Home inverter setup FAQs -read before buying - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Home inverter setup FAQs -read before buying

In addition to the detailed home inverter purchase guide, below are some of the frequently asked questions related to setting up home inverter for domestic use.
Exide UPS

Q1. Can we run AC on inverter?
Depends. Some brands claim to. If you have a 1 or 1.5 ton inverter AC rated at 1100 watts or lower, it can be in theory supported with a 1200 VA inverter UPS. But the battery will drain fast- you might just be able to cool the room once before battery drains. Or you'll have to invest in multiple batteries if you are expecting longer backup. Unless you have the 2-3x normal budget and strong need, it is better to exclude AC from inverter backup.

Q2. What is the difference between Sine Wave and Square wave? Which is better?
Sine Wave UPS is better because of safer and noiseless power output. Square wave UPS are bit cheaper but emit humming noise and is relatively less safe. Price difference is not much- Sine Wave inverter might cost 500-1000 Rs more compared to Square wave inverter of same rating. Most modern UPS systems are pure sign wave while some brands like Mircotek might be selling Square Wave to be able to offer a lower pricing. If you are not paying attention and bargain too much on price, your dealer might give you a cheaper square wave UPS which you will regret later.

Q3: What maintenance is needed for Inverter battery?
Modern day batteries are lot safer, cleaner and demand less maintenance. You will still have to refill distilled water (rainwater or boiled n cooled water would work, be sure to filter multiple times to avoid dust/impurities)

Q4: Is it safe to use mixer grinder on inverter?
Mixer grinders are usually rated 550 Watts of 750 watts or in that range. A 1KVA or above UPS can support mixer grinder. But it will drain battery fast. Thus plan to use mixer for few minutes only and that too if it is emergency.

Q5: Online pricing is cheaper- can we buy online?
You can. But buying from less reputed sellers online carries following risk
- Some sellers might ship a slightly older/refurbished units. You won't even know.
- Batteries are heavy- 40 to 60 kgs. Improper shipping might cause damage
- If you buy from a local shop, after sales service is easier. You can walk in and question them if there are major issues. Online, replacement, support, warranty etc could be a nightmare.
- Online free delivery is usually within city limits or 10-25 kms from seller. Mostly additional shipping charge will apply, increasing final cost.
- Several online websites are NOT updated timely manner. Product may be out of stock, or may not be latest, company might have gone bankrupt, detailed specs might not be disclosed, delivery and service may not be available in your area etc. You don't want to realize these after making payment. Exercise caution.

Q6: What are the top things to consider while buying inverter UPS?
1. Sine wave or square wave- Prefer Sine Wave
2. VA rating. 1000 VA (or 1 KVA) or slightly more is recommended for domestic usage. Cheaper 600-800 VA UPS will feel insufficient if your usage increases even slightly.
3. Brand name, reliability and after sales support. Check on company's website if they have a dealer/service centre in your pincode. If not try alternate brand. 
4. Any feature that impresses you- LCD display (Exide), Low water level indicator (V-Guard) etc

Q7: What are the top things to consider while buying inverter Battery?
1. AH Rating. 100 AH will be lot cheaper but might not give enough backup. 150 AH is reasonable for domestic use. 180 or more is good if you can afford it or if you really have long backup needed (like 4-5 hours+ or need to support heavy appliances)
2. Brand name reliability and after sales support. Check on company's website if they have a dealer/service centre in your pincode. If not try alternate brand. 
3. Warranty & type: Most companies give 3 year replacement warranty. Few brands offer additional 1.5 year service warranty. Some select brands/models may come with extra warranty at extra cost.
4. 

Q8. Do we need a dedicated trolley for Inverter? Can we manage with a table available at home?
Dedicated trolley costs between INR 600-1000, can support 40-60 kg payload of the battery, usually with a 5th leg in the centre for extra load. If you have an existing table or trolley suitable for the purpose you can use. Check dimensions, table design etc and decide.

