Indian Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are the worst hit when it comes to power cuts during the summer season. And though Tier 1 cities have relatively less power cuts, the power cuts are quite unbearable in these areas, too. And therefore, it is important for homes to have a robust power backup solution that can tide them over those long and frequent power cuts. If you too are facing power cut issues in your area and are looking for a solution, we recommend that you bring home an inverter battery combo. But before you do that here a few important points that you should remember when looking for the best inverter in the market.
A home inverter system has 2 main components – a UPS inverter and a battery. Let us read a bit about both to find out how to choose the right inverter battery combo.
Choosing the Right UPS Inverter
The UPS performs two main functions.
- Charges the battery when power is available.
- Supplies power to the appliances during a power cut.
Now what you need to understand here is that not all inverters are the same. They differ in terms of the maximum power they can deliver (VA Rating). They also differ in terms of the technology they use – sine wave or square wave.
How to choose an inverter based on VA Rating?
The VA Rating of an inverter is a measure of the maximum voltage and current it can supply. It is measured in VA (Volt Ampere). The VA Rating in turn depends on the load consumption, and therefore, to find out the right VA Rating of the inverter you should buy, you first need to calculate your load requirement. Once you have the load requirement you need to apply the following formula for calculating the VA Rating.
VA Rating = Load Requirement / Power Factor of the Inverter
(Note – Usually, the Power Factor lies between 0.65-0.8. We will assume it as 0.7).
And here’s how you calculate your load requirement
Calculating your power requirement is very easy. All you have to do is make a list of equipment that you would require when there’s a power cut. So let’s say you require 3 Fans, 2 Tube Lights, 8 LEDs, 1 LED TV. And let’s say the power consumed by each is as follows.
1 Fan – 70 Watts
1 Tube light – 40 watts
1 LED light – 7 watts
1 LED television – 70 watts
The Total Power Requirement would thus come out to (3*70)+(2*40)+(8*7)+(1*70)+(1*140) = 556 Watts
Since VA Rating = Load Requirement / Power Factor of the Inverter
VA Rating = 556/0.7 = 795 VA
Quick Tip – Always go with an inverter with a 10-20% higher VA Rating as your load requirement may go up in the near future. So in this case it is advisable to go for an inverter with a VA Rating of 900 VA.
How to choose an inverter based on Inverter Technology?
As mentioned earlier, home UPS inverters are available in two technologies – Sine Wave and Square Wave. The difference between a Sine Wave and Square Wave inverter lies in their current conversion efficiency from DC to AC. Sine Wave inverters have a better current conversion efficiency as compared to Square Wave inverters. Also, unlike Square Wave inverters, Sine Wave inverters do not heat up or produce any humming noise.
The square wave inverters are, however, more affordable as compared to sine wave inverters. But then, if you need an inverter to run voltage sensitive appliances such as laptops, microwaves, and refrigerators then it is recommended that you go with a sine wave inverter. The square wave inverters are more apt for running devices like motors.
Choosing the Right Inverter Battery
Battery Capacity and Battery Type are the two important things that you need to consider when looking to buy the right inverter battery.
How to choose an inverter battery based on Battery Capacity?
Battery Capacity is a measure of the charge an inverter battery can hold. It is calculated in Ampere Hours (Ah). To calculate the battery capacity you need to use the following formula.
Battery capacity = (power requirement in watts * backup-time * aging factor) / (battery voltage * battery efficiency * inverter efficiency)
Here the following values are constant
- Inverter aging factor = 1.25
- Battery efficiency = 0.8
- Inverter efficiency = 0.8
So if we consider the above scenario where the power requirement = 556 Watts
And we assume that we need a 12 V lead acid battery to provide 2 hours of continuous power backup
The Battery Capacity comes out to ((556*2*1.25) / (12*0.8*0.8) = 181 Ah
Quick Tip – Always go with a battery that has a higher battery capacity, That’s because battery capacity deteriorates with time. So, in the above mentioned case, it is advisable to go for an inverter battery with a battery capacity of 200 Ah.
How to choose an inverter battery based on Type of Battery?
There are two main types of batteries – Flat Plate Batteries and Tubular Batteries. Both these batteries are a type of lead acid battery. Your choice of battery type would depend on factors such as the area you live in, warranty offered, price and more. For instance, if you live in an area where power cuts are short but frequent, it is advisable to go for a flat plate battery as it has a faster charging rate. Reasoning being that since there is very little time (for charging a battery) between two subsequent power cuts, a flat plate battery would get charged faster and would be ready for use. On the other hand, if you live in an area where power cuts are long then it is advisable that you go with a tubular battery as they have higher battery capacities as compared to flat plate batteries.
Similarly, those who want to buy a battery that lasts longer, should go with tubular batteries that come with longer warranty periods. However, one must know that the price of a battery has a direct correlation with the warranty offered on the battery. And therefore, batteries with longer warranty periods are priced higher.
Want to buy the best inverter available in the market?
If you want to buy the best inverter available in the market then you need to choose one of the best brands out there. One such brand that has been delighting customers with its exquisite range of inverters and its unparalleled customer service is Luminous India. They are one of the most reputable players in the home inverter battery segment.