Need inverter for home - Any options apart from Luminous?


letmein

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Hi everyone,

Recently moved to a new place. Need a new inverter since we're having frequent powercuts. Currently we have an old inverter that is only able to support first floor (where the bedrooms are located).

upload_2019-4-16_9-24-18.png


Noob questions:

1) How good is Luminous? In terms of quality of the product and after sales service. Any other brands I should look at?
Btw, I was out of the loop, apparently Su-kam has shut down... :flushed:

2) I'm looking at this model which is rated for ~4400 watts. I'm used the load calculator at Luminous's site - I assume that this will be sufficient to operate 3 fans + 8 CFL lights + 1 Air-Con + 1 Fridge for 4 hours?

The calculator shows I need 6 "200 Ah at C20" batteries. At Rs. 15,000 for each battery, this will become prohibitively expensive. So I'm wondering if I should buy a higher capacity inverter + a couple of batteries (just for lights + fan) and not run the air-con this year. Over the next year we can keep adding batteries, since the model I shortlisted supports upto 6 batteries - does this make sense?

3) The guy who installed our current inverter did not connect it to 'power'. I'm not sure what the correct term is, but basically all large appliances (AC/ Fridge) do not run when the power goes out. Not sure if we should do the same with the new inverter - what do you guys recommend?

Thanks for reading.
 

vishalrao

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Doh, didn't know Su-kam has closed shop. I am using one of their inverters in UPS mode since last 5 years at least, still going strong. Just had to replace batteries a couple of years ago.
 

vishalrao

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Doh, didn't know Su-kam has closed shop. I am using one of their inverters in UPS mode since last 5 years at least, still going strong. Just had to replace batteries a couple of years ago.
 

puns

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1. Luminous is good. So is microtek. Can go for either of them
2. All depends on usage of higher capacity equipments like AC, Fridge etc on backup and how much time you need on backup. Yes, buy a higher kVA Ups and keep adding batteries as needed
3. You can attach higher capacity equipments to inverter as long as it can take the load and you have enough battery to run them. If not, then it will trip and thats not good for equipments.
 

adder

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370cr debt is the reason Su-kam shut down, I guess they couldn't find buyers. Sad news. They where one of the few companies that actually made a product in India, not rebadged.
 
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adder

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@letmein
You can connect Aircon to that inverter, but the backup will depend on the battery.

Before you purchase a inverter, think of the ways you can reduce your power consumption, like going for Led bulbs, BLDC fans.
This alone will help you save in power bills and could potentially downsize your inverter capacity and battery capacity requirement. The reason you need such a high capacity inverter is for your AC, if it's a inverter AC it will not have high starting current, some models can even limit the power draw with a click of the remote. So if you have a old AC, it may be worth to look at replacing them with a modern 5 star Inverter AC, instead of spending a on batteries.

Maintaining six batteries will mean you will need a battery equalizer.
 
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blr_p

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Doh, didn't know Su-kam has closed shop. I am using one of their inverters in UPS mode since last 5 years at least, still going strong. Just had to replace batteries a couple of years ago.
I'm surprised to see they're going into liquidation.

I heard a couple of years ago that this was the case but people also told me the opposite.
 

blr_p

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Hi everyone,

Recently moved to a new place. Need a new inverter since we're having frequent powercuts. Currently we have an old inverter that is only able to support first floor (where the bedrooms are located).

View attachment 79521

Noob questions:

1) How good is Luminous? In terms of quality of the product and after sales service. Any other brands I should look at?
Btw, I was out of the loop, apparently Su-kam has shut down... :flushed:

2) I'm looking at this model which is rated for ~4400 watts. I'm used the load calculator at Luminous's site - I assume that this will be sufficient to operate 3 fans + 8 CFL lights + 1 Air-Con + 1 Fridge for 4 hours?

The calculator shows I need 6 "200 Ah at C20" batteries. At Rs. 15,000 for each battery, this will become prohibitively expensive. So I'm wondering if I should buy a higher capacity inverter + a couple of batteries (just for lights + fan) and not run the air-con this year. Over the next year we can keep adding batteries, since the model I shortlisted supports upto 6 batteries - does this make sense?

