Inverter Buying Guide
In India, power backup solutions are commonly referred to as inverters or power inverters. The inverter and battery selections are crucial decision-making components in creating the ideal power backup solution.
In this article, we go over how to choose the proper battery type and size. Without reading any buying guides, use the inverter selector to choose the appropriate inverter by responding to short questions.
The power backup solution’s three main parts are
- Power grid to charge the battery
- Inverter battery to store DC current
Your home has an electricity connection and is powered by the power grid. The battery is recharged using grid power. In a power outage, an inverter is required to convert the battery’s DC current to AC current.
But in India, the term “inverter” generally refers to a complete power backup solution. We go into as much detail as possible about the Inverter buying guide in two separate sections.
First, calculate your power requirement
Calculating how much backup you need or how many appliances you need to support is the first step. The table below lists the average power consumption of common appliances.
Appliance Power requirement
Tube light 40
LED bulb 7
Let’s say you want to support one television, four fans, three tube lights, three CFL bulbs, and two LED bulbs. The required total power is (4*80 + 3*40 + 3*20 + 2*7 + 120) watts or 634 watts. Therefore, you require an inverter that can handle 634 watts.
Inverter capacity calculator
The total load you want to support is directly proportional to the inverter capacity. The total load to be supported divided by the power factor is the correct formula.
Energy conversion efficiency has decreased, as shown by the power factor. In other words, by dividing by the power factor, we are balancing energy efficiency.
Volt Ampere, commonly abbreviated as VA, is used to measure inverter capacity. The VA rating is mentioned throughout each product description. Identifying the VA rating can be done by looking at the image below.
The Inverter Capacity Calculator is a valuable tool used in the field of electrical engineering to determine the appropriate capacity of an inverter required for a given power system.
This calculator takes into account various factors such as the load type, load size, power factor, and efficiency to accurately estimate the suitable capacity of the inverter. By inputting these parameters, the calculator provides a recommended inverter capacity, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency for the specific application.
This tool helps engineers and installers select the right inverter capacity, allowing for smooth power conversion and reliable operation of electrical devices and systems.
In the previous example, we stated that the inverter’s required VA rating is 634 / 0.8, or 792 VA, for the power requirement of 634 watts. The closest inverter that can meet the demand is 900 VA. Therefore, you should think about using a 900 VA inverter to support your power needs.
Inverter VA vs Battery WA
Battery capacity is measured in WA, while inverter capacity is gauged in VA. In the inverter buying guide, we will go into greater detail about the battery capacity. People often ponder the existence of two capacities. What does each Capacity serve?
Here is a direct analogy. Think of a “water well,” where you draw water using a bucket that is attached to a rope. Battery capacity can be compared to the water in the well, and inverter capacity to the size of the bucket. You can see that the inverter capacity is how much power you can use at once, while the battery capacity is the total amount of electricity stored.
Therefore, the capacity of the inverter and the battery should be properly matched. Even if you purchase a high-capacity battery and a low-capacity inverter (for instance, 600 VA), you will still be unable to support a refrigerator or a few fans because their combined load exceeds 600 VA.
When it comes to power backup systems, understanding the difference between Inverter VA (volt-ampere) and Battery WA (watt-ampere) is crucial. Inverter VA represents the apparent power capacity of the inverter, combining both the voltage and current supplied.
It indicates the maximum load that an inverter can handle, but it does not necessarily reflect the actual power consumed by the devices connected to it.
On the other hand, Battery WA refers to the actual power consumed by the devices during operation. It represents the wattage requirements of the appliances and determines the battery capacity needed to sustain them.
While the inverter VA rating should be higher than the total wattage of connected devices to ensure compatibility, considering the battery WA allows you to gauge the appropriate battery size for longer backup durations. Understanding and balancing both values is crucial for selecting an efficient and reliable power backup system.
Sine wave inverter vs Square wave inverter
As was previously mentioned, an inverter changes DC current into AC current. However, inverters are categorized as Sine wave inverters or Square wave inverters depending on how the AC current appears.
Even though Sine wave inverters are expensive, it is always advisable to have them for the sake of the safety and durability of the appliances. Additionally, there are modified sine wave inverters with average performance that are more expensive than square and more expensive than sine wave inverters.
Since there aren’t many models available on the market and they are positioned somewhere between sinewave and square wave, you can safely ignore them. In our other post, we go into greater detail about the differences between sine and square wave inverters.
Before you buy Inverter check the wiring of the home
The houses ought to have a backup plan or facility. With the aid of an inverter from the main source, it is simple to provide backup for the entire house.
However, a large-sized battery and inverter are required to provide backup for the entire house.
Most of the time, people only want to back up a few particular fans, lights, and appliances. In that case, the wiring should be set up to enable the use of a few carefully chosen appliances with the inverter. So before you buy an inverter and a battery, talk to your technician about the wiring and have it done.
Larger appliances, like air conditioners and a refrigerator, require more power to start. Generally speaking, a refrigerator requires a 1k VA inverter, and a 1 tonne of AC requires a 2.5k VA inverter. The battery usage is also quite high. Therefore, you should not wire an inverter for these large appliances.
Before you buy an inverter, it is crucial to check the wiring of your home. The performance and effectiveness of an inverter greatly depend on the quality and suitability of the electrical wiring system it is connected to.
Inadequate or outdated wiring can pose serious safety risks and lead to inefficient power distribution. It is essential to ensure that the wiring in your home is up to code, properly grounded, and capable of handling the power requirements of an inverter.
Additionally, checking the compatibility of the existing wiring with the inverter’s specifications will help prevent potential damage to the system and ensure optimal functionality. By carefully assessing the wiring beforehand, you can make an informed decision and select the right inverter that seamlessly integrates with your home’s electrical infrastructure.
Where to buy the inverter online
Inverters from all the top brands are marketed online. The Inverters are not hazardous materials, as opposed to batteries. The goods are offered on top online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, and others.
Visit the manufacturer’s website and purchase the most recent model. Before you place the order, be sure to understand the return and shipping policies.
Final checklist before finalizing Inverter
- Try to buy the inverter and battery combination if this is your first time buying.
- It is wise to purchase an inverter trolley so that you can store your inverter and batteries inside of it. If you put the inverter and battery in a trolley, moving it is simple. Make sure you have enough space in your home before purchasing a trolley.
- Last but not least, check that your home is properly earthed to prevent accidental electrocution.
- Look for the warranty; better products tend to have longer warranties. As previously mentioned, battery prices rise if warranties do as well.
Frequently asked question
How do I calculate what size inverter I need?
Calculate the required capacity for the inverter.
Remember that your home uses 460W of total power in total. As a result, the required inverter VA rating is (460/0.8) = 575VA. This has a 0.6 kVA rating roughly (600VA).
How many watts is a good inverter?
Watts = Volts (120) x Amps
For instance, a minimum 300-watt inverter is advised if your DVD player consumes 100 watts and your laptop consumes another 100 watts. If the object is motor-driven, it needs more start-up (surge) wattage to operate (typically 2-3 times the continuous wattage needed).
Which inverter wattage is best?
For homes, inverters with a power range of 756–1000 W are ideal.
Is it better to oversize an inverter?
You can generate more power overall by oversizing the array and making better use of your inverter’s capacity. Even if that means clipping a little more power, you want to find the “sweet spot” where you get the most overall production per dollar spent on your system.
What is the lifespan of an inverter?
10 to 15 years old
Inverters typically last between 10 and 15 years. However, depending on a variety of factors, such as the type, brand, or model of an inverter, solar inverters can last up to 25 years.