A generator is good for providing power for prolonged periods of time, but it doesn’t protect electronics right when a surge, voltage drop, or power outage occurs. Sometimes the frequency fluctuations are too much for modern energy efficient electronics to make use of the generator’s power. Think of a generator as a power plant. It produces electricity by consuming a fuel. The electricity coming out may or may not be distribution quality.
An online (double conversion) uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is good for actively conditioning power, protecting electronics from surges, and providing short term backup power, but after a while its batteries will run out of juice. Think of the uninterruptible power supply as a transformer with short term energy storage that outputs distribution quality power.
The best long term backup power solution is a combination of the two. Your sensitive electronics can be plugged directly into a Battery Backup Power, Inc. online (double conversion) uninterruptible power supply which can be plugged into a generator (after enabling generator mode from the LCD on the front panel). The uninterruptible power supply (UPS) directly powers the attached electronics, so when a power outage occurs those electronics (TV, computer, cable modem, etc.) stay on and running without suffering damage from the voltage fluctuation or outage. This allows enough time for the uninterruptible power supply to be plugged into a generator or for a generator on an automatic transfer switch to start up. When the generator is attached and running, the uninterruptible power supply actively conditions the power provided by generator, uses that power to keep the attached electronics running smoothly, and begins to recharge its batteries. As long as you have fuel for the generator, you can keep everything running. When the power comes back on, the uninterruptible power supply can be unplugged from the generator and plugged back into the wall without disrupting the flow of electricity to the attached electronics.
Battery Backup Power, Inc. has labeled the uninterruptible power supply systems it provides that will accept generator power as an input source. Look for the below picture in the product photos after clicking the “Store” link from the menu on our site. https://www.backupbatterypower.com/collections/online-double-conversion
We recommend that a generator with at least double the capacity rating of the battery backup uninterruptible power supply (UPS) be used. For example, if you have a 1,000 VA rated uninterruptible power supply (UPS), use at least a 2,000 VA rated generator to power it. If possible, use a generator with true/pure sine wave output like the Honda EU2000i.