What is a Grid Powered Inverter system?

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Posted by on Saturday October 17, 2015 at 13:4:55:

What is a grid powered inverter system? Well, in this context, it is an electric power system that makes use an an inverter connected to the electric grid.

An electric Grid in this case refers to the regular power that is normally supplied by the Power company and in Nigeria, this refers to the electrical power supplied by NEPA or Power holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN).

Many people in Nigeria have started hearing about inverters and how it can power homes in the absence of electricity from the grid meaning that even if they were connected to a Power company that cannot yet supply up to 24 hrs of electricity non stop, they can still have power for up to 24 hours thanks to a grid powered inverter system. However, not many people really understand how it works or how to get it installed at their homes or offices.

Power inverters however don't generate power on their own but they need power from the grid in order to be able to supply power but the only thing is that they store power by means of a DC battery connected to it for later use.

So, a regular Power inverter system in Nigeria makes use of a Depp Cycle battery, an inverter and power supply from NEPA for some hours before it would be able to power your home or office in the absence of electricity. The inverter makes life a bit more comfortable by providing you with electricity so that you never have to run out of power when doing something importing like watching a favourite show on TV.

I have a friend who bought a UPS machine to use for his TV and Cable TV(e.g. DSTV) decoder so that he would keep watching tv even when NEPA takes light but he always seems unsatisfied when it doesn't last for more than 10 minutes and I advised him to just get a grid powered inverter so that he can even watch it for 4 hrs or more depending on how deep his pocket it. When I told him that the cost of a Deep cycle battery that he needs apart from the inverter costs about N50,000 in the market, he said he was not ready for that sort of investment. I guess some Nigerians may tend to think that way by complaining that it cost a lot to even set up a low budget inverter system but if you really do want to improve your life and stop using noise making, fuel guzzling and air polluting mechanical generators all the time, a grid powered inverter system is something you should invest in considering that you are going to use it for the long term.

An inverter doesn't generate power on it's own or would I say independently as it requires power from a source such as the grid, generator or a renewable source like solar panels so that it can store that power in a battery. What the inverter basically does it retrieves the power from the battery(D.C.) and converts it into a form(A.C.) that would be useful for most of your electronic devices.

The more the capacity of the batteries you connect to your inverter, the most it may probably cost you but the more the power it can store and hence the longer the time it can keep supplying you with power even after a power cut. Power cuts are common in Nigeria and that's why people get so excited and even shout "Up NEPA" when lights come on. Imagine that!

Since a grid powered Inverter system takes it power source from the main, it may also increase your electricity consumption for the month and your electricity bill payable to the power company if your tariff was based on a Pay as you use basis.

Many people who use an inverter in Nigeria tend to use grid powered inverter systems in Nigeria because that is like the entry point and they also want to reduce costs. This is because they no longer have to worry about investing in an alternative power source like Solar panels since it would cost them more money but a Solar powered inverter system may be the only solution in isolated places where a power grid doesn't exist yet.

What are the basic things needed to run a Grid Powered Inverter system? Well, you'll need the following: Power supply, Inverter, deep cycle batteries, battery enclosure, heavy duty storage rack, Fuse and fuse holder. The most important ones are the Power supply, inverter, deep cycle batteries, fuse and fuse box. The heavy duty rack and battery enclosure are optional but not the necessary things.

Once you have power supply from the grid, your inverter would be able to store power in the batteries by charging it and when power goes off, it automatically would start to provide power to your connected electronic devices for as long as the power in the batteries can support it.

When running a grid powered inverter system, it's safer if you have a separate room or spot that is well ventilated and cool for operating the system. The setup location should be airy, contain no flammables or combustibles and not have too much human traffic.

What type of inverter should you buy? Which Deep cycle battery should you use? How many batteries are needed? All that could more easily be answered if you already know your power needs and your budget. You can setup one that can power 300 watts, 600 watts or 900 watts but you should know that the more power you want supplied, the more batteries you may need and the more it's going to cost you. Power inverter companies in Nigeria normally have a chart they provide to prospective clients to allow them know what capacity they need based on their power needs. So, to Power a TV and decoder for up to 4 hrs would cost less and definitely need less capital that powering similar electronic devices for up to 8hrs.

One thing I like about Power inverters over fuel consuming electrical generators is that they are not as noisy as the latter. Sure, they probably make a little humming sound when they operate but that's negligible to the noise my neighbour's generators normally make at night. Why do some people even sleep with their generators on throughout the night even though they just want to power their electric fans? A power inverter can be less noisy and still power those fans more economically for up to 9 hrs or more.

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