Understand the Difference – Auto Batteries vs. Inverter Batteries

Yes, they are all batteries, but they work differently. Inverter batteries offer AC current needed to power your appliances when you are off-grid. Inverters are designed to offer small amounts of power for a long period of time. They have a lower number of plates that are thinner than those of the auto batteries. That way, it means the volume of the electrolyte will be more, increasing the amount of time needed for the chemical reaction to produce current.

The electrolyte volume of the inverter batteries is more so that the chemical reaction takes more time to produce current.  Auto batteries, on the other hand are designed to offer a large amount of power needed to start the engine. It consists of more plates that are packed closely to increase surface area for chemical reaction. That way, it can produce a large amount of power in a short time.

Once the engine starts running his alternator takes care of the rest and also recharges the battery to its full capacity.

What are the different types of battery inverters out there?

The life and performance of your inverter highly depends on the type of battery you are using. Inverter batteries come in different shapes and designs and can be classified into:

  • Maintenance-free batteries – Unlike lead-acid batteries, these batteries are sealed. That means they don’t require regular electrolyte top up or checks. They cost more than their lead-acid counterparts. However, they don’t last as long. 

Positives are:

  • Do not require electrolyte check
    No need for water toppings
     Safer
     No maintenance needs
     faster charging
     No battery emissions
     can be placed in any orientation

Like its counterpart, they also have few drawbacks, such as:

  • Costly
    have a shorter life
  • Tubular batteries – They are a highly efficient and popular option for use on most inverters. The design is complex, efficient topnotch, low maintenance, and lasts longer. They also cost more.

 

Positives are:

  • Great efficiency
    Highly reliable
    Longer operational life
     Low maintenance
     Suitable for heavy-duty applications and frequent power cuts

Negatives are:

  • Complex design
    Costly
  • Lead-acid batteries: These are the most common types of inverter batteries used. They are one of the oldest types of rechargeable batteries. The lead-acid batteries consist of two electrodes dipped in the electrolyte solution. The electrodes are lead and lead dioxide, hence the name lead-acid batteries. These two electrodes immersed in sulphuric acid causes the chemical reactions that generate DC current.

 Positive features are:

Rechargeable
 Lightweight
 Economical
 produces a large amount of current

Some of their cons are:

 Needs regular maintenance
 Need water toppings regularly
 Releases harmful gases during charging and discharging
 Needs regular electrolyte check

Whenever you decide to buy a new inverter or upgrade your old one, choosing the right one for your home other essentialities are different from each other. is always a challenge. You do not just buy any inverter from a shop or the same inverter you saw in someone else’s home as every home’s power requirement, inverter’s load capacity, and so, before buying an inverter, get the basics of choosing an inverter right. Here we are stating some essential factors to take into consideration while going for a perfect buy for your home.

  1. Consider your power requirement:This is the most basic thing to consider while choosing an inverter for your home. In simple words, you need to decide the appliances and gadgets you want to run on this reliable power source at the time of power failure.
  2. Find the VA rating of your inverter: VA stands for the volt-ampere rating. It is the voltage and current supplied by the inverter to the equipment. If the inverter operates with 100% efficiency, this means that the power requirement of the appliances and power supplied by the inverter is the same. But this is ideally not possible, and this efficiency is known as the power factor of an inverter. Thus, the combination of your power requirement and inverter’s power factor decides the VA ratings of an inverter.
  3. Choice of battery: The battery is the backbone of an inverter system. The life and performance of an inverter system are very much dependent on battery quality. The battery capacity is measured in Ampere hours (Ah) i.e. for how many hours can the battery run at eh required current. A simple calculation of battery capacity is done with the power requirement, back-up hours required and the voltage of the battery. This simple calculation will save you from any misleading information.

Now at a glance, let us see some of the common inverter problems. This might be an indication for you to replace the old set with a new one.

