Is a Pure Sine Wave UPS Better than Simulated/Modified Sine Wave UPS?


In short, Yes – Pure sine wave UPS is better than simulated/modified Sine Wave UPS because the waveform offered by pure sine wave UPS is very similar to the AC power supplied by our utility/mains. That said, since UPS is used to primarily protect/provide back-up power to IT/electronic equipment, most of these equipment will currently work with simulated/modified sine wave UPS, as well.

However, there is a golden rule for selecting a sine wave UPS, now: If you are going to connect electronic, computer or networking systems that use Active PFC (Power Factor Correlation) power supplies, you might want to buy an pure sine wave UPS, instead of approximated/simulated sine wave UPS. Also, pure sine wave UPS will work with almost all types of electronic/computing devices, and hence it is a safer option.

Pure sine wave UPS is slightly more expensive because it uses some additional electronic components that generate pure sine wave, instead of the approximated digital output. But since the cost different between these two types of UPS is relatively less, it maybe better to go with pure sine wave UPS. Especially, if you want a safer/future-proof option.

There is a good chance that most of the Energy Star 5.0 compliant electronic/computing devices (that have stringent power conversion efficiency requirements) will have Active PFC power supplies, and hence will require a pure sine wave UPS. Also, many branded/premium electronic and computer products come with active PFC power supplies, as well. Hence, if not today, when you buy a new PC in the future, you might require a pure sine wave UPS.

If you use a normal UPS with Active PFC power supply, there is a good chance that the system might shutdown every time the UPS switches over to the battery.

Pure sine wave output provided by the UPS is as good as or better than the AC power provided by the utility/power company. Also, pure sine wave UPS generates less electrical noise and increases the life/efficiency of connected equipment. 

Even though equipment like motors, motor based systems, Laser printers, paper shredders, etc. require only pure sine wave input, these are not recommended to be used along with pure sine wave UPS because they systems require an disproportionately high amount of power while starting, and that cannot be supplied by the UPS/battery.

Please note that a UPS is recommended over an Inverter for securing/providing back-up power for computers and other electronic equipment because the switch over between the AC mains and UPS power is very fast and the connected devices may not even know that the source of power supply has changed! With Inverters, the switch over is relatively slower and it is not acceptable for many devices including computers.

Have a look at some popular pure sine wave UPS models from CyberPower below,

The features of these UPS models are similar to their modified/simulated sine wave UPS models, as presented here.

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