Nigeria Inverter Buying Guide

Inverter buying guide

Why you need an inverter?

 

Power outages are common in Nigeria and a good inverter and battery can be priceless during such events.   It can be very frustrating when you are watching your favourite program on TV and everything suddenly goes black.  With an inverter and battery, you can have uninterrupted power supply without the noise and pollution of a generator.

But how do you choose the right ones?  Which factors are important to consider when buying an Inverter and battery.

There are literally thousands of branded inverters and batteries on the Nigerian market.   If you choose an inverter and battery with the wrong specification for your Use Case, you could end up with a very expensive mess.

The Nigeria inverter buying guide will arm you with the information you need to make the right choice for your own individual circumstances.  

Inverter Type

There is two main type of inverters available on the market.  Modified Sine Wave and Pure Sine Wave.   If you wish to power small household appliances like lights, TV,s and fans. Modified Sine Wave inverters are affordable and have high efficiency. They will provide you with power comparable (but not identical) to what you get from NEPA.

 If you would like to run larger appliances like a fridge, freezer, AC or medical equipment you should buy a Pure Sine Wave inverter.   They are ideal for motor startups,  make little or no noise  and give power quality equivalent to what you get from NEPA, however, Pure Sine Wave inverter can cost twice as much as an equivalent Modified Sine Wave Inverter

Inverter Size

To choose the right inverter size for your needs, calculate the total wattage of all the electrical appliances you would like to run on the inverter.   This can be achieved by checking the power rating label found on each appliance and adding up the total wattage. You can find out the wattage of your appliances by checking the markings on them or by reading the user manuals.  If you wish to keep your total cost down,  it is advisable to run only your essential appliances on the inverter.  The following is an example:

 

Equipment Common Energy Consumption in Watts
Laptop 20W
Ceiling Fan 50W
DSTV 20W
Televisions 150W
Desktop Computer 85W
4 Energy Saving Bulbs 60W
TOTAL 385W

 

We recommend that you buy an inverter twice the size of your total energy requirements so that you have extra capacity and do not run the risk of overloading your inverter.

Battery Bank

Batteries are required to store energy from NEPA, Generator or a renewable energy source e.g solar panels.  Batteries are an essential part of any power backup system and the performance and longevity of your inverter system will largely be dependent on the quality of the batteries you use.

The minimum required size of your battery bank will be determined by the voltage requirements of your inverter.  A  12-volt inverter, for example,  requires 12 volts and will work if you connect it to a single 12v battery.   A 24-volt inverter will require 24 volts, which you can achieve by connecting two12 volt batteries in series.

Think of a battery like a bucket of energy.   It will only hold a certain amount and no amount of praying and hoping will make hold more.  Battery capacities are typically given in Ampere Hour (AH), specifically indicating the inverter’s current supply rate per hour of operation, for instance, a 200 AH inverter battery can deliver 200AH of current for every 60 minutes of operations.

The most common inverter capacity batteries available in Nigeria are 12v 100AH and 200AH.

The minimum required battery bank size may or may not be enough to meet your needs.  You can determine the correct sizing for your home by using the following formula.

Amp rating of battery x inverter voltage (assuming 80% efficiency ) ÷ load wattage.

Example:

200ah (Amp rating of battery)  x 24v  (Voltage of inverter) = 4800  assuming 80% efficiency  3840  ÷ 385 watts (Load) = approximately 9  hours.

The above result is based on a continuous 385 watts load, in reality, the backup time could be increased significantly by managing the number of appliances you have on at any given time.   For example, you may decide to only turn on your TV, when your favourite programs are on.

By adopting such a disciplined approach you could save a substantial amount of money by starting with a much smaller less expensive battery bank.  You can always add more batteries later on if your requirements change.  We do not charge for installation, so long as you purchase your system components from mercurydirect.com.ng

Battery Type

Even though inverters are run by lead acid batteries, those typically used in vehicles are not compatible with inverters because those types of batteries are built for delivering exceptionally high currents for short spans of time, for example, starting the ignitions of vehicles.

Dry Cell Deep Cycle Inverter batteries are convenient for inverter system use because they require absolutely no maintenance.   These types of batteries are perfect for home or-or small office applications where regular battery maintenance is not feasible.  They have a longer shelf than Wet Cell Deep Cycle batteries and can be left sitting around for long periods without use, with no detriment to performance.

Tubular Wet Cell Deep Cycle batteries come equipped with sophisticated designs, which ensure excellent electrical efficiency and increased lifespan.  They can often go on working for 10 years or more, however, they can be very expensive to maintain and should not be left sitting around for long periods of time without use.   Like the muscles of the body, they need regular use to maintain optimal performance.

They come with caps which you will have to remove every 3 to 6 months to add distilled water and they generate hydrogen gas while charging which needs to be well ventilated outside.

Inverter Battery Brands

There are a lot of inverter battery brands available on the Nigerian market. The problem is that the majority of these batteries are relatively low-quality compared to those from dedicated inverter battery manufacturers. This is why most experts recommend investing in a battery from reputable manufacturers such as Mercury.

Inverter Efficiency and Battery Charging

Efficient inverters like the ones sold on mercurydirect.com.ng  draw minimum energy from your distro or gen to fully charge your batteries, while non-energy efficient types waste a significant amount of energy during charging sessions, leading to high NEPA bills.

Warranties and Guarantees

A warranty simply means the manufacturer will be willing to provide maintenance and repair of certain components for a specific number of years or months if a malfunction occurs, while a guarantee stipulates a brand new replacement if faulty.

Due to the high cost of Deep Cycles batteries, it is always recommended that you invest in a brand new unit so you can take advantage of the guarantee and warranty, should there be a malfunction.  Mercury batteries are sold with a one year guarantee and warranty.  meaning you will get a new replacement in the unlikely event your batteries become faulty within the first year.

 

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