Page last updated Nov 9, 2023 @ 06:22pm

Concept & Advantages

Whole House UPS Systems


  • Read our article
    Portable Battery Power Systems for Home Backup
    It is right for my needs? How to select one?



What is a Whole House UPS System?

Many people inquire about Whole House UPS Systems for automatically providing AC power from a battery bank.  This would be similar to the UPS systems designed for desk-top computers but on a much larger scale.  While this is technically possible, the cost of a UPS system sized to power all household circuits with large motor and heating loads would be very expensive.  BUT at we have found a way to satisfy this need for a house UPS system at an economical price.  For details read further below.

Our House UPS systems fill a market niche between portable generators and automatic standby generators.  Most power outages last less than a couple hours and these systems easily provide backup AC power for that length of time to a limited set of critical branch circuits.  These systems are silent and fully automatic and transfer extremely fast when line power is lost.  No more guessing how long an outage will last and whether it is worth the trouble to drag out that portable generator.  For most outages which are short this system eliminates that trouble!

Our House UPS systems can also interface with an automatic standby generator to provide backup power to limited set of critical branch circuits while the generator is starting.  So for these circuits there would be no loss of power for the 10-30 seconds it usually take a standby generator to come online.

Now with the introduction of new Lithium battery technology replacing the old Lead Acid battery chemistry there are better choices for systems that have lighter weight, longer run times, and longer battery life. See our Battery Portable Powerstations that can be used for home backup and for portable use with recreational vehicles, camping, picnicing, job sites, and more.


How does the House UPS operate?

The House UPS System formerly consisted of an inverter, charger, transfer relay, batteries, sometimes a transformer, multi-circuit transfer switch and cables.  Now we offer Portable Powerstations that incorporate all these components into a self-contained unit. Only the transfer switch is separate. This system will provide AC power to 6-10 household circuits pre-selected by the user.  At any time the user can re-select the circuits that are provided power.  This circuit selection capability is useful to conserve battery power during an outage or to pre-select circuits that need to be maintained before an outage.  For long outages when the batteries are nearly discharged the user can plug the supply cable into a portable generator or solar panels to continue providing backup power for the household circuits while recharging the batteries.  Or, if there is an automatic standby generator, it will seamlessly work with the this System.

  • works with multi-circuit generator transfer switches already in use at thousands of homes
  • automatically provides AC power to SELECTED house circuits in a fraction of a second during a power outage or brownout
  • silent operation, little system maintenance required
  • no need to run a portable generator except for long power outages
  • run-time easily expandable by adding more batteries
  • costs less, easier to install and works faster than an automatic standby generator


What are the advantages?

Review our evaluation below and see if you do not agree that this system has definite advantages in many applications compared with a portable generator or a automatic standby generator.

System >
Portable Generator with Manual Transfer Switch
House UPS System
or Portable Powerstation
Automatic Standby Generator & Automatic Transfer Switch
Ease of use for providing backup power DIFFICULT:
Must move generator from storage to outdoors, add fuel & oil, start, connect cables (sometimes in bad weather and/or at night)
Fully automatic, transfers to battery power
Fully automatic, starts & transfers without user intervention
Time delay to provide backup power SLOW:
15-45 minutes
most are less than 6 milliseconds, fast enough for computers and digital appliances to continue operating, can eliminate need for other UPS systems for your computers
20-40 seconds
Shutdown Ease DIFFICULT:
User must disconnect cables, run until carburetor empty, after cool down return to storage
Fully automatic, transfers back to line power and recharges batteries without user intervention
Fully automatic, transfers back to line power and shuts down without user intervention
Purchase Lead Time MEDIUM:
Sometimes in stock
Normally in stock with shipment within 1-2 weeks.
Can be months, especially during times of high demand due to bad weather or power outages
Installation Ease MEDIUM:
Install manual transfer switch
Install manual transfer switch, circuit breaker and receptacle
Apply electrical permit, run fuel & electric lines, pour concrete pad, wire genset & switch
Total Cost Product + Installation LOW:
$1K to $3K
$2K to $3K
$5K to $10K or more depending on size
Maintenance Required HIGH:
Manually exercise for best reliability, oil & filter changes,
No maintenance required for gel cells.
Filter changes, fluid changes,
Backup Power Run Time MEDIUM:
Refuel after 3-8 hours, frequent oil changes for long power outages
Varies depending on size of battery bank and average electrical load, typically less than 10 hours. But longer run times possible with expansion batteries.
Can operate for days or even weeks if fuel
Output Power Ratings MEDIUM:
Portable generators up to 12kW are common, some larger ratings also available
Economical ratings up to about 4kW. Higher ratings possible with paralleled systems.
Any kW size available
Criteria Portable Generator with Manual Transfer Switch
House UPS System
or Portable Powerstation
Automatic Standby Generator & Automatic Transfer Switch
System >





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