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Top 7 Tips for Selecting an Inverter for Home
By Alan Cory
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The usage of inverters is essential in properties which are located in areas with chronic power problems. But people buying an inverter for the first time are often faced with a dilemma when choosing inverters online. If you are faced with such a situation, then you are likely to be confused as to which model of inverters you should opt for. Here are some useful tips which will enable you to select an inverter which offers you with satisfactory quality of power backup over a long span of time:-
- Estimate the power requirements of your home
Before you start looking for an inverter for home, you will need to make a rough estimate of your power needs. One thing which you should always remember is that an inverter is not a generator. It has its own share of drawbacks. However, you cannot use an inverter to offer power backup to all parts of your home.
In case you have a power requirement which is more than 3000 VA, then an inverter alone won’t be able to meet up with your needs. A high power inverter can support your refrigerator and air conditioners, but not for more than a few hours. In such a case, a home generator would be a better option. But if your main aim is to ensure that there is no down time at all within your residence, then a combination of an electric generator and a power inverter would be the best option for you.
- Wattage rating of home appliances
The starting and running power requirement of electrical appliances tends to vary. A CFL bulb of 18 W usually consumes 25 W of power for starting before getting stabilised to 18 W. A number of appliances such as washing machine and fridge consume double power for starting when compared to the usual running power. Therefore, before you choose any inverter, you should calculate power requirement also.
- Check the difference between voltage and watts
Often people get confused about the difference in the ratings of Watts and voltage of inverters. The powder which is drawn by an electronic appliance and power generated by them are usually measured in Watts or volt ampere (VA). Usually, companies which measure power generating equipment use VA to mention their ratings. Power consuming products on the other hand use Watts for mentioning their ratings. This is the major difference between the two. The power in Watts is the actual power which is drawn or offered by any equipment. VA on the other hand is the power which is obtained by multiplying voltage with the current supplied or drawn by an equipment.
- Consider whether you require a digital inverter or not
Inverter technology has undergone significantly over the last few years. The old square wave technology is being replaced with Pure Sine wave technology through the use of advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques. Micro controllers are widely used in controlling and perfectly monitoring applications. A close comparison of all existing models in the market will help you opt for a digital inverter if you intend to use one.
The battery is the most important component of an inverter. The performance and durability of an inverter is to a great extent dependent on battery. There are different classifications of batteries available in the market. Power inverters usually operate using high power lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries can be segmented into different types according to application, technology and design.
- Power consumption capacity
Inverters use mains power supply for charging batteries. In case the charging section of an inverter isn’t energy efficient, it will waste power even after the battery is completely charged. This might increase your energy bills. You can check this aspect by testing it at your residence. Switch off all your home appliances apart from the main supply to your inverter. Then, disconnect the battery for measuring power consumption over a particular time period.
- Battery backup time
Battery backup time is measured using the following formula:-
Time (in Hrs) =Battery Voltage (volts) x Battery Capacity (in Ah)x inverter’s efficiency
Once you get an idea of the price of inverters in the market, you will be able to select a model which serves your needs perfectly. Power cuts will thus become a thing of the past in your home.
The author is a blogger with sound knowledge of different types of home & industrial power supply and backup equipment including inverters for home. His other areas of interest include lightings & luminaries, electrical appliances, stabilizer for home & industrial use.
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Article Submitted On: March 14, 2017