UPS Market Review and Buying Guide

We had covered this Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) market review few months ago, however, changes take place in days now. As the energy crisis continue in Pakistan, in fact it has gone worse, people are again rushing towards UPS markets to get themselves electricity backups.

Thanks to winter, general people may not require UPS units as they did in hot summer, but businesses, students, and those who want to remain in tact with their electrical devices are in crucial situation due to unannounced and long run power failures.

Okay, I am covering only UPS market review, hopefully I will bring forward Generators’ market review as well in coming days, but lets focus on options and prices for UPS units in this article.

We saw two very significant things, one that UPS market is undergoing tremendous rush, and same is the case with prices. By the way, these prices went down in month of Ramadan (as there were no power outages then), but once again UPS businesses have gone high.

We noted that average cost of a Rs. 10,000 UPS has increased by almost 30 percent when compared to prices in May-June 2008. Retailers say this increment is due to the fact that manufacturers have increased prices of raw material on pretext of higher production cost due to higher imports of accessories.

A survey of retailers unveiled that UPS with a capacity of running two fans and two lights is hot item, and its sale has gone as high as 30 percent. It merits mentioning that this is least powered UPS available in the market, and is mostly used by small to mid sized shopkeepers and home users.

It merits mentioning here that there are two types of UPS available, imported ones and locally assembled. Retailers said that buyers prefer locally made UPS units for two reasons. 1 – They are inexpensive, 2 – Imported UPS units come with no warranty, hence more risk for buyers.

As the demand is increasing, there are more people getting involved in making of these local made UPS units. This retailer named, Hafiz Imran confirmed that there are tens of UPS manufacturing plants working in Rawalpindi. By the way, Daily Time lately reported that there are around 45 manufacturing units of UPS are working in the different parts of the Karachi only as cottage industry. The wholesalers have doubled their orders in order to meet the growing demand.

It was also reported that there comes lots bugs and after sale complains due to ordinary quality and unqualified technicians who make these UPS units in lesser time.

With UPS units, there come batteries, which are used with UPS units to keep your electrical devices alive – and scenario is not different of batteries as well, as prices have gone high here too.
So this is what the market has been undergoing, now check out these tips that you must consider before buying a UPS

Things to consider for Buying a UPS

  • Try to put minimum load on UPS, that is don’t try to put all electrical devices on your UPS, instead make sure that only power critical devices are on UPS
  • Once you have decided what items you will be running on UPS, calculate their power load. For this, don’t rely on UPS shops, instead ask for electrician in your colony and let him calculate the power load that you will be running on UPS. For instance, a computer with 17 inch monitor is likely to require 400 to 450 watts. Similarly, calculate your entire load and make sure what power do you require from this UPS.
  • Go into main electrical markets of your city, instead of your corner electrical shop. Check around in couple of shops for the rates for the power your need. Let’s assume you need a UPS of 1000 Watts, then ask around what quotes you get.
  • Please note that there are NO OFFICIAL RATES, so you will have to do little research to save you couple of thousand Rupees
  • Please make sure that battery is nothing to do with your UPS. Your batteries will be responsible for backup time. So if you purchase a low ampere battery, it will give you lesser time and vice versa.
  • Once your UPS is ready, make sure that it is giving output of exactly what you had asked for. For this purpose you can keep along your cousin or friend who knows a little about electrical meters, ask retailer (shopkeeper) to verify that this UPS is giving out proper voltages.
  • If you are planning to use computer with this UPS, make sure that UPS unit supports it. For this direct the shopkeeper to make it computer complaint. (They make little configuration changes in your UPS, which prevents your Computer rebooting when electricity goes down.

