Inverter And Why You Need It
This is one questions that has been on mind since I got an inverter. It’s hard to imagine life without one now, however I realize I still depend heavily on my Generator. Why is that?
For starters, Inverters are equipments that generate enough electricity to power just about anything depending on it’s capacity. They run on batteries that can range from 100Ah/12V to 220Ah/12V. They function like your regular computer back up UPS. Therefore they need to be charged either via AEDC or through a direct source like a generator. Mine is a 1.5KVA Inverter and runs on a 220Ah/12V batteries.
See Picture of Lithion 1450Va/12V inverter
A 1.5KVA inverter can only carry regular home appliances like fans, TV sets (LCD, Plasma), Bulbs (energy saving bulbs preferably), computers, Home Theatre and can charge your phones even when it can’t carry anything else. The 1.5KVA’s do not carry Fridges, Irons, AC’s, Electric Kettle, cookers, washing machines etc. In fact when installing Inverters an installer usually disconnect the AC’s etc from it so u don’t have to always do it yourself or forget to.
The fact that they need to get charged all the time makes them somewhat dependent on AEDC or Generator. Using mine as an example, when they are fully charged they can run for between 6 to 12 hours depending on my power usage or length of outage. For example, when I use fans only it can last as much as 12 hours. When I combine it with TV’s and light bulbs it can drop to as low as 6 hours depending on how often I turn off and turn on my light switch or how many TV’s I use. Based on the above, can I now do without my Generator? Answer is a resounding NO!
Like I said Inverters have to be charged everyday for it to work at all. Without which they will just be a decorative item. In a period of constant power supply from AEDC there is obviously no need to charge it with a Solar Panel. However, there is no such thing as constant power supply at the moment in Nigeria. We use our Solar Panel more than we use AEDC. Whilst suppliers of Inverters may present it as an an alternative to Solar Panel. it likely isn’t. In fact, as you buy an inverter, you may consider buying Solar Panel as well or else it may not charge at periods when AEDC strikes. Besides it doesn’t power your Fridges and other appliances that may be useful to you when there are long periods of power outages. My Inverter cost me N200k inclusive of the batteries. It’s is charged by a 200W Solar Panel which cost me N50k to purchase. It is difficult to estimate how much I save financially using one. I’d attempt to do that in another blog post.
See pictures of 200W Mono Solar Panel already mounted on roof top
Despite all of these I still think they are important to have. Since I’ve had them I’ve found them very useful for several reasons. For example, we could be going to bed with AEDC and then deep into the night AEDC takes the light. I don’t have to go out that late to turn on the Generator, the Inverters just take over automatically. It also gives you time to decide whether to turn on your Generator immediately when AEDC take light. Especially at time when light comes on and goes off incessantly. Inverters also serves as a back up for your appliances when AEDC strikes. Imagine watching a football match and Messi is about to score (like in the commercial) and AEDC strikes!! Usually Inverters just take over immediately making sure you don’t miss anything. Inverters also do not require major maintenance cost like Generators and they are by far safer. However, just like a car you do need to service it, so if You’re using Wet Cell Tubular batteries, the water level should be checked every six months to be topped with Battery Distill water. periodically (every six months depending on your usage). A 220Ah/12V Inverter battery cost about N107,000 to N130,000 depending on where you buy and the kind of battery.
Below are the pictures of 220Ah/12V Signal Wet Cell Tubular Battery
Picture of Inverter Battery Distill Water shown below
Finally, Whether that is enough for you to spend N300k for alternative power supply now depends on your comfort level as well as your financial appetite to spend. But for me I think it’s worth the buy.