Today, whenever there is a power shortage at our places, the first thing that comes in our mind is Inverter. In today’s world, no such house or office can be found where inverter is not installed/used. Whenever we want to buy a inverter, we tend to seek help from our relatives or shops for buying inverter.
Whenever we go to a shopkeeper and ask him about the best inverter, he will ask us to buy the same inverter which will have more commission. Or even if we ask a friend of ours which inverter to install, he’ll suggest the one which is installed at his place without considering our needs and requirements.
So it is mandatory for all of us that there must be some important information related to the inverter about inverter types, usage etc. which can help us choosing the best inverter according to our needs and most importantly budget!
What are the types of Inverter
- Normal Inverter
- UPS Inverter
The only difference between the two inverters is that if we take an ordinary inverter, it takes a few seconds to take over the power supply when the power goes out. Generally, we do not feel it or notice it. But if we are working on a computer system or any electrical equipment which requires an uninterrupted power supply, then they can get shut down.
While using U.P.S., This does not happen. As soon as the electricity goes, it starts immediately. This is why it is called Uninterrupted Power Supply and should be considered for the backup power supply of a computer system.
We are having 3 Types of UPS Inverter
- Square Wave Inverter
- Modified Sine Wave Inverter
- Pure Sine Wave Inverter
What is a Square Wave Inverter ?
These inverters are available in the market since very old times. However, Nowadays, their use is gradually becoming less. The biggest disadvantage of Square Wave Inverter is that they are not able to provide the current frequency that we need. Many times when there is a power cut, we feel that as soon as the inverter takes over the light and fan, a sound starts coming out of it. The main reason for this can also be a decrease in frequency. Due to which our electrical equipment can also get damaged in longer terms. And it has also been observed that sometimes if an appliance gets damaged due to this, the company refuses to replace it even if it is under warranty because the fault is from the user’s side. Therefore one should stay away from this type of inverter.
What is a Modified Sine Wave Inverter ?
An attempt was made to improve the Square Wave Inverter by making some changes. Some capacitors were replaced, new flow for the was designed for a stable current frequency, but still, these inverters could not be so successful.
What is a Pure Sine Wave Inverter ?
Pure Sine Wave Inverter is the most modern type of inverter. It tries its best to provide the same frequency that comes in our homes or offices and is also successful in doing that. There is no noise of any kind, and our electric appliances are safe as the frequency is constant and no fluctuation is there whatsoever. Although Pure Sine Wave Inverter is a bit expensive but still the best choice if you are looking for an Inverter.
What should be the idle capacity of the Inverter of your choice?
Now the question arises as to What should be the capacity of the inverter for our need? To know this, we have to see which electric appliances we are going to use when there’ll be a power cut. Like how many fans, lights, etc. And calculate the wattage of all these. Suppose summing up all of them results in 400 watts. So this is our actual load. But sometimes we may need to run some additional equipment. So we’ll take an additional load of 100 watts for this. Now we have a total load of 500 watts. Now many times the device consumes more power than its capacity once running. Later they come back to normal. For this, we’ll add an additional 50-100 watts. Say if we’re adding 50, Now our total electrical load is 550 watts.
Whenever we go to buy an inverter in the market, we will get that voltage in ampere while we have calculated our load in watts. Each inverter has an efficiency factor. When our inverter is charged and when we make real use of it, there are some power losses in the meantime. This is called the efficiency factor. Each inverter has its efficiency factor written on it. Assuming the inverter’s efficiency factor is 80. That will mean that there will be a 20 percent power loss when the inverter is charged and is being used actually. Now to find out how many volt-ampere to look for in an inverter while buying, we will multiply the total load by 100 by dividing the efficiency factor.
Voltage Ampere = 550/80 × 100 = 687.5Voltage Ampere = 550/80 × 100 = 687.5
That means that we’ll need a 687.5 volt-ampere inverter. Not less than this. Therefore, it would be appropriate to take an inverter of a 700-volt ampere or anything above that.
Also, one more thing to keep in mind here is that an inverter of very high capacity should not be taken. That is, if our load is of 700-volt ampere then we should not take 2000 volt-ampere inverter. The maximum capacity can be 1000-volt-amps. This is because more volt-amp will not mean more power or efficiency but will result in higher electricity bills as the inverter is going to recharge itself from the power supply only when it restores and will result in higher electricity bills and less efficiency.
What are Inverter Batteries ?
Inverter batteries also play a major role while choosing the best inverter for your needs. Batteries are always rated in AH (Ampere Hour).
Now to know how many A.H. Battery is required for your inverter needs, first of all, we have to decide how many hours of backup we need.
