Inverter damaging CFLs :(


arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Hey guys,

There's no power at my place now. :mad:

I've a Luminous 800VA pure sine wave inverter. This evening, it burned down 2 CFLs :mad: On both times, the CFLs just flickered 3-4 times and got fused within 5 seconds after turning on.

The fans have been making more noise than usual since a few days now. So I've just shut the inverter down. Don't want to risk damage to TV or PC.

What could be the reason? Any inputs will be highly appreciated. Don't want more damage by trying to test different things and figure out what could be the problem.
 

madnav

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

your inverter is supplying current 60Hz (normal is 50Hz that you get from supplied).

most gadgets are compatible with 60Hz too.

caps used along with fan make noise if they are not at their specified Hz.

Hire an electrician to find out if the output of inverter is not beyond 60Hz.

Also

you need not worry about pc, vx450 is versatile along that range. :)
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

Ok I'm going to call the electrician to check it in 1-2 days. But the same inverter has been powering all appliances at home for around 2 yrs now. Does it mean that the output frequency changed due to some defect that happened recently?
 

madnav

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

does the fan make more sound compared to earlier?

im talking about sound which would come when they are being powered by inverter in absence of electricity from supplier.

do the tube lights make the sound too? (they should unless it's an electronic choke)

if the sound is increasing then you better service the inverter. the damage will be severe in devices that invert/convert the power further more (like an FL inverter that is in CFL).
 

adder

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

Well was the inverter in back up mode when it happened?

CFL flicker and burn out for many reason usually low voltage is more harmful then high voltage for CFL.
I have burnt brand new CFLs they flicker and go puff all thanks to the low voltage from the BESCOM the power supplier in bangalore.
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

Yes, the fans have been making about double the noise than before. Before there never was so much noise as it is a Sine wave inverter, but in the last 1-2 weeks the sound has increased quite a lot. Tube light, don't remember as there's hardly any usage at my place, most are CFLs.

Also 1 of fans have been cutting in and out alternatively sometimes since last 2 days when on inverter power, like if we switch on and off the power rapidly. Now when I think of it, my old useless HP 800VA UPS which I had connected to the TV just for surge protection (it doesn't even give 10 secs backup these days) refused to work 2 days back in inverter power, it was cutting in and out like the fan. I thought it was an issue with the UPS.

Seems the inverter is screwed. :(

adder said:
Well was the inverter in back up mode when it happened?

CFL flicker and burn out for many reason usually low voltage is more harmful then high voltage for CFL.
I have burnt brand new CFLs they flicker and go puff all thanks to the low voltage from the BESCOM the power supplier in bangalore.
Yes mate, there was no power and it happened when I switched on the CFLs in inverter power. As of now, the inverter is shut down.
 

adder

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

If you have a multi meter check the output voltage when in back up mode if you don't have a multimeter. Then use the HP UPS and in the software check the input voltage.
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

^ I don't have multi meter and the HP UPS doesn't work anymore on inverter power. However, now I checked it with APC UPS and in powerchute software it's showing 202-214V, which is pretty normal as before.

Strangely though, I found a weird relationship between APC UPS and the noise from fans and HP UPS not working. It goes like this,

1 - If the APC UPS is plugged in to the wall socket and the plug is switched on, regardless of the UPS switched on or not, the fans do not make noise and HP UPS works in inverter power.
2 - If the APC UPS is unplugged or the wall socket connected to it not switched on, the fans make abnormal noise and HP UPS doesn't work anymore on inverter power.

How the hell is APC UPS plug switched on and fan noise related?
 

madnav

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

arun687 said:
^ I don't have multi meter and the HP UPS doesn't work anymore on inverter power. However, now I checked it with APC UPS and in powerchute software it's showing 202-214V, which is pretty normal as before.

Strangely though, I found a weird relationship between APC UPS and the noise from fans and HP UPS not working. It goes like this,

1 - If the APC UPS is plugged in to the wall socket and the plug is switched on, regardless of the UPS switched on or not, the fans do not make noise and HP UPS works in inverter power.

2 - If the APC UPS is unplugged or the wall socket connected to it not switched on, the fans make abnormal noise and HP UPS doesn't work anymore on inverter power.

How the hell is APC UPS plug switched on and fan noise related?
you can remove that ups from condition and put in any high load appliance like TV, PC (to what much load it actually is consuming) and still fans will make lower noise.

the noise reduces as the load increases on the inverter.

if you have noticed...and if this situation has been there.

Switch of all appliances when on backup mode. make sure the inverter has a lot of backup.