3) The guy who installed our current inverter did not connect it to 'power'. I'm not sure what the correct term is, but basically all large appliances (AC/ Fridge) do not run when the power goes out. Not sure if we should do the same with the new inverter - what do you guys recommend?

Thanks for reading.
1. Chaos has a lower capacity Cruze and is happy with it. I know someone with a 3.5kVA variant of the same model and its ok. Service is going to depend on what needs to be fixed. Keep up to a month for resolution is what i can gather going through their twitter feed.

2. Ideal would be to measure your load as your estimations will be more accurate and it will help with trouble shooting later. Get a clamp meter if you can. That meter can even measure start up current for appliances with motors. Or borrow one. Maybe your electrician has one.

You cannot buy a high capacity inverter and use fewer batteries. You will have to decide upfront what system you need, 2 or 3 or 4 battery system. And for that you need a good understanding of what your load will be with some extra headroom

Can you describe your present system ? how many batteries and what is inverter capacity.

3. He didn't connect it to the heating circuit as those are high draw. Usually people only connect to the lighting circuit. So anything plugged into 6A power outlets, lights & fans. Nothing with 15A plugs.

Generally speaking people do not attach 15A appliances to an inverter. But this depends on requirement and how long your power cuts are.
 

blr_p

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Maintaining six batteries will mean you will need a battery equalizer.
I don't think these cruze models have an equalize feature. People just replace the whole lot of batteries when warranty runs out.

Some one i know has the 4 battery model. Inverter + 4 batteries in a cupboard kept out in the balcony. They had 4 x 150AH luminous red. This is the cheapest tubular Luminous has. It only comes with a 18 month full replacement warranty remaining 18 months is pro rated. With the load they're using around 1200W, the back up when new should be 3.5h. But just two years later the back up now is less than half an hour.

With exchange it will be 40k to get another set of 4 luminous reds. Water maintenance hasn't been regular so i expect that is the reason for short life.
 

adder

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I don't think these cruze models have an equalize feature. People just replace the whole lot of batteries when warranty runs out.

Some one i know has the 4 battery model. Inverter + 4 batteries in a cupboard kept out in the balcony. They had 4 x 150AH luminous red. This is the cheapest tubular Luminous has. It only comes with a 18 month full replacement warranty remaining 18 months is pro rated. With the load they're using around 1200W, the back up when new should be 3.5h. But just two years later the back up now is less than half an hour.

With exchange it will be 40k to get another set of 4 luminous reds. Water maintenance hasn't been regular so i expect that is the reason for short life.
The water maintenance coupled with kept out in balcony means accelerated battery degradation due to temperature and dust. Even flooded batteries are effected by temperature and in summer even with a wooden cupboard the ambient temperature inside will be 45c or more.

Now with su-kam gone, one can get Chinese battery equalizers but without display but they get the job done.
 

blr_p

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The water maintenance coupled with kept out in balcony means accelerated battery degradation due to temperature and dust. Even flooded batteries are effected by temperature and in summer even with a wooden cupboard the ambient temperature inside will be 45c or more.
I should measure this. Have a pair of wireless thermometers

Now with su-kam gone, one can get Chinese battery equalizers but without display but they get the job done.
How often do you have to do the equalisation
 

rajil.s

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I dont recommend Microtek since their VA rating is much lower than what they can actually bear.

Is Luminous Cruze 2kVA model actually 2kVA?
 

letmein

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1. Luminous is good. So is microtek. Can go for either of them
2. All depends on usage of higher capacity equipments like AC, Fridge etc on backup and how much time you need on backup. Yes, buy a higher kVA Ups and keep adding batteries as needed
3. You can attach higher capacity equipments to inverter as long as it can take the load and you have enough battery to run them. If not, then it will trip and thats not good for equipments.
1) Thanks will check out Microtek as well
2)/3) For now, let's assume it will just mix of CFL/ LED lights + fans. No ACs or Fridge. The entire house won't have fans/ lights running all the time. The most common scenario would be 3 lights + 2 fans on the first floor. If we have guests over, it would double (i.e. ground + first)
This will take down the consumption significantly.