Suppose we need a backup of 3 hours and our load is 700 watts. So we will multiply it by 3 and divide it by 12. (Here we’re dividing it by 12 because 12 is our battery volts, i.e. we are having 12volts battery)
Battery AH = 700 X 3 / 12 = 175
So in this case, a 175 A.H. Battery is required. One more thing to keep in mind here is that if we do not run all the devices at the same time and run only one or two devices, our backup will also increase.
Similarly, if we have A.H. and we want to know how much backup the battery will give, it can be done through the following formula.
Battery backup = 175 X12 / 700 = 3
But this is not a final. Our inverter runs on DC voltage and while changing it to AC for the appliances, there occur some loss of power due to this conversion. That is why you get a little less backup than this. The Summary is The more AH you have The more battery you have, the more backup you will get.
What are Types of Inverter Batteries ?
In the market, you’ll mainly see two types of inverter batteries.
- Tubular Battery
- Flat Plate Battery
What are Tubular Inverter Batteries?
Tubular batteries are a bit expensive. The amount of water in them is also less but they can work for long hours. Their efficiency is very good. Its average lifespan ranges from 4 to 6 years. If your inverter is of less use and you continue to take good care of it, then its life increases by 2 to 3 years. The plate in Tubular Batteries is around 3 to 5 mm thick.
What are Flat Plate Inverter Batteries?
Flat Plate batteries are cheaper and have a lower working efficiency than tubular batteries. And they are not suited for a long time time use. Its average lifespan is 2 to 4 years. Its plate is sized 1 to 2 mm in the thickness.
As we continue to use the inverter, the battery plate also breaks over time. Since normal or flat plate inverter batteries are having a plate thickness of around 1mm to 2mm, there are high chances of them breaking early. While the tubular battery plate is 3 to 5 mm, They are thick and do not break quickly. Therefore tubular batteries are expensive yet better choice.
Which company to consider for Buying Inverter Batteries?
There are many companies in the market that make inverter batteries like Luminous, Panasonic, Amaron etc. We’ll suggest you that if you’re buying an inverter battery or any equipment, then it should also be kept in mind that the service center of the above equipment is near you or not. You should buy the battery of the company whose service is good in your area. Otherwise, you may face problems later if there is any problem. Also, always buy from a shop which provides a better aftersales service as you don’t want to regret investing money on something which is not worth.
What are Solar Inverters and Solar Batteries?
Gradually, the use of a solar inverter is increasing and we cannot use normal batteries in it. Solar batteries are used for this. In 2014, Ohio State University built the first solar battery. We can use solar batteries only on solar inverter. You cannot use it in place of tubular or flat plate batteries. Solar panels are required to charge the solar battery.
Your solar battery is as good as AH or a normal battery. Solar batteries can work for a long time as compared to the traditional one. It can last for about 8 to 10 years. Solar battery warranty also exceeds other batteries.
Say, if you use a solar inverter during the day and your solar panel is giving 300 watts current and you are using only 200 watts out of 300 watts, then your inverter will be charged from the remaining 100 watts and no current that is being generated will be wasted.
Solar batteries are expensive, and they also have a backup of nearly 20 percent more than other batteries. The frequency of electricity from the solar panel is much less. While normal inverter is charged with electricity coming into our homes, it remains constant.
How to convert Normal Inverter to Solar Inverter?
If you have a normal inverter in your home or office and you want to put solar panels on it. To do this you will need a converter between the battery and the solar panel. Which will control the electricity generated from the solar panel and charge the battery. These controllers mainly come in two types :
- Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
- Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
There is a lot of difference between the work of both. Point Tracking (MPPT) works better when the two are compared. This will charge your inverter well even in low supply voltage and you can use your DC Appliances directly by connecting them with it. While the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) also reduces charging capacity when the voltage is low and you cannot connect any device directly to it. The MPPT controller charges the battery more efficiently and quickly than the PWM.
It is also to be kept in mind that the MPPT controller is much more expensive than PWM.
The best place to keep your inverter at a place where it is less disturbed, and the place has to be dust free. Keeping it near the MCB box can be a good choice and it should always be kept away from the reach of children.
Typically an inverter battery can last up to 6-8 Hours.
Yes if you are using a conventional inverter and charging it from main supply of electricity. No incase you charge it from Solar Energy.
Average life of an inverter battery is 3-5 years which varies according to how you maintain it.
It totally depends upon your need and requirements. UPS is good for electrical equipment which requires continuous power supply whereas Inverter with auto take over facilities are preferred for homes.