Start the fan, it must be spinning faster (at same regulator level) while on inverter backup compared to direct power.

This will slowly ruin the coil in fan.. the noise will become due to mechanical purpose after some months of usage in this condition. and you will have to repair/replace coil.

It is time you shall consider fixing inverter problems.
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

I just tried it and fan is making a lot of noise and running at 25% the normal speed. So surely the inverter is gone. Will check with some electrician to see if it can be fixed. I hope the battery should be intact as it's a tubular one and barely 2 yrs old now.
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Re: Inverter damaging CFSs :(

Update:

The inverter was in warranty so complained and Luminous technician came and checked out the output using multimeter. It was a freaking 400V. :no:

He mentioned that a capacitor has gone bust in the board and promptly replaced the board under warranty. Now everything fine. :clap: Glad nothing else gone kaput when it was faulty. :ashamed:
 

adder

Well-Known Member
Veteran
400v is insane, most stabilizers will give up at those input voltages let alone a CFL bulb.
Just get a multi meter its comes handy in those situation.I switch of the devices in my house when there is a low or a high voltage.
 

vip

Well-Known Member
Adept
most inverter o/p 270v at no load and at full load around 245.this is common voltage level but dangerous for electrical appliances.The manufacturers here makes ul cheapo inverters without regulator circuit.if u run a cfl on inverter it'll give 265v to it and it decreases as load increases.In your case it insane 400v and its better luck u don't have any damage other than cfl's.
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
Exactly, very lucky not to have any other damage. I was shocked to see 400V reading. Time to buy a multimeter to keep a check on the output once in a while.
 

blr_p

Well-Known Member
Veteran
vip said:
The manufacturers here makes ul cheapo inverters without regulator circuit.if u run a cfl on inverter it'll give 265v to it and it decreases as load increases.In your case it insane 400v and its better luck u don't have any damage other than cfl's.
So is it plausible that an inverter without a regulator circuit can ouput as much as 400 V ?

That high figure is hard to believe.

adder said:
CFL flicker and burn out for many reason usually low voltage is more harmful then high voltage for CFL.
I have burnt brand new CFLs they flicker and go puff all thanks to the low voltage from the BESCOM the power supplier in bangalore.
Low voltage means a higher current flows through the circuit, so in the case of CFLs the electronics is easy to fry. They use the cheapest components to put in the CFL anyway.

Low voltage by BESCOM means industry must be close by where you live. It also means high voltage at night when presumably they switch their machines off. The late Easy used to have a custom made meter to detect this, worth checking out some of the older threads where he mentions this.
 

adder

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Well there is no industries near my house,but a substation is just about 700 meters away.The problem is that the bescom guys fail to adjust the power conditioner,i have to tell them each time high voltage comes .

Btw the bescom power meter also shows the voltage.

For now i have connected a Apc smart ups for the lighting circuit and certain power outlet points.Unlike a inverter the apc smart ups regulates the voltage and it indicates via led if their is high or low voltage.
 

vip

Well-Known Member
Adept
So is it plausible that an inverter without a regulator circuit can ouput as much as 400 V ?

not at all

an inveter generally o/p 270v at no load
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
^ Exactly. If a normally working inverter is outputting 400V at no load (or at very small load like a 5W CFL), then it is very alarming. In this case, it happened due to a conked off capacitor(s) on the board, as informed by the technician.

The same inverter has been powering all equipments since 1.5 yrs and even when only a 5W CFL is on, it never caused a problem before. Now after the board replacement, everything is back to normal as before.
 

blr_p

Well-Known Member
Veteran
arun687 said:
^ Exactly. If a normally working inverter is outputting 400V at no load (or at very small load like a 5W CFL), then it is very alarming. In this case, it happened due to a conked off capacitor(s) on the board, as informed by the technician.
Then this inverters design is very bad bordering on dangerous if all it takes is just one capacitor failure for it to output 400 V !

It should have output nothing in such a case instead of the elevated voltage as you discovered.

arun687 said:
The same inverter has been powering all equipments since 1.5 yrs and even when only a 5W CFL is on, it never caused a problem before. Now after the board replacement, everything is back to normal as before.
Luninous is the name you mentioned, i do not have a good impression about this brand after your report :(
 

arun687

Well-Known Member
Adept
^ Me neither. :p To be honest, I had no hope for any warranty repairs, but the technician turned out to be a good one and did the replacement very soon after diagnosing the cause. APC would be a better one to go for, especially now that they've a 850VA 12V pure sine wave inverter. When I was buying, they only had the 24V 1 KVA inverter among pure sine waves, which required 2 batteries and hence the cost >20k.
 

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