Why I chose Exide UPS and invatubular battery for inverter? - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Why I chose Exide UPS and invatubular battery for inverter?

While scouting for home inverter, I visited multiple consumer electronic shops and checked prices and features of various brands. I have already published a detailed home inverter purchase guide and answered several FAQs here. This post goes through my elimination process explaining how I decided against different brands and finally selected Exide.

This is not a sponsored post. Just sharing my findings and analysis.

First option I came across was of V-Guard at Harsha showroom. A reliable name for sure, but 6k for 1050 VA UPS and 16k for 150 AH battery meant the combination would cost 22k+.  I decided to check more options and come back to this later.
Second option at Harsha Brahmavara was ELCO. Elco 850 VA UPS was 7300 and 180 AH battery was 15500, taking total to 23000 INR. While 180 AH battery sounded good, 850 VA for UPS felt less than what we were looking for. Harsha could have technically offered V-Guard UPS and ELCO 180 AH battery for 21000 but for some reason they were not offering this combination.

I wanted to check other options so came out without making a decision. Visited Pai Brahmavara- they had Microtek UPS + Luminous battery for 19k and Luminous Battery + UPS for 20k. This sounded good. 150 AH battery and 1200 VA Sine wave UPS sounded great combination. And 19k felt within budget.
I wanted some more options, so visited 3rd showroom- Mahesh
Mahesh would offer Microtek 1200 VA square wave UPS with Powerpak battery (A Mangaluru based company) for INR 23000. I wanted to understand why there is 4000 INR price difference between Powerpak and Luminous Battery.

Upon asking Mahesh offered V Guard 1 KVA UPS and V guard battery for 21900 and Microtek Square wave UPS and V-Guard Battery for 20900. Was told INR 700 extra for Microtek Sinewave UPS. Mahesh refused to offer Exide Battery as an option.

I ran a twitter poll, Luminous got max vote share. Subramanya SM suggested me to try Exide wholesaler in my town and I decided to pay a visit. Upon visit I was given good wholesale rate.
Exide 1050 VA UPS for 5500, Exide Invamaster long 150 AH battery for 14500 or Exide Invatubular 150 AH battery for 1700. Microtek UPS for same price (INR 5500) and there were some cheaper battery brands starting around 10k as well. 

Following aspects were very impressive about Exide wholesaler
  1. The rates he quoted for battery was wholesale rate and about 10% cheaper than MRP listed in Exide website. 
  2. He quoted best possible rate upfront. Didn't try quoting higher and reducing it later. I did cross check at a few places online and found the rates good.
  3. He runs a smaller shop with less rent. His overheads will be less and dealing directly with a wholesaler who is more knowledgeable about batteries than dealing with store employees seemed like better choice.
  4. He assured Exide has best service support.
With these info, I began elimination.
I decided to eliminate Microtek UPS due to following reasons. Microtek is a popular brand but 
- Their website was confusing. They had too many models- Square wave as well as sine wave, Digital, SEBZ, E2+, ranging from 800 VA to 1700 VA. While having more options is a good thing, it was very hard to figure out what is the technical difference between these models- there was no comparison feature.
- Different shops had different models/specs and I was finding it hard to compare who is giving best price or which particular model is good for me. Everyone was trying to sell what they have, without explaining me all options.
Powepak battery: Powerpak didn't seem to have an official website. I couldn't get clear battery specs. Moreover if it is a local brand why so expensive? May be dealer was getting high margin to push these batteries. A Mangaluru dealer quoted INR 12000 for 150 AH inverter battery, so I was wondering why Mahesh quoted 23000 for full set. (12k battery, 900 INR trolley + 5.5-6k UPS should have costed 19k max)

Luminous: Luminous energy calculator was very useful. But 2-3 shopkeepers didn't give positive feedback about Luminous service. Pricing was reasonable but decided against it.

V-Guard: Their website didn't have comparison feature and wasn't disclosing pricing. So it was hard to validate dealer quoted price are reasonable or not.

Exide: Exide website was very informative, had an option to compare batteries. But comparison was possible only within a category. For example I couldn't compare a 150 AH Invatubular battery with 180 AH Invamaster. 

Exide UPS was rated 1050 VA, slightly less than 1200 VA I was thinking, but it felt adequate. Copper transformer and a small LCD display are the highlights of Exide UPS. It doesn't show battery water level indicator like V-Guard, but otherwise seems fit for the job.
While traditional batteries were shorter and wider, the new trend in inverter batteries is the tubular style-they are bit taller but narrower.

Our exide dealer recommended two models- Invamaster 150 AH at 14500 and Invatubular 150 AH for 17000. The temptation was strong to save 2500 INR by sticking to inva master. But Invatubular is said to be premium range, had 6 month extra warranty and likely extra life of one year compared to Invamaster. Per year cost felt cheaper on Invatubular if it lasts an year or two more than Invamaster. A relative also had Invatubular at home so this added weight on Invatubular. Invamaster had two variants- Long and Short. Short one is about 2000 Rs cheaper.  This Tall and Short markings were not obvious on the packaging, but I was told it is in the model name. IMTT1500 refers to Tall.
Exide dealer offered an inverter trolley for 900 INR Extra. I decided to use an existing table at home to keep inverter and save this expense. Will buy a stand later if needed. Large showrooms charge a 1000 Rs extra for UPS+battery combined and give trolley free.

After lot of deliberation I decided to go for Invatubular, even though it meant spending another 2500 extra compared to Inva master. Battery weights almost 60 kg, so will need 2 people to move it.

Got a small tray on which battery can be kept and a can of 5 litre distilled water. Installation was done the same day. The UPS plastic casing was giving a smell for almost one week. Exide should check this and provide a smell free UPS. (gone now after a week).

Consumer electronics showrooms lost my business because of following reasons
- Not giving me the combination of UPS and inverter I wanted and trying to sell what they have.
- Not sharing full technical specs of the products they are trying to sell
- Higher margins & quote

Exide UPS has a LCD display with white light. This light is too bright during night and may disturb sleep- so we had to find a way to cover it. No option to turn off display. No one watches display non stop, so an OFF feature would have been nice. Display shows output voltage, battery % and some other info on its own (we can't select what it should show).

This is my home inverter purchase process. Now I need to see if exide lasts 5-6 years minimum without giving any trouble.

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