Having a backup power source at home can help reduce the impact that power outages have on your life. But there are multiple options to choose from. One choice you may need to make is purchasing a power station vs an uninterruptable power supply (UPS).
This buyer’s guide covers both products, highlights the pros and cons, and provides some scenarios in which each option makes more sense than the other. Read on to get the information you need to decide.
Power Station vs. UPS – Similarities And Differences
What’s A Power Station?
Power stations are small, portable batteries that are designed to act as a backup source of power similar to a traditional generator but without greenhouse emissions, so it’s safe to operate them indoors. You charge them in advance and can use them to power various devices and appliances on an as-needed basis like off-gird.
What’s An Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)?
Uninterruptable power supplies are designed to provide immediate, near-instantaneous power when an outage occurs. UPSs can also store energy for later use but typically don’t have as much storage space as a portable power station.
The key difference is that a UPS is meant to automatically turn on and immediately provide power to whatever is plugged into it when the primary power source fails, whereas a portable power station is designed to be portable and you need to plug devices into a power station yourself. This difference in the speed of transition can be meaningful for medical devices, computers, and other sensitive electronics.
Power Station Advantages And Disadvantages
Now that you know what power stations and UPSs are designed for, we can start looking at the pros and cons of each device. We’ll begin with portable power stations.
One of the key advantages of power stations over UPSs is their high power capacity. For example, BougeRV sells a 1456Wh portable power station that can power small devices for days and even certain appliances for hours and hours of runtime on a single charge. That makes them a reliable source of backup power not just in the immediate aftermath of an outage but for potentially days afterward.
Another advantage is the versatility of portable power stations. You can charge power stations from BougeRV with standard outlets, the DC outlet in your car, or even solar energy. Our devices also come with a wide variety of plugs, so you can power all of your favorite devices and small appliances without needing to worry about adaptors.
Finally, portable power stations from BougeRV are compact and lightweight. This makes it easy to bring them along with you when you’re camping or taking a long road trip.
The main disadvantage of portable power stations relative to UPSs is they don’t immediately take over from the grid when your power goes out. You need to plug the devices you want to use into a power station manually. This may present problems for certain applications.
Another potential disadvantage is the cost of portable power stations. However, you can mitigate those costs by shopping from the right brand. BougeRV has some of the best-value power stations in the industry. Take a look at our product page to learn more.
Uninterruptable Power Supply Advantages And Disadvantages
The key advantage that an uninterruptable power supply over a portable power station is that it instantaneously takes over from the grid when your home experiences an outage. That can be important for things like medical devices, CPAP machines, and even computers with sensitive information that require a proper shutdown procedure to avoid corruption.
Some of these devices may also be more affordable than portable power stations. But this will depend on the brands you shop with and the type of capacity you’re looking for, as costs tend to go up as capacity increases.
The main disadvantage of a UPS is its limited power capacity. You can typically only expect to use one of these devices to power small electronics for several hours. That’s enough to transition to another backup source of power safely. But it’s not enough time to use a UPS as a reliable source of backup power long-term. Additionally, UPSs are designed to be always plugged into the grid. They are not designed to be taken off-grid.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Power Stations And Uninterruptable Power Supplies
If you’re still having a tough time making a decision, this section should help. We’re going to take a look at three key factors to think about as you consider whether to purchase a portable power station or an uninterruptable power supply.
First, think about the amount of energy you want your device to produce. Are you looking for something that can serve as a reliable source of backup power for hours or even days? Or do you just want a short burst of backup power to help you safely transition to another source of energy?
The sensitivity of the devices that you plan on powering may be the main consideration when deciding which of these power solutions to purchase. If you can’t afford to wait until you’re able to manually plug in a device, then an interruptable power supply would likely make more sense. But if that’s not a concern for you, then a portable power station will typically be the better option.
Budget constraints may also play a role in your decision-making process. Uninterruptable power supplies(UPS) tend to be cheaper than portable power stations overall. However, you can still find really affordable power stations when you shop on our website.
When To Choose A Power Station?
Camping and outdoor activities
If you want a reliable source of backup power for your outdoor adventures, portable power stations will win out every time. They’re highly portable and offer enough energy storage capacity to give you the power you want throughout the duration of your entire trip.
Remote job sites
Portable power stations can also be great for people who work on remote job sites. If your job is taking you somewhere without a great utility system for an extended amount of time, a power station can ensure you’re able to charge your electronics and run small devices even when your normal energy solution isn’t working.
Extended power outages in areas with unreliable power grid
Finally, portable power stations are an excellent solution for people who live in areas with unreliable power grids. They have a big enough energy storage capacity to reliable power key devices throughout their home for as long as it takes to get the power back up and running.
When To Choose A UPS?
Home and office setups with critical electronics
Certain electronics may be damaged when shut down incorrectly. If that’s a concern of yours, then a UPS could make sense for your home or office since they give you the time you need to shut down the devices properly in the event of a power outage.
Medical facilities and laboratories
The same reasoning applies to medical facilities and laboratories that rely on continuous power. Uninterruptable power supplies ensure these facilities have enough time to safely transition from one source of energy to another.
Temporary power backup for brief outages
Finally, a UPS could also make sense if you’re only looking for an extra source of power in the event of brief outages. For example, maybe you live somewhere with frequent outages that take an hour or less to resolve. In that case, a UPS could make sense over a portable power station.
BougeRV Offers Powerful, Safe, And Affordable Power Stations For Every Need
The bottom line is that portable power stations have greater versatility and energy storage capacity than uninterruptable power supplies. That makes them the better option for most of you, especially when going off-grid.
The only common situation in which you would want a UPS instead is if you have sensitive devices that can’t go down in the immediate aftermath of a power outage. Unless that’s something you’re dealing with, a portable power station is going to give you more value for your money than a UPS.
If you’re interested in purchasing a portable power station, consider shopping with BougeRV. Our products are some of the most affordable and powerful in the industry. BougeRV portable power stations are also compact and pretty portable, which makes them easy to bring with you no matter where your travels take you.
Power Station vs. UPS FAQs
1. Should I buy a power station or UPS?
Power stations provide more value thanks to their increased storage capacities that allow for longer use. If you plan to need power off the grid, you need a portable power station. But an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) may be a better option if you have sensitive devices that can’t go down during a power outage.
2. Do power stations or uninterruptable power supplies have more energy?
Power stations have much more energy capacity than uninterruptable power supplies. They can last for many hours or even days, whereas UPSs typically only last 1-2 hours.
3. Are UPSs or power stations more affordable?
The answer depends on which brands you shop with. For example, BougeRV provides several portable power stations of different capacities that cost roughly the same as a UPS. But other brands may charge more.