Table of Contents
The continuous technological developments and innovations have brought the world closer. We are all connected with individuals all over the world through the power and connectivity of the Internet. But what happens to these innovative technologies and methods when we face power cuts? The electricity goes off and so do most of the mediums of our connection.
The covid-19 pandemic has constricted us all to our houses and other living spaces. During the work from home phase, a power cut can cause some severe damage. To avoid any damage to your personal or professional life, we are here with a solution. A suitable inverter is all you need to scare away all these problematic factors. May it be heat, humidity, or the unstable Internet due to voltage fluctuations.
This article contains all the essential information you need to know before buying an inverter. The detailed guide focuses on how inverter works, various kinds of inverters, the best ones in the market and the aftercare. Inverters are an investment and we want to ensure that we guide you into making a suitable decision for your needs and preferences.
What are inverters?
An inverter is a piece of standalone equipment that converts a DC voltage to an AC voltage. The inverter performs conversion of direct current to an alternating voltage by converting the energy stored in the dc sources like battery and rectifiers. The batteries in the inverter store energy in the form of direct current and the home appliances we use need alternating current and this is how inverters work. In case of power cuts and such emergencies, the inverter can be used to operate our appliances.
Types of inverters in India
There are three types of inverters available in India, the Pure Sine Wave, Modified Sine Wave, and the Square Wave.
Pure sine waveform
Similar to a wall socket, a pure sine wave inverter supplies clean, reliable and consistent current from the battery. How inverters work in pure sine waveform? These types of inverters release the current in a sine waveform which is similar to a utility supply.
A pure sine wave inverter is perfect if you want to use multiple home appliances and other devices with a higher power requirement. A pure sine wave inverter avails power backup for numerous devices at once and fulfils their power consumption needs; hence it falls on the expensive side of the inverter market space.
Modified sine waveform
The modified sine wave inverters work well with multiple devices at once. But unlike the pure sine wave inverter, the modification does not offer a completely smooth transition. So, how inverter works in modified sine waveform? The inverter may take a brief pause while switching on or off during power outages.
Although powerful, the modified sine wave may occasionally affect the efficiency of the home devices. This can lead to dimmed lights or even humming noise from the appliances. These inverters are ideal for appliances with a resistive load and do not need any start-up surge of power. The modified sine wave inverters benefit because they are more budget-friendly than the pure sine wave inverters.
The square waveform
As the name suggests, these inverters generate a square-shaped waveform. The square wave inverter is less efficient as compared to the pure sine waveform inverter and the modified sine waveform inverter. This inverter is ideal for you if you need only a few devices connected to the inverter. These are readily available in the market and are easy on the pockets. But having a square waveform inverter can be problematic as these machines tend to get noisy.
Choosing your correct inverter
The number of options present in the market is too many, and it can get challenging to choose the perfect inverter for your space. Knowing how inverters work can help you make the correct choice. We have listed a few of the things that will help you decide on the best inverter for you and your power requirements.
Decide and calculate your power requirements
To decide on a suitable inverter for your place, first, you need to decide on the devices you’ll be using during a power cut situation. These devices can include bulbs, fans, charging points, and wifi routers. Here are a few of the home devices and their energy consumption:
- CFL: 10 – 25 W
- Wifi Router: 5W or Less
- Ceiling Fan: 75 – 90 W
- Computer: 150 – 250 W
- Induction Cooker: 1000 – 1500 W
- A mobile phone charger: 5W or even less
These are just the basic numbers that depict the energy consumed by the above-listed commonly used home appliances. All you need to do is select the devices you want to use during the power outages and then calculate the overall consumption to help you choose the ideal inverter for your home.
Study the required capacity
The power consumption is not the same as the inverter’s capacity, although it does seem ideal for it to be that way. The incoming power to the inverters is not as efficient, and hence the power factor measured for residential use is 0.8.
Therefore to calculate the required capacity of the inverter and know how inverter works, you need to divide the total energy consumption (in Watts) by 0.8 to derive an inverter’s capacity. This resultant capacity of the inverter is measured in VA. This capacity denotes the maximum amount of power load a respective inverter can handle when all the decided appliances are used simultaneously.
You can select an inverter that fulfils your power requirements based on this derived capacity. It is essential to understand that the capacity calculation may not always be accurate; hence it is smart to go with inverters with higher power capacity than that derived in the calculation.
Select the battery size
The factors mentioned above will help you find the ideal inverter for your needs, but it is also essential to select the correct battery size. The battery size is measured in Ah.
For calculating the ideal battery size, you will need to know how inverters work and decide on a particular time period for which you will need the inverter to provide backup. You can calculate the battery size by multiplying your inverter’s power by the number of hours you want to use the inverter.