  • Inverter not turning on: This can be due to several factors like the disconnected battery, loose terminals of the battery, tripped inverter, discharged battery, DC fuse blown, etc.
  • Battery not getting charged properly: This also could be because of several factors like a dead battery, loose battery connections, melted fuse, etc.
  • Shortened back up time: It can be due to too much power consumption or not enough time for the battery to be charged fully. Also, when the battery has low level of electrolyte, the back-up time is shortened. Rusty terminals, old battery and deposition of white ash on the terminals can also be some of the reasons.
  • Continuous beeping of alarm: This can be due to excess of power load on the inverter or a stuck cooling fan.

Best Solar Inverters to Buy

  1. Felicity Solar 10KVA / 48V Solar Inverter

If you are thinking of building a solar power system, this FL-IVP10048-10000VA solar inverter from Felicity is a good choice.

This product is not just capable of home and office applications, but can also handle industrial application. You can start a motor of up to 3HP with this device.

Price: ₦ 460,000

  1. Prag 3.5KVA / 48V Solar Inverter

Prag is a renowned manufacturer of solar inverters with the company’s products used in many countries and raking up quite a number of positive reviews and commendations.

Prag’s 3.5kVA / 48V solar inverter is one of the best 3.5kVA inverters money can buy you either for personal, office, or factory use.

This solar inverter is made to effectively power almost all home appliances, computers and other office equipment, petrol dispensing machines, and other industrial equipment.

Price: ₦ 197,000

  1. Luminous 1.5kVA / 24V Solar Inverter

Generally, 1.5kVA inverters are best suited for use in the home or perhaps small offices because they provide less power than their other counterparts with bigger outputs. However, 1.5kVA inverters still manage to provide high power efficiency and long back up duration.

Talking about the best 1.5kVA inverters and best solar inverters at large, this Luminous 1.5kVA inverter is worthy of mention. You should also know that they are relatively more affordable and easier to maintain.

Selling price of this luminous inverter hovers around NGN

Price: ₦64,000.

  Mercury 5KVA / 24V Spirit plus Solar Hybrid Inverter

If you are in need of a solar inverter that for use in your medium or large-sized office or business, to load power-intensive equipment, or for household usage, this Mercury 5kVA/24V inverter, as well as these 5KVA inverters, will do the job just fine.

The Mercury 5kVA inverter comes with inverter, AC, and Solar charger mode and is trusted to conveniently provide long hours of uninterrupted power supply.

This, however, comes at a price —a monetary investment of more than NGN 245,000— 310,000 just likes every other high-capacity solar inverters

  1. Blue gate 10KVA / 192V Solar Inverter

This is another high-capacity solar inverter usually used in big offices, companies, factories, construction sites, and other power-hungry machines like medical equipment, elevators etc. as an alternate power backup.

Unlike some of the best 10KVA diesel generators, this Blue Gate 10kVA solar inverter is a cheaper, better and pollution-free alternative and investment.

Using energies from the sun, utility company or generators, this high-capacity inverter from Blue Gate provide clean energy for very lengthy periods.

Cost price of this Blue Gate 10kVA solar inverter and other inverters of equivalent sizes usually range between NGN 480,000 to NGN 500,000.

  1. Luminous 850VA/12V Solar Hybrid Inverter

This is another product from Luminous, but unlike the one above, this one is a low-capacity solar inverter (850VA) — can only power few household appliances for a short period of time.

It is one of the best solar inverters if you are looking for affordable and entry level models. It is, however, a good investment for those looking to save on electricity bills and moving a step closer to constant power supply but on a low budget.

This inverter only requires a one-time investment which is barely above NGN 50,000. The Luminous 850VA solar inverter delivers both AC and DC output, intelligent fuzzy logic charging technology, and protection against overload, deep discharge, short-circuit, and low battery

The above-listed inverters are some of the best solar inverters that can put an end to your power/electricity supply troubles and struggles.

However, if you are buying for a recreational vehicle (RV) a more affordable modified sine wave solar inverter might be all you need. Just hook it up with your RV solar panels and you are good to go.

There are so many solar inverters out there and doesn’t matter how much your budget is, or how big/small your power requirements are, you will definitely find one that will meet your needs. We, however, recommend that you read up some vital things to know before going on inverter shopping.