Prices for UPS Units with Built in Dry Batteries

These UPS units come with built in Dry Batteries, and stabilizers. Means you get a once pack solution and simply take it home. But make sure that back-up duration for Buil in Dry Batteries’ UPS units is between 10 to 15 minutes only – Meaning that these are mainly for computers and for just saving your files and allowing you enough time to shut down your computer. (In case you need more backup time, then check for below given UPS prices that come without Batteries – and you can add up batteries to get more back up time)

  • UPS 500 VA (300 VA actually) good for running 1 PC costs Rs 7,000.
  • UPS 1,000 VA (650 VA actually) good for running 3 PCs costs Rs 12,500.
  • UPS 1,500 VA UPS (900 VA in actual) that could run 4 PCs costs Rs 25,800.
  • UPS 2,200 VA (1,800 in actual) capable of running 5 to 6 PCs costs Rs 35,900.
  • UPS 3,300 VA (3,000 VA in actual) that runs 8 to 9 PCs costs Rs 45,500.
  • UPS 4,000 VA (3,500 VA) capable of running 12 to 13 PCs costs Rs 80,400.
  • UPS 5,000 VA (4,500 VA in actual) that is capable of running 15 to 16 PCs costs Rs 96,000.
  • UPS 6,000 VA (5,500 VA in actual) capable of running 18 to 20 PCs costs Rs 117,000.

Prices for UPS Units that come without Batteries

These UPS units are suitable if you require more backup time. These UPSs come without built-in batteries and built-in voltage stabilizers, but you can add up batteries which are connected to these UPS units, to give you backup time as per your requirement. Huge battery = more backup time

  • UPS 500 VA (300 VA actually) good for running 1 PC costs Rs 7,500.
  • UPS 1,000 VA (650 VA actually) good for running 3 PCs costs Rs 11,500.
  • UPS 1,500 VA UPS (900 VA in actual) that could run 4 PCs costs Rs 16,500.
  • UPS 2,000 VA (1,800 in actual) capable of running 5 PCs costs Rs 26,000.
  • UPS 3,000 VA (3,000 VA in actual) that runs 8 PCs costs Rs 32,000.
  • UPS 4,000 VA (3,500 VA) capable of running 11 PCs costs Rs 42,000.
  • UPS 5,000 VA (4,500 VA in actual) that is capable of running 14 PCs costs Rs 55,000.

The prices of wet batteries range from Rs 5,500 and Rs 12,000. So you will have to add one or multiple batteries with these UPS units which can give you backup time of 1 to 3.5 hours depending on power of battery you choose.

Please note that, you can get better rates than of these… I have put these prices just to give you a hint.

Happy Load Shedding…!

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • nice post
    with some questions :)
    – UPS 500 VA (300 VA actually) what this “ACTUALLY” means?
    – something about the efficiency of UPS’
    – what i have heard that UPS efficiency is very low, it consumes more power than the storage. that is consumes more than one unit to store one unit, anything like that?
    – and whats the charging time ratio?
    – the loadshedding is every alternate hour, will UPS be charged in one hour for next hour?

    • @ڈفر, thanks for applause.

      – UPS 500 VA (300 VA actually) means some power is wasted due to resistance and other reasons.

      – something about the efficiency of UPS: These UPS works good, but not as good as they shud. For example, i have this UPS for my home use, and it works gr8. Never restarts my computer, and so on. On same time, my friend has changed his UPS 3 times, but seems he is still not satisfied.

      Coming back to your point, these UPS units are not designed by CASIO Japan, or Mitsubishi, it is like these UPS are made by un-trained, unqualified technician. They have mastered this art, but maybe they still require lot more to learn.

      So there can be flaws with the design and efficiency of these units

      – and whats the charging time ratio? A standard UPS will recharge your batteries in 3 hours. But make sure UPS recharges well, and if it doesn’t then ask your retailer to properly configure it so that recharging is properly done.

      – the loadshedding is every alternate hour, will UPS be charged in one hour for next hour? Not the best suit. But you may get benefited of this UPS

    • Junaid

      @ڈفر,

      500VA roughly equals 300 “Watts”, I Aamir got confused with the description given to him.

      As of the efficiency, aamir is spot-on. These UPS systems are desgined and made by people with very poor understanding of electronics, so naturally they are very inefficient and more likely to fail.