Once you are done multiplying, the resultant will be measured in VAh (battery voltage x no. of batteries x capacity of batteries (AH)), but as the vital inverter battery capacity is 12 V, you will have to divide the above-calculated result by 12.
You will find the ideal inverter size based on your power needs and preferences. If the exact battery capacity inverter is not available, you should always opt for a higher capacity.
Some of the other factors you need to mind when opting for an inverter, the battery types are an essential factor.
- Lead-acid: These are often used in batteries. The lead-acid batteries are lightweight, easily rechargeable, and they do produce the required amount of current. These batteries last for up to 3 – 4 years with regular maintenance.
- Tubular: Tubular battery type is the most popularly used inverter battery. These are known for their high efficiency and long operational life of up to 8 years. The various benefits and properties of Tubular batteries make them expensive, but they are still a popular choice.
- Maintenance-free: The maintenance-free batteries are sealed acid batteries that can last up to 4-5 years and do not require frequent check-ups or maintaining the electrolyte levels.
The best inverter choices available in the Indian market
Luminous Eco Watt Inverter 650
Source: Luminous India
The Luminous Eco Watt Inverter 650 VA/12V is ideal for your home. A square wave inverter by Luminous comes with adequate protection against power overload, reverse polarity, and short circuits. This model can provide a power backup of 352 – 387W. A battery with 120 – 150 Ah capacity is perfectly suitable for this inverter.
Price – Rs 2,890
The Microtek Ups 24A – 7 Hb 950 Va Hybrid Sinewave Inverter is best known for its fast battery charging feature. One of the best Inverter choices for your home, this inverter avails 760 W of output power and matches perfectly with capacity batteries till 220 Ah. The Microtek Ups also come with an in-built bypass switch.
Price – Rs 4,160
The Su-Kam Falcon Eco 1000 Va Sine Wave Inverter is a popular choice for its long battery life and minimal recharge time. This model is perfectly suitable for all the requirements of an Indian household. This 1000VA inverter is equipped with automatic overload sensors and efficient battery charging.
The Su- Kam Falcon is your best bet if you have an irregular power supply.
Price – Rs. 4,420.
Inverters are meant to light up your houses when the power gives out, but the best inverter is the one that will keep your appliances operational even after hours of an extended power cut. To ensure the best functioning of your inverter, there are a few measures you should take to avoid any malfunction.
Wiring is crucial
Every electrical appliance has wirings and when you want to buy an inverter, it is essential to get the wirings of all the appliances you want to isolate checked, understanding how inverters work can come in very handy here. You can appoint an electrician to do the isolation of appliance wires for you.
The placement of the inverter unit is crucial and it should be placed in a cool and dry place. Ensure that the inverter is out of children’s reach. Always place the device on a levelled ground or invest in an inverter trolly if you find it necessary. Ensure you keep the device away from direct sunlight, any heat sources, and other flammable materials.
Keep a check on the earthing
Every house should have a properly managed earthing facility. An earthing reduces the possibilities of short circuits and cases of electrocution. Never touch the device with wet hands, as it is pretty dangerous. Not all inverters have a shock-proof body; hence it is advisable to be extra careful with it.
Like any other device in your house, your inverter also needs proper maintenance. It is essential to clean the inverter and the battery with a microfibre at regular intervals to avoid the accumulation of dust or any other particles that can block the device. Also, maintain a schedule to keep a check on the water levels in the inverter and refill it at regular intervals.
Buying the market’s best inverter is not the end. Like every other device, you need to take proper care and maintain the inverter for it to last longer and function efficiently. Inverters are long-term investments and it is crucial to get how inverters work. It is essential to ensure complete care to ensure excellent functioning.
Avoid power overloads
Although you might have an inverter with a higher power capacity, it is essential to use only a limited number of appliances at once. Connecting multiple devices can cause an overload. Minimize the use of high energy consuming appliances like refrigerators, water geysers, washing machines and air conditioners. If you have to use an appliance like the mixer or similar, then make sure you disconnect or switch off all the other devices to avoid any kind of power overload.
Take proper care
Know how inverters work, and keep a check on the sockets and plugs for rust which can occur due to humidity or water spillage. Applying grease is an effective preventative measure. The rust on the body of your inverter can be easily removed by using a mix of baking soda and hot water. You can regularly wipe the body with a microfibre to avoid the collection of dust.
Special attention to the battery
The tubular and the lead batteries need their distilled water replenished at regular intervals. It is helpful to make a schedule denoting the timely refills. Timely care and refills ensure a long-lasting and better-performing inverter. You can also take a simple step like discharging the battery once a month and charging it all over again can help balance and rejuvenate the electrolyte solution.