Choosing a Battery Inverter

battery inverter

A battery inverter is a vital part of most solar power systems. It changes direct current (DC) electricity from the batteries to alternating current (AC) that is compatible with most appliances and devices. This enables solar power to be used for basic power needs, such as lighting, computers and TVs, and to provide backup power during extended outages caused by storms or other circumstances.

Inverters are available in various voltages and capacities to suit individual applications, with prices ranging from $150-$800 for lower-end models intended for use by small portable devices. High-end inverters can cost as much as $10,000 for solutions that are suited to running an entire home off-grid.

Most inverter batteries are deep cycle and offer a long lifespan and reliable performance. They are ideal for off-grid renewable energy because they can be discharged up to 80% before needing to be recharged.

If your system relies on inverters, it’s a good idea to invest in an overcurrent protection device. These devices will blow a fuse or circuit breaker in the event of an overcurrent occurrence, preventing damage and other risks.

Choosing the Right Batteries

There are many different types of inverter batteries available, including: tubular plate, flat plate, lithium-ion and lead-acid. Lithium-ion inverter batteries are a good choice because they are easy to maintain and can deliver a lot of power, making them a popular option for off-grid systems. They also tend to last longer than their lead-acid counterparts.

Capacity is another important factor when selecting an inverter battery. It is commonly referred to as ‘Ah’, and indicates the rate at which the battery can supply current for a given period of time. It is generally recommended that a battery has a capacity of 100 Ah for most inverters.

Air Conditioning

It’s a good idea to have a large inverter battery if you intend to use your inverter to power air conditioning. For example, a 24 V inverter needs 70 Ah to cool down a cabin within two hours, while a 12 V system requires 140 Ah.

You should always make sure that the inverter you purchase has a battery terminal that is compatible with your specific application. These include ring terminals or stud terminals, which will connect to the positive wire coming from your inverter battery pack. The cable should be as short as possible, ideally 10 feet or less.

Battery Usage Times

When sizing an inverter for an application, it’s essential to consider the average duration of power outages that occur in your area. This is called the ‘backup time’ and depends on the voltage of your inverter and the battery capacity.

Most modern inverters have an advanced battery charger that can charge your batteries for days, weeks or months while you’re off-grid. This feature is especially useful if you are planning to run off-grid for long periods of time.

Inverters are a critical part of most renewable power systems, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how they work and what kind of power they can deliver. This way, you’ll know whether a particular inverter is right for you and your lifestyle.

Dan Mboyane
Author: Dan Mboyane