How does it work and what to look for : Inverter

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by VicZA, 9 Jul 2014.

  1. VicZA


    Posts: 1,007
    7 Jul 2013
    Likes Received:

    ok, so I am sitting without power again and hence only have my two Jebao Wavemakers connected to a battery (used in house alarm), which is not the ideal scenario - so I need to consider getting a UPS or Inverter.

    However, I have a few questions please:
    1 - How do you "size" the inverter you want ? I want to put my return pump and 1 wavemaker on this inverter for emergencies.
    2 - How does it work ? Do they require batteries to work ? Are they normally connected to mains (like a UPS) to charge these batteries ?
    3 - ow long do they normally last ?
    4 - How often do batteries need to be replaced ?

    Thanks .... any considerations I left out too please :thumbup:
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  3. mariusmeyer


    Posts: 3,050
    7 Jul 2009
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    Jukskei Park, JHB

    Size would be around 4 times higher than the load wattage. This is to cater for startup loads which is quite a lot higher than normal running load. But since you will have seamless changeover you can get away with 2 times bigger.

    Inverters require batteries as their source. if you get an inverter with a built in transfer switch then it will come on when power fails. If you don't have a built in transfer switch you have to manually start the inverter which defeats the purpose of a power backup in my opinion.

    So you will have power going into the inverter and then cables to the battery. You will have an exit plug on the inverter to which you can add a multi plug for the stuff you want to run on backup power. So during normal operation the inverter will use the mains power source and when power failure is detected a seamless switch to battery. You will not be running the stuff off of battery when you have mains. Some inverters have built in chargers but they are quire scares and makes them more expensive. Better option is to get a standalone battery charger.

    How long it will last depends on your load. In theory a 100W pump will run for around 10 hours on a 102 AH deep cycle battery.

    You will have to use deep cycle batteries since they can handle more drain than normal batteries.

    Some batteries have built in indicators which will say when it is time to replace. Replacing time will vary on the number of times the batteries were drained heavily.
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