Assuming the inverter does trip (e.g. in case the AC is working) - is this harmful for the device/ batteries? Should the inveter be '"off" by default in this case?
Assuming we're fine with the additional effort of shutting most of the devices and re-starting the inverter manually.


@letmein
You can connect Aircon to that inverter, but the backup will depend on the battery.

Before you purchase a inverter, think of the ways you can reduce your power consumption, like going for Led bulbs, BLDC fans.
This alone will help you save in power bills and could potentially downsize your inverter capacity and battery capacity requirement. The reason you need such a high capacity inverter is for your AC, if it's a inverter AC it will not have high starting current, some models can even limit the power draw with a click of the remote. So if you have a old AC, it may be worth to look at replacing them with a modern 5 star Inverter AC, instead of spending a on batteries.

Maintaining six batteries will mean you will need a battery equalizer.
Appreciate your inputs, this is a new house and most lighting/ electrical fittings have been done. And power cuts are the norm. Lights are LED bulbs, not sure about the fans. ACs are split 3 star rated. But as I mentioned above, I'm dropping the idea of running ACs on inverter.

Can you elaborate on the need for a battery equalizer? Is it so that one battery does not draw all the load? How much will this cost? Will it be needed if we're not going for AC/ Fridge support?


Doh, didn't know Su-kam has closed shop. I am using one of their inverters in UPS mode since last 5 years at least, still going strong. Just had to replace batteries a couple of years ago.
370cr debt is the reason Su-kam shut down, I guess they couldn't find buyers. Sad news. They where one of the few companies that actually made a product in India, not rebadged.
Su-Kam hit by Indian jukam जुकाम!!
I'm surprised to see they're going into liquidation.
I heard a couple of years ago that this was the case but people also told me the opposite.
Yeah. Our first inverter for our old house was a Su-Kam. RIP.
 

letmein

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1. Chaos has a lower capacity Cruze and is happy with it. I know someone with a 3.5kVA variant of the same model and its ok. Service is going to depend on what needs to be fixed. Keep up to a month for resolution is what i can gather going through their twitter feed.

2. Ideal would be to measure your load as your estimations will be more accurate and it will help with trouble shooting later. Get a clamp meter if you can. That meter can even measure start up current for appliances with motors. Or borrow one. Maybe your electrician has one.

You cannot buy a high capacity inverter and use fewer batteries. You will have to decide upfront what system you need, 2 or 3 or 4 battery system. And for that you need a good understanding of what your load will be with some extra headroom

Can you describe your present system ? how many batteries and what is inverter capacity.

3. He didn't connect it to the heating circuit as those are high draw. Usually people only connect to the lighting circuit. So anything plugged into 6A power outlets, lights & fans. Nothing with 15A plugs.

Generally speaking people do not attach 15A appliances to an inverter. But this depends on requirement and how long your power cuts are.
1) OK, that's good to know.

2) In my reply to puns, I mentioned that I've dropped the idea of running heavy appliances from the inverter. The most common scenario would be 3 lights + 2 fans on the first floor. So I can even go for the lower 2.5 KVA model.

You cannot buy a high capacity inverter and use fewer batteries. You will have to decide upfront what system you need, 2 or 3 or 4 battery system. And for that you need a good understanding of what your load will be with some extra headroom
This is conflicting with whats puns said, any of you gents want to clear it up? :grin:

3) Thanks for the explanation, I think we will go for the same approach with the new inverter. Only fans and lights.


We also spoke to a guy who installed our current inverter, he recommended going for a three-phase inverter for the entire house. I think this will be overkill since we are not running any heavy appliances correct? The 3 phase inverters are listed for 1 lac+

Also I believe the Cruze models are offline inverters - so I think there will be a small delay before the inverter kicks in. This should not mater much, right?
 

