Working from home has its advantages, you have relatively flexible working hours, save money on transportation, clothing and office space, don’t encounter hold ups inorder to get to work etc. Don’t be fooled into thinking that working from home is a walk in the park. I’ve been working from home for years now and work just as hard as my counterparts who go to an office (sometimes even more).
To work optimally from home, I -for one- require a fast internet connection, a good ambiance (having indoor plants helps with the decor and air purification) and of course electricity. If you work at an office, chances are that the company you work for would make provisions for electricity. If on the other hand you work from home then you’ll have to generate your own electricity. If you happen to get constant electricity then you’re very lucky. If you however get intermittent power supply (like I do) then you should strongly consider getting an inverter set .
How does an Inverter set work?
An inverter set consists of the inverter, battery, cable and equalizer (optional). The inverter regulates the charging of the battery and protects it from surges or over charging. The battery stores the charge. Cables connect the batteries and to the inverter while the equalizer (optional) helps ensure the batteries charge and discharge at the same rate; resulting in efficient charging-discharging cycles and a longer battery life.
What are the advantages of having an inverter set
- No noise, no fumes: Generators can be very noisy, coupled with the fumes. In most cases, you would have to shut a window to keep down the noise or block out the fumes. With an inverter, you don’t have to deal with this. The inverter only hums quietly and doesn’t emit fumes or smoke.
- You spend less on fuel and maintenance: Dry cell inverter batteries are maintenance free, Which means you don’t have to spend money on routine maintenance. With your generator being used less often, you stand to save that extra cash which would’ve gone to fuel or repairs.
- Store electricity for later use: Do you ever feel like you’re not fully utilizing the electricity, especially when its supplied for longer than you expected? Withing 2 hours, your gadgets and power banks are probably already fully charged so you’re left with a lot of unused electricity. With an inverter set, you can store some power for later use, giving you a close-to-steady power supply
- More flexible work routine: One problem with having intermittent power supply is that you often have to dance to the tune of the electricity distributor. Once power is restored, you find that you have to pump water, use the washing machine, use the microwave, charge your devices / work etc. Even if you rely on a generator, its unlikely that you’re able to run it during the very early hours (between 1 & 5 AM) because of the noise. This unpredictable power supply could eat into your work schedule. With an inverter, you can store electricity to be used when you need it. I readily work during the day (when I need to) and into the early hours (when there’s no DISCOS power supply) thanks to my inverter set.
- Its cheaper on the long run: I’ve been using my inverter set for over a year now and the money it has saved me could buy my generator a couple of times over. I agree that the initial cost of setting up an inverter set could be a bit discouraging but you could buy the components in bits like I did, spreading the cost over several months.
- One step closer to renewable energy: With an inverter set in place, you could decide to utilize renewable energy options like Solar or Wind energy.
Can I charge my inverter set using my Generator?
This depends on the capacity of your Generator vs your inverter’s capacity (both in kVA). I wouldn’t advise doing this unless your Generator has a higher net kVA than your inverter (the Generator’s net capacity is usually a bit lower than what’s written on the pack as it’s not 100% efficient) and your inverter supports a wide range of frequencies (from the generator). If your inverter can’t handle the generator’s fluctuating frequency then your battery bank will suffer it.
How much would it cost to get an inverter set?
You first need to determine what capacity of inverter you need. The kVA rating of the inverter tells you which and how many electrical components you can use at a time. The AH rating of the battery (set) tells you how long your current inverter load (components making use of the inverter power) can run for. Lets say you have a 200AH battery bank, this means that you can run 200 Amps for 1 hour or 1 Amp for 200 hours (assuming there’s 100% efficiency). As you can see, your load determines how much battery uptime you get.
How can I get more uptime from my inverter battery
As explained above, you would need to reduce your inverter load either by using fewer electrical components or going for energy efficient electrical components (highly recommended). A 60W bulb consumes the same energy as five 12W bulbs or 20 3W bulbs. You should also power off components not in active use to save energy.
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