Inverters don't go under the fit and forget category. Like any other home appliances, maintenance of inverters and associated batteries are paramount to get optimum benefit. This guide has been developed based on our many years of experience with installing and operating inverter systems. We urge you to digest and apply these points to get the most out of your inverter system.
Every device be it Mechanical, Electrical or Electronic appreciates a rest once in a while, same with your inverter system. Turn off your device at least once a day for 30 minutes on week days. A healthy practice that we recommend is, on a daily basis when you leave the house for work, school or to run errands, always turn off the inverter from the front power switch.
If your inverter is used to power your office and mostly active during the day or evenings, ensure that you turn the inverter off from the front power switch at the close of business and let the inverter charge its batteries. If the inverter did not charge during business off hours, ensure you charge it first when business resumes before attempting to use the system again.
Let the inverter charge its batteries fully with the inverter power button in the OFF position daily. This helps ensure deep charging and longer battery life.
Never leave your batteries discharged (Empty) for more than 3-5hrs. Always ensure that you charge the unit to FULL any time the batteries are completely discharged (or even just 50% discharged).
If unit will not be used for about 24hrs plus, ensure batteries are fully charged then turn off the unit from the front power switch to avoid battery discharge.
When travelling for a long period of time say 8weeks plus (and you know the system will not be used, contact a technician to come and disconnect all the batteries. (Please ensure batteries are fully charged before disconnection)
For sealed maintenance free lead acid batteries, the Depth of Discharge "DOD" plays a major role in the life of your batteries. Every battery has life cycles. (A cycle is, one discharge and one recharge or vise versa) The deeper you discharge, i.e. the level which you empty (consume the power) the batteries from a fully charged state, the less your battery life cycles. Example: If every time you use your inverter system you discharge from full to zero (empty) you have about 300 cycles. If you discharge from full to 50% every time you use your inverter system you will have about 600 cycles.
Power from the grid (PHCN/NEPA) is better for charging your inverter system provided the power current is good and not unstable. Power from a generator has sometimes been known not to always efficiently charge batteries. Here are some tips for when charging with generators.
Always ensure your generator has the capacity to charge your inverter as well as carry the loads.
Avoid turning on all your appliances when using your generator so a good amount of the current is dedicated to charging your batteries.
Put the inverter OFF from the main switch when charging with your generator.
If your generator is on and you hear that the generator is struggling please reduce the loads on the generator by turning off some appliances. If that doesn't help, put the inverter system in the BY-PASS mood. (note that when on BY-PASS the inverter will not charge its batteries)
The amount of load (appliances the inverter is powering) you put on the inverter determines the duration of backup power time. The more load, the less backup power time you have. The less the load, the more backup power time you will receive. Manage your loads diligently. Do not overload your inverter.
Consider investing in more modern energy efficient appliances, In general, older model appliances for example: Older flat screen TV's or old box TV's consume alot of energy when they operate, while new LED TV's are very energy efficient and a good choice for inverters. Also the larger the TV, the more power it consumes.
Always use energy saving bulbs for all your lighting powered by your inverter. LED bulbs are the lowest consuming bulbs. As a rule of thumb, do not use bulbs rated more that 20W on your inverter.
Appliances with heating elements, such as: Irons, boiling rings, ovens, blow dryers, hot water dispensers, etc are not good for inverters. They draw too much power at once which could affect your batteries.
Air conditioners are a total NO,NO for inverters. Please do not power your AC's with your inverter.