6pack

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Over the next year we can keep adding batteries, since the model I shortlisted supports upto 6 batteries - does this make sense?
I don't think we can mix and match batteries with different ages / usage / AH or combinations. All batteries need to be of same capacity and age. So if you want 6 x 100AH batteries, you need to add them all new when setting up the inverter. You can't start with 3 x 100AH batteries now and add 3 more batteries later. It will lead to mismatched charging in batteries.

You cannot buy a high capacity inverter and use fewer batteries. You will have to decide upfront what system you need, 2 or 3 or 4 battery system. And for that you need a good understanding of what your load will be with some extra headroom
what blr_p said is true. you need to take entire wattage requirements first and then choose the system. All 1KVa batteries require minimum 2 batteries since higher capacity UPS always require more voltage than the 12V single battery. The higher the UPS rating the higher the number of batteries in the system.
 
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adder

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Assuming the inverter does trip (e.g. in case the AC is working) - is this harmful for the device/ batteries? Should the inveter be '"off" by default in this case?
Assuming we're fine with the additional effort of shutting most of the devices and re-starting the inverter manually.


Appreciate your inputs, this is a new house and most lighting/ electrical fittings have been done. And power cuts are the norm. Lights are LED bulbs, not sure about the fans. ACs are split 3 star rated. But as I mentioned above, I'm dropping the idea of running ACs on inverter.

Can you elaborate on the need for a battery equalizer? Is it so that one battery does not draw all the load? How much will this cost? Will it be needed if we're not going for AC/ Fridge support?
If the inverter trips due to overload it won't harm the inverter but it would certainly will have a negative effect on the components if you do it daily.

When you have two or more batteries connected in series, when you charge and discharge them not all of them will be in the same state of charge, they will vary and this variation will increase as the battery ages. If the inverter has 6 batteries then I can guarantee you that the batteries will be out of sync of each other within a year, especially when you say power cuts are the norm.
A Equalizer will simply keep the batteries in equal state of charge by taking the current from the overcharged battery and passing it on to the under charged battery.
Without a equalizer, a overcharged battery will start venting releasing some nasty potentially harmful gases, while the under charged battery will also cause sulphation.
So anything over 2 batteries a equalizer is a must.
 

blr_p

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The most common scenario would be 3 lights + 2 fans on the first floor. So I can even go for the lower 2.5 KVA model.
3 x 40W + 2 x 75 = 270W. Double that for the second floor and your load is 600W. How much more load do you anticipate over that?

The 2.5KVA model can handle a load of 2000W. This model uses three batteries
The 2KVA model can handle 1600W and needs two batteries

This is conflicting with whats puns said, any of you gents want to clear it up? :grin:
Can't add batteries later as 6pack said

We also spoke to a guy who installed our current inverter, he recommended going for a three-phase inverter for the entire house. I think this will be overkill since we are not running any heavy appliances correct? The 3 phase inverters are listed for 1 lac+
If you don't run AC's then you won't need a 3 phase inverter. The higher capacity cruze models can handle an AC and are not 3phase.

An alternative could also be a generator if that is feasible.

Also I believe the Cruze models are offline inverters - so I think there will be a small delay before the inverter kicks in. This should not mater much, right?
Cruze has two modes eco & UPS. The eco mode has a longer switch over so you would see lights blink. The UPS mode will be faster and more immediate. A PC won't switch off in UPS mode but might in eco mode.[DOUBLEPOST=1555500044][/DOUBLEPOST]
Assuming the inverter does trip (e.g. in case the AC is working) - is this harmful for the device/ batteries? Should the inveter be '"off" by default in this case?
Assuming we're fine with the additional effort of shutting most of the devices and re-starting the inverter manually.
If you attach inverter to the lighting circuit only it will never trip. The headroom is 2-3 times above your load
 
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blr_p

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I'd leave that choice to the OP. This is his thread. I'm fine with things as is.