The need for power (electricity) cannot be overemphasized. Almost everything we use and do requires electricity. From basic household use with our electronics such as television, home theatres, DVD , players, air conditioners, to large and small household home and kitchen appliances like the refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, electric cookers and hot plates, pressing irons, blenders, light fixtures to mention a few. Definitely our laptops and phones need to be charged when the batteries drain out.
The importance of power is not just restricted to our homes and individual use. Power is essential for industrial use- production companies, efficient running of businesses, organisations and schools in medical and industrial laboratories.
Due to the epileptic power supply in Nigeria and some other third world countries, the need for an alternative source of power has massive increased tremendously. Manufacturers have taken advantage of the current situation, as there are many brands of generators of different capacities and sizes- there is a generator for everyone- irrespective of your financial status.
Over the years people have resorted to generators to solve the problem of poor power supply, not minding the inconveniences it takes to having one such as increased fuel price or scarcity, the noise and smoke it emits overtime especially in a crowded environment.
With the growth of technology advancement in the world, more innovations arise making life more simplified than never before hence the introduction of inverters.
What Is An Inverter
An inverter is a device which converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). When connected to a battery or a number of batteries, it becomes an integrated system that stores electrical power when there is a power source feeding to it and discharges when there is no power. Therefore a person may charge an inverter system from the normal grid energy source, and then power his or her home appliances when the electricity goes out.
Inverters are also affordable than fuel generators, the days of fuel generators running noisily in households and small business premises all over Nigeria may be nearing its end. Inverter systems have proven to give out better values to consumers than fossil fuel generating sets.
Don’t look at the initial cost of deploying inverter system, some people fall back to their generator because of the one time cost of installing the inverter system.
The ignorance from both government and private consumers about inverters’ cost, maintenance and operational features were the primary reasons people have relegated the potentially revolutionary system into the shadow of generators.
Reasons Why You Need To Start Using Inverters & Dump Your Generators
The long-term cost implication of owing a generator of any size to an inverter of equal size, and informed that inverter owners could save as much as 45 to 60% annually of what they could spend running generators, if they charged and ran their inverters appropriately for the duration.
A fuel powered generator of 0.9 kVA capacity would amount to N472, 600.00 per annum if run for 10 hours per day with the pump price of fuel at N145 per litre, while its counterpart inverter would gulp only about N199, 296.00 if charged for eight hour per day of use, in an entire year. This translates to about 43% in savings.
One of the major drawbacks of a generator is that they can be terribly inefficient and waste a lot of fuel if they’re not used at full capacity load for a long period of time.
“Generators can unnecessarily pollute the environment for a small benefit. For example, if you have a 7kW generator powering your 700W TV/DVD/Surround system, you waste fuel running that big engine for little benefit.
“On the other end of the spectrum, if you start your generator for the 10 minutes it takes to microwave last night’s leftovers, the generator barely gets lukewarm before you’ve shut it down. This can cause carbon buildup on the critical engine components, shortening the life of your generator’s engine. Lastly, generators are heavy and don’t surge very well,”
Turning to inverters, on the plus side inverters are extremely efficient, compared to generators, and only consume DC power in direct relation to the amount of power they put out. Another major benefit is that they are virtually silent compared to generators.
Benefits of inverters over generators
- Inverters are noise-free unlike generators.
- Power inverters offer zero emission.
- Doesn’t require fuel or diesel which is expensive and can be very scarce.
- Uninterrupted supply as some inverters are fully automated saving you the inconvenience of change over switches as with generators.
- Offer lower running cost all you need is to charge your battery.
However, inverters are not a perfect supply since their energy supplies (batteries) are permanently mounted, hard to replenish, and limited. This means that short-term heavy loads (like a microwaveg), or long-term lighter loads (like an entertainment center) are just right for an inverter with the right battery bank.
There is a significant investment in solar panels, an inverter could easily take the place of a generator. This would require a huge initial cost, but the long-term cost of ownership would be less with a solar/battery/inverter system than a generator. While sunshine is free when it’s available, you can’t purchase it from a friendly neighborhood convenience store like fuels.
Although power inverters have huge purchase cost, the recurrent cost is low. In the long run, inverters are cheaper than generators especially when an alternative source of power is greatly relied on.