      • Iqtedar

        Conversion: Calculate power consumption in watts (should be stated on the appliances) then divide this total figure by 0.6 to get the VA figure. E.g. 300W/500VA or 900W/1500VA. Allow extra when choosing a UPS.

  • Asif MUSHTAQ

    If you are planning to buy a UPS for your computer backup power then calculate the power requirements of your computer using following link. An average PC consumes about 250 watt of power.

    http://www.apcc.com/tools/ups_selector/index.cfm

    • @Asif MUSHTAQ, Thanks for adding information…

      About 250 watts, it varies.. i stated that a single computer with 17 inch monitor consumers 350-400 watts was derived after calculating for my Computer’s load.

      But yes, its true that a system with TFT gonna consume less power.

  • Asif MUSHTAQ

    On the same note i once tried to calculate the power cosumption of my PC using our power meter by shutting down each and every electrical appliance in the home and only leaving computer running. Interestingly, from the revolutions per minutes that the meter was making it looked like it would take 20 hours for it to consume one unit :-)

  • Teeth Maestro

    Great post – I too was on the hunt for a UPS – will use this guide very effectively –

    Thanks for sharing

    • @Teeth Maestro, It’s always great to see you coming and commenting…!

    • usman

      we are import germany made ups rang 05kva to 100kva so we hope to sever u pioneer system call now 03002357108

  • Thanks for the info, just what I wanted to know.

  • Junaid

    Aamir, Thanks a lot for this article!

    Few questions though

    1) The UPSes that you mentioned first, are those the same ones that you mentioned last time but called them “imported”? From the description i.e. built in voltage stabilizer, dry batteries etc it does sound like something made outside Pakistan. Are these also the ones that come without any warranty?

    2) Those dry batteries, are those dry in the sense that they are made of solid components like AA batteries that we use in remote controls. Or are those Sealed Lead Acid batteries that require no maintenance?

    3) I didn’t see any sales figures in the article? were you able to get any figures like the last time ? because that’s what I wanted. So that I could match those with the earlier figures.

    Again, thanks for your article!

    • @Junaid,

      I am sorry for the late reply, in fact your comment got slipped, and i didn’t see it earlier… I am sorry again, It wont happen again

      Yes, imported UPS are normally manufactured in China, and brought into Pakistan through Silk Route. Yes these imported UPS contain a built in stabilizer, and dry batteries. Due to low powered batteries, they give lesser amount of back up time – normally 15 to 20 minutes.

      These dry batteries are similar to AA batteries, and require no maintenance. However, they bear limited life, and depends on usage. Normally they last for 1 year or so. By the way this life line may change and depends on the quality and brand.

      About Sales, consider sales went again high, for example, one retailer sold 12 to 15 UPS units per day. But this was when i did this research last week.

      Just now, things may have changed as government has decided to avoid loadshedding, at least for few weeks.

      Let me clear you something, this sale of UPS is directly proportional to loadshedding.

      Hope i was able to answer all your points…!

      Regards

  • Junaid

    Aamir, can you please reply to my last post? Thanks!

  • ahmad subhani

    any one who wants to purchase ups and have low budget and want full quality and full watts guaranteed ups can surly contact me
    ahmad subhani
    sales and marketing manager
    united electronics lahore
    0331-4004525
    http://lahore.olx.com.pk/prime-ups-lahore-iid-11890290

  • Adeel Janjua

    Great post… the prices have changed since this post but all the same its great to see some one actually taking out the time to provide such a detailed guide…

    I found a few relevant resources too on my search for the right equipment.. http://www.calculatoredge.com (not my website) can help you convert Wattage to KVA … a PC (P4) on average requires 200 to 250 W and same goes for a 17″ CRT and 75 to 100 W for a 17″ LCD… Do the math and you come up with your requirement.

    Happy Loadshedding it is… :D

    • Adeel Janjua

      PS… That should’ve been 75 to 100 W for a 17″ LCD and not 75100 W… wat can I say besides ‘OOPS’ :P

    • thanks for dropping by : – )

      (Typo mistake has been corrected)

  • talibfaiz

    thanks for such like posts