave to function correctly. Older electronics may continue to function on sub-par wave forms provided by cheap UPS systems when on backup power. Any low cost, cheap battery backup UPS will bypass power during normal operation, so you will never know there is a compatibility problem until you have a power outage or conduct an unplug test. This allows manufacturers of cheaper systems to sell incompatible low cost units as the majority of them will never actually be tested with a power failure or unplug test. Alternatively when they do fail, most consumers believe the batteries failed because the unit "worked" for a while and just toss the low cost battery backup UPS out and purchase a new one.    

No Uninterruptible Power Supply (No Protection) During Power Event

Input (Grid Power)

Output (No UPS)

Pure Sine Wave

No Wave Form


Square Wave Uninterruptible Power Supply (Low End) During Power Event

Input (Grid Power)

Output (Square Wave UPS)

Pure Sine Wave

Square Wave


Simulated Sine Wave or Modified Square Wave Uninterruptible Power Supply (Mid-Level) During Power Event

Input (Grid Power)

Output (Simulated Sine Wave UPS)

Pure Sine Wave

Simulated Sine Wave


Pure Sine Wave Uninterruptible Power Supply (High End) During Power Event

Input (Grid Power)

Output (Pure Sine Wave UPS)

Pure Sine Wave

Pure Sine Wave


3. Efficiency is measured by how much power is consumed by the battery backup UPS. For example, a quality battery backup UPS will be 90% efficient or more (0.9 power factor). Most Battery Backup Power, Inc. models come with ECO mode which allows up to 99% efficiency. Using a cheaper battery backup UPS with less than 90% efficiency will cost you more in energy to operate. Upgrading an older battery backup UPS to a newer, more efficient model will result in long term energy savings.

Is the power factor not listed? No problem. Divide the watt rating of the battery backup UPS by the VA or kVA rating. So for a battery backup UPS rated at 1.5 kVA (1,500 VA) / 900 Watts, use 900 / 1500 = 0.6 = 60% efficiency. Using a Battery Backup Power, Inc. BBP-AR-1000-PSW-ONL we see that it is rated at 1 KVA (1000 VA) / 900 Watts, so 900 / 1000 = 0.9 = 90% efficiency. 

Don't believe us about power savings? Take two clamp meters and measure the amperage going from the wall receptacle to the battery backup UPS and then from the battery backup UPS to your equipment. You will be able to see the power consumed from the wall receptacle is more than what is being consumed from the equipment attached to an older or less efficient battery backup UPS. 

Need to upgrade an older UPS and save on your energy bill? Take a look at our advanced digital series. Need backup power for heavy equipment? Take a look at our 3 phase systems

The Difference Between Quality And Cheap Battery Backup UPS Systems