A Guide to Picking the Best Inverter for Home Usage
A Guide to Picking the Best Inverter for Home Usage. Imagining life without electricity is next to impossible. We’ve gotten used to having lights turn on and off at the flick of a switch, watching movies on large television screens, being connected to our loved ones 24×7 through mobile phones. Without electricity, none of this would be possible. Most homes are supplied electricity from the main power grid. But, from time to time, the main power grid may have a fault that disrupts electricity connections to your home. The only way to live life without interruptions is to have your own power backup; an inverter.
Choosing the Best Inverter for Home
There are a number of inverters available in the market today. Not all of them are created equally. To get the best inverter, you don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive one. Apart from pricing, there are a number of other factors that must be kept in mind. Here are a few tips.
Know your power usage
Before you even visit the inverter store, you need to know your power usage. Think of all the appliances you want to run on your inverter; the lights, the fans, the television, the microwave, etc. Each appliance has a specific wattage need. For example, lamps need 40 watts of energy, fans require 80 watts of energy and a 150inch LED TV needs 100 watts of power. To get the total energy requirement for your home, you need to multiple the wattage of each appliance by the number of them you need to run and sum up the total. For example, say you want to run 3 lamps, 2 fans, and a television. Your total energy requirement would be
(40 x 3) + (8 x 2) + (100 x 1) = 380 watts
Calculate Inverter capacity
When you decide to buy an inverter battery, you’ll notice that each inverter has a VA or Volt Ampere ratings. This refers to the inverter’s capacity. An inverter’s capacity has a directly proportional relationship with the load it can support. It can be calculated by dividing the total load to be supported by the power factor. The power factor here refers to the energy lost during conversion. On average, the power factor of an inverter varies from 0.6 to 0.8.
Let’s take the above calculation forward and assume the inverter had a power factor of 0.8.
VA= 380/0.8= 475
Thus, when you look at inverters, a 500VA inverter may be a good choice for your home.
Choose the Type of Inverter
Homes use Direct Current (DC) voltage to run their appliances. However, batteries store power in Alternating Current (AC) voltage. The inverter converts the AC voltage from the battery to DC voltage. Based on the output produced, inverters can be categorized as a pure sine wave inverter and a modified sine wave inverter. Pure sine inverters perform this conversion in the form of a smooth wave without any distortions. It can thus be used to run all types of appliances including delicate ones like certain types of laptops, digital clocks, home automation systems and medical equipment like oxygen concentrators. On the other hand, modified wave inverters make the conversion in blocky disrupted signals. These types of inverters can be used only for basic functions. It is important to note that the home inverter price is related to the inverter type.
Calculate Battery Capacity
The inverter cannot store any power within itself. For this, it needs to be connected to a battery. Like inverters, batteries have different capacities. The battery’s capacity will determine how much power backup an inverter can provide and for how many hours. Batteries are usually rated in terms of Ampere Hours or Ah.
To calculate the battery capacity required, you must multiply the total power wattage required with the number of hours you need a backup for and divide the result by the product of battery voltage, battery efficiency and the number of batteries being used.
The battery voltage for most batteries used at home is 12V.
Let’s take the above calculation ahead with an assumption that you need a backup for 4 hours.
In this case battery capacity = (380 x 4) / (12 x 0.8 x 1) = 1520/9.6 = 158.3
Based on availability, you could choose a 160Ah or 180Ah inverter for home use.
You deserve nothing less than the best inverter in India within your budget. Thus, don’t make this decision in a hurry. Think, research and take your time.