An inverter is a device that collects electricity and stores it in a battery, to be redeployed in times of power cuts. Today, more and more Nigerians are looking to inverters to solve their power backup needs. When buying an inverter, these are some of the things you should consider.
Calculate your electrical load to choose the inverter capacity you need.
Inverters come in various sizes and have different capacities for different loads. That is why you need to make sure that the size of the inverter is powerful enough to manage the load, or total wattage, of your appliances. We have developed a tool that help you calculate the load.
Select the technology best suitable for your inverter:
Pure Sine Wave Inverter: Sine Waves inverters are usually better suited to the needs of our appliances since they provide a purer electrical supply. They are usually more expensive than square wave inverters – and with good reason – they are safer and make almost no noise.
Square wave inverters are more affordable; they produce square waved output which is not ideal for expensive electronic equipment, and usually make a little noise.
Check how much backup time you will need.
You also need to consider the backup time you will need when getting an inverter. The length of time that an inverter will last depends on the battery size, as well as the total wattage of all the appliances it is carrying. You can book an appointment with a Luminous expert to help you evaluate the battery size you need in your house.
Below are the different types of batteries available.
Tubular Wet cell: This is the ideal battery for deep cycle usage with Luminous Inverters and Solar Home UPS. Designed exclusively for inverters and UPS, this is an excellent product that provides the longest duty life with minimal maintenance needs. This battery is particularly suitable for use in areas with frequent power cuts. The recommendation is to go for Tubular as they last much longer.
SMF AGM: Deep Cycle SMF (Sealed Maintenance Free) / VRLA Valve Regulated Lead Acid) batteries for backup applications, which although they are not perfect for inverters, do the job pretty well – without needing any maintenance whatsoever. We always recommend you choose a reputed brand, since there are many sub-par SMF batteries available in the market
SMF GEL: The SMF Gel batteries provide a good in-between option. They are usually much better than Standard VRLA batteries, utilizing specialized gel electrolyte to reduce negative plate sulphation in the battery, thus helping them to be last longer. They also have the added advantage of being maintenance free. Of course, this also usually means these batteries are more expensive than the Tubular or SMF ones.
For the longest lasting, most cost economical battery, we recommend Tubular.
Other Inverter Features to note
Apart from the essential functions mentioned earlier, such as the battery size, type of battery, backup time and battery technology, it is also important to know other features: which help distinguish better brands.
Smart display of voltage range and power backup remaining.
Overload protection which helps protect the inverter in case of heavier load.
A full short circuit protection in case of a wrong electrical connections which could lead to electrical surge
A miniature circuit breaker (MCB) which ensures the inverter is protected against overload and short circuit.
Overcharging solutions, which ensure long battery life and provide long-lasting service for your needs.
A quality charger as this helps to preserve the “service life” of the inverter.
Choose the brand with the Best Service Support
Customer support is a major consideration when you are deciding between brands. This will ensure that you get immediate support in case you face any challenges. It will also ensure a professional manages your installation, maintenance or upgrading. Inverters are products that make your life easier, so why settle for a brand which doesn’t have good customer service. Only a few brands in the market are serviced by the award-winning Simba Service customer care center. Luminous is one of them!
Below are some of the thing you need to check regarding the company you are buying an inverter from:
Make sure they have many authorized installers and technicians spread nationwide, so that even if you move, or give away your old inverter when upgrading to a bigger one, you will never be left without anyone to repair your inverter.
Nationwide Spare parts available. A technician with missing parts cannot do much for you.
A respectable one-year warranty, at least.
24 hours call center. After all, once you buy an inverter, you will not be able to do without one.