Can generators work with a UPS system?

One of the most common questions we get from business owners is how well UPS systems can work with generators. The answer isn’t necessarily complex – but it does take a good deal of consideration and investment to make it so you can get the most out of the marriage.

Not all UPS systems are the same, so choosing the right system will go a long way. Choose the wrong one, and the wrong things can happen. Here’s what you need to know:


So if you’re thinking about joining a generator and UPS system together – there’s one simple rule to help guide you. Generators aren’t always consistent in terms of the amount of voltage they produce. The wider the range a generator produces – the load will simply run off the UPS battery until it’s gone. If you have the wrong generator, it’ll simply just swallow the UPS battery up.

Look into an on-line, double conversion system. They tend to work the best with generators. They convert AC power continuously, filter it into DC power and then turns it back into AC. What it is basically – is a cleaner flow of power, one that’s far easier and safer for your system to process. What’s more – is on-line systems filter variations based on frequency — so it’ll better manage the inconsistencies in voltage that we discussed above. In fact – it’s part of their core function.

Capacity matters

Any generator that you use with a UPS system should have twice the rated capacity of the UPS system. When a generator lacks that capacity, you’ll just see it cycle over and over and create inrush currents that basically will just drain the life out of your UPS battery. By choosing a generator with greater capacity – you’re insuring this doesn’t happen.

We’d also recommend that as is the case with any upgrade or install, that you have meaningful conversations with your managers and local electricians to make sure there aren’t any other problems that could put up – whether its stability, capacity or otherwise. Installations should always have adequate grounding and must always meet code.

If you’d like to learn more about how UPS systems and generators can work together, feel free to give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help answer any questions you might have. Until then, we hope you found today’s blog helpful and we’ll look forward to speaking with you soon!