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Keep Your Power On: The Surprising Truth About Using a Solar Generator as a UPS

UPS systems are designed to help protect sensitive electronics that may get damaged by a surge or a sudden loss of power. They allow for a short time of extra power so you can safely shut down necessary devices.

Considering solar generators are designed to run without standard power, and they can be used when the power shuts down, you may be wondering if you can set it up to automatically run, like with a UPS system.

What Is a UPS?

A UPS, also known as an uninterruptible power supply system, is essentially backup power in case your standard power goes down. It runs for a short time, and is designed to turn on or protect any equipment that may be damaged by the power suddenly shutting down.

It is primarily used to keep sensitive equipment safe, such as electrical equipment and computers. It allows you time to safely shut down equipment. How long the UPS will last depends on the size and the brand you are using.

Can Solar Generators Work as a UPS?

Some solar generators can work as a UPS. Sometimes they will need additional features, like a panel that goes into your home. More and more, solar generators are coming with UPS mode options to offer backup power during power failures. They will power whatever devices are plugged into them when the power shuts down.

However, they don’t work perfectly like a UPS. Most UPS systems are designed to work quickly. They should take no more than 12 milliseconds to kick on once power from the grid fails. However, most solar generators don’t offer much faster speeds than 20 milliseconds.

This means that some of your more sensitive devices may still end up damaged with these systems. If you want something that will protect very sensitive devices like medical equipment and nice computers, you may want a proper UPS.

However, for devices like laptops, fridges, and TVs, where quick shut-downs don’t affect them much, then a solar generator turned UPS is often fine.

For the most part, a good UPS system costs less than a solar generator. But if you already have a solar generator it can be pretty cheap and easy to convert it over.

When you combine a solar generator with a UPS system, it has the added benefit of kicking in if the load is too much for your generator alone, or if a surge occurs. Most of these generators can plug into solar power, or an outlet depending on your needs.

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How Do You Know Which Generators Can Be Used as a UPS?

Just because more solar generators are moving towards offering a UPS function, that doesn’t mean they all have it. Some of the new Bluetti and Anker solar generators have these features in mind, but companies like Jackery still are a bit behind the times.

The best way to tell is to check the product description and the company’s FAQ page. Since this is a big question right now, most product descriptions will mention their UPS functionality if it is present. Companies that don’t have UPS functions will often mention it on their FAQ page.