Choosing an inverter from the hundreds of inverter available in the market is not easy. To choose a model that best fits your needs, you should have a good understanding of the key parameters of inverters. Without good acumen of the models available in the market, you will land up purchasing wrong type of inverter. Hence, by comparing the various features offered by different models will help you to make the right choice. Given below are some parameters that you need to check while purchasing an inverter.
Identifying the requirement
Identify the appliances that you need to supply power through the inverter and compare the inverter capacity to your needs.
Details, guidelines and thumb rules are available from manufacturers and dealers in the form of load-selection charts depicting approximate wattage consumption of various appliances to help choose an inverter of the right capacity. For instance, In manufactures brochures, you may find details explaining various appliances loads that can be connected to inverters, along with power consumption details of individual appliances.
Selecting the right piece
The size of an inverter is measured depending on its maximum continuous output in watts. The power output of the inverter you choose is directly dependent on the load you will be powering. It is very important that you select an inverter, which is powerful enough to operate your specific loads. Purchasing an inverter bigger than your present need is preferable. This is because you may need to power something else, other than planned, at a later time.
The inverter must have the capability to deliver extra power for short periods of times when these motors start.
The time taken by an inverter to switch from the standby to supply power to the load, and revert back to the standby mode when utility power is restored, determines the quality of the inverter.
Arrangements like fan, louvers, heat sinks and forced cooling are recommended. This kind of arrangement ensures effective cooling by dissipation of heat, thus preventing damage to the inverter due to unnecessary overheating.
The inverter batteries must be of good brand and correct capacity. Their operating and maintenance costs should be low. Inverter batteries are meant for use where discharging and charging occurs frequently. Carefully select the battery specifications considering the typical duration of power outages in your area.
The time taken for the inverter to charge its batteries (charging rate) should not be too long or too short. Since, faster charging reduces the battery life; it is important that an optimal rate is faster rate initially and slows down subsequently. A charging circuit using constant-current, constant-voltage mode enhances the battery life.
If charging is too slow, the battery may not able to charge properly next time. The fuzzy logic control feature in the inverter charger makes the batteries last long and also saves on electricity bills. It does so by ensuring optimal battery charging. If the battery voltage dips below a certain limit, the charger adjusts itself to the existing situation and charges the batteries accordingly. This prevents overheating of the battery, eliminating the need for frequent water topping.
Output variations, when various loads are turned off, should be within limits. Top-quality inverters regulate voltage to within two per cent of the rated voltage. Cheap, bad quality inverters have poor output regulation. When the batteries are fully charged, these give a high output voltage. However, as the batteries discharge, the inverter output voltage starts diminishing. Speeds of fans reduce and tubelights start dimming. Low voltage can also damage your appliances.
The intelligent load management feature ensures that the inverter does not shut down immediately in the case of overload. This program gives a low-voltage signal to reduce the load automatically. Low-voltage warning will alert you the inverter is going to shut itself off very soon. Automatic load switch protection prohibits the inverter being energized, if there is 230V in the lines.