A primer on inverters just before we begin to feel the heat

The dog days are not far away, and many of us are in the market for an inverter. Before buying one for your home or office, determine the load your inverter has to support and pick an inverter of suitable capacity.

It would be a waste to buy an over-heavy inverter for a small flat that probably needs to run just one fan, light and TV during a power cut. Ideally, pick a model that has a battery selection slider, which allows you to choose any battery to go with your inverter.

A sine wave inverter is better than a square wave inverter, as it reduces heating, increases longevity, and reduces the humming sound that you hear from tube-lights and fans that work on square wave inverters. Sine wave models also supply better quality electricity.

Pick an inverter whose idle power consumption is low and which is energy efficient, so that power consumption from the grid is kept minimal. Says Sanjeev Saini, director-technical, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd: “Solar compatible inverters are now available in the market. Su-Kam has solar compatible models that offer uninterrupted power back-up by utilising solar energy and reducing dependence on the electricity grid.”

The battery is an important component of the inverter.

Here are a few tips for battery maintenance:

The storage and charging room must be dry and ventilated

Store batteries upright and ideally, don’t store them with other items

Don’t try to fast-charge the battery with a higher than allowed current. It reduces its life

Don’t use broken clips or frayed wires for charging

Don’t disconnect or remove a battery during the charging process

Don’t use automotive batteries for your inverter

Ensure that the charger-inverter output is within the specified limit.

Keep battery away from candles, sparks or open flame

Don’t cover your inverter or battery with cloth, paper or plastic

Clean both with a soft, wet cotton cloth

Keep terminals dust and grease free and check the water level once in two months

Also remember, to not top up over the maximum level as overflows will corrode metal parts and weaken the electrolyte.