How to determine The Right Capacity Of Inverter For Your Power Load
As people become more aware of the importance and advantages of solar power inverters as an alternative to the expensive gasoline generators and the epileptic grid system power supply in Nigeria, the rush for inverter systems in Nigeria increases day by day. As a result of the rush and excitement of getting a solar inverter installed as soon as possible, people tend to fall short of things to consider and the things to look out for before getting an inverter system. Usually, your engineer should take this into account but it is not bad if you also understand it too.
In this article, we will explain the procedure for calculating the required capacity of the inverter for your home or office. And also the different types of inverters that are sold in our local markets in Nigeria.
The Nigerian market is saturated with different types and brands of the inverter system. It is important to be aware of some important specifications, technologies, and types of inverters before deciding on the best inverter that suits your needs. There are normal transformer-based inverters and also the advanced hybrid inverter type. These inverters come with different specifications, so you have to be sure of what you are buying, so you can make the right choice before any purchase is made.
Transformer base inverters, are inverters that are usually manufactured with heavy transformers. They are usually strong and they are the first types of inverter that were sold in the Nigerian markets. A lot of senior engineers prefer it because that’s what they are used to. Also, because of it transformer, it is believed that they run inductive loads comfortably.
Transformaless inverters, are more advanced types of inverter and they are usually more expensive. They perform just as well as the transformer-based inverters with a few advanced technologies. These inverters are believed to be manufactured without a transformer component. The right thing is these inverters have components that perform the work of a transformer, but they are not made with heavy coils. Hence, they are lighter and believed not to have a transformer.
Lets now explain how to calculate the right capacity of inverter for your home or office. The first thing is that you have to know the average amount of electricity you consume in your house or office as the case may be. This can be ascertained by knowing the rated power of the appliances in your home i.e the power consumption of various appliances in your home ( like; fans, TV set, Bulbs, Radio, AC, e.t.c.). Usually, the wattage of various appliances is written on them or in the manual. When you know the rated power of the different appliances in your home, you sum it all up together. This gives an idea of the capacity of the inverter your home will require to power your loads.
There are different capacities of inverter, ranging from 900va, 1000va, 1500va, 2000va, 3000va, 10,000va, 20,000va and so on.
Let us do some simple calculations here.
Taken that you have the following appliances in your house which you want to run on inverter; 2 Fans, 4 bulbs, 1 radio & 1 tv set.
The power consumed by these items is listed below:
2 Fan – 60 Watts
4 bulbs – 20 watts
3 radio – 20 watts
2 Television -105 watts
1 decoder – 30 watts
The total power requirement is therefore; ( 2*60 +4*20 + 3*20 +2*105 +1*30 ) = 500 watt.
Now to determine the capacity of the inverter you need you should know inverters are rated in either VA or KVA. VA is a volt-ampere rating while KVA is a kilovolt ampere.1 KVA equals 1000 VA. No inverter works at 100% efficiency. Usually, the efficiency of inverters ranges between 60% and 80%.
To calculate the VA rating of the inverter; Power supplied (or VA rating of the inverter) = Power requirement ( power consumed by types of equipment in watts) / Power factor (efficiency). Since the average value of power factor or efficiency is 0.7
Power of inverter (VA) = 500/0.7 = 714.3 VA. For this at least your home will require a minimum of 1000 VA inverters. Note that you do not run your inverter at 100% of its capacity.
At this point, you should be able to determine the right capacity of the inverter for you using the procedure above. It is paramount that you understand that inverters are also rated in watts and kilowatts. All you just have to do is convert from one unit to the other. And you also know that there are transformer-based inverters and transformerless inverters.
For more questions, contact Sure Solar sales personnel on 09167379793. You can also shop for various capacities on our website www.suresolar.ng