Q9. What tricks shops would play upon us when we go to buy an inverter?
  1. Most home appliance shops keep only 2-3 options and claim these are the best and others are not good. This may not be true. They sell what they have and what gives them higher margin. Use your discretion.
  2. Large home appliance shops have lots of overheads- salary, rent etc and they have to always give some offers, free goodies (like trolley)- so their pricing will be bit higher compared to online or exclusive dealership shops (like Exide dealers, Microtek stockists etc). Be sure to scout around for better deals
  3. If you don't much about configurations/specifications you could be tricked into buying what they have instead of recommending most optimal product/configuration. 
  4. Nothing comes free.If they are giving trolley free it is because they've jacked up the price of battery & UPS.
  5. Some shops refuse to give separate price for UPS, Battery and trolley, making it difficult for you to do apple to apple comparison.
  6. Home appliance shops generally only sell. Service/after sales is usually dealt by authorized service centres of the brand. So it might be better to deal with brand's dealer/stockist/seller directly and negotiate better price.
Q10: Can we trust online reviews?
Online reviews may lose relevance over time, or could be specific to a particular seller/model or one off experience. It won't be right to generalize a negative review. Read and use your discretion. Almost every brand will have a few negative reviews. You have to decide if the negative review is relevant still or not. Check this post for details.

Q11: What is Long vs short in inverter tubular batteries?
Both have same AH rating but Long battery is taller, has more electrolytes and can provide backup little longer. Long Version of Exide battery is about 2k expensive compared to short one. If backup needs are less, you can save a bit by buying short one.

Q12. What is dry vs wet when it comes to inverter batteries?
Most inverter batteries and car batteries are wet. They need distilled water to be filled regularly.
Certain bike batteries are dry- zero maintenance ones.

Q13: Can we charge inverter batteries with CTEK battery charger?
Yes, but then the UPS is there for same purpose.

Q14: What is the life expectancy of home inverter UPS and battery?
UPS comes with 2 year warranty. Battery comes with 3 years (usually) with some brands offering additional 1.5 years service warranty or extra warranty on select models. In general, expect the home inverter system to run trouble free for 4-5 years minimum if cared for well.

After 3-5 years backup duration drops, UPS Efficiency drops so eventually you will have to replace either UPS or battery or both. With proper care many households have managed to use the inverter setup for 8-10 years. You could be lucky like that. A lot depends on power and voltage fluctuation, how much load you give to inverter system, how well you care for it, how good is the build quality of UPS & Battery etc.  Also your usage may change, better technologies/more powerful equipment will be available in the market and you might feel like upgrading. So do not overspend on home inverters at the same time don't go for cheapest of options. Spend the right amount.

Q15: What are solar inverters?
Inverters can also be charged from solar panels. But such inverters are expensive to buy plus you will need multiple solar panels set up on your rooftop to charge the batteries. If AC power is not reliable or if you are OK to invest more, solar inverters can be considered. Solar setup will need period maintenance as well so the cost/benefit may not always be worth.

Q16: How to decide right combination of UPS and Battery for home inverter setup?
You can use online inverter calculator to decide but quick snapshot is given below.

Usage

Minimum Usage

Normal Usage

Heavy Usage

Description

2-3 fans, 2-3 CFL Lamps for 2-3 hours

2-3 fans, 5-6 CFL Lamps,

1 TV, Laptop for 2-3 hours, Mixi for few mins

2-3 fans, 5-6 CFL Lamps,

1 TV, Laptop for 2-3 hours, Mixi for few mins, AC/Refrigerator

UPS Recommended

600-850 VA

1000-1200 VA

1600 VA or more

Best UPS brands

Microtek, V-Guard, Exide, Luminous

Battery recommended

100 AH, 1 battery

150 AH, 1 battery

180 AH or more, 2 or more batteries

Best Battery Brands

Exide, Amaron, Luminous, V-Guard

Approx cost

12-15k total onwards

20-25k onwards

30k+


Let me know if you have any specific questions.

1 comment:

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days.Use Anonymous option if you don't wish to leave your name/ID behind- Shrinidhi

Powered by Blogger.