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Never be without power



HANDY EQUIPMENT: Inverters ensure regular power supply and save the day for many. — Photo: Murali Kumar K.

PONNAPPA'S FATHER was injured when he fell in the bathroom of his house during one of those nights when there was no power. It was then that Mr. Ponnappa decided to get an inverter. "Now I have the luxury of 24-hour power supply," he says.

Inverters switch on automatically when power fails and switch off when power supply is back.

A power inverter converts DC power or direct current to standard AC power or alternating current, which allows you to run electrical equipment. They are used mainly for lighting and for computers or both in residences and offices. Unlike generators, inverters have an automatic device and the charging takes place automatically and supplies current during power failure.

Experts say that continuous supply of AC power is the lifeline of any sophisticated electronic system. Power failures — accidental or from the electricity boards — can delay your work and sometimes corrupt the valuable data fed in.

"The advantages are many compared to a generator," says Shankar C. Nagali, Managing Director, Cosmic Micro Systems Pvt. Ltd. "It has an automatic operation; hence does not incur any running cost of maintenance. Some inverters do not require separate wiring. They have in-built protection system and hence do not require a separate stabilizer. It also indicates battery backup position well in advance by beeping and it does not require any manual operation. Above all, they are environment-friendly. There is no noise or any other kind of pollution."

You need to choose an inverter carefully as some systems will have only operations without any protection, which may damage the life of the loads (TV, bulbs, tube lights). Some inverters are designed only for lighting loads and not for computer applications and separate wiring is required for a few inverters.

"A two-bedroom house would require an inverter that would cost between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 14,000. Even the computer could be run on this inverter. Since refrigerators have 10-hour cooling backup, they need not be connected to an inverter," says Mr. Shankar.

Many companies have warranty period from one to three years. On expiry, some provide annual maintenance service and the charges would be between 8 to 10 per cent of the inverter cost.

Batteries enable the inverter to provide back-up power. They must be kept charged. The electrolyte level should be checked at least once in three months, though a monthly check up in the first three months will help in deciding the optimum performance for the future.

* * *

Ensure power supply round the clock using inverters.

Inverters switch on automatically when power fails and switch off when power supply is back.

Some inverters can supply power even to computers.

Choose the inverters that do not require separate wiring.

Bad invertors can damage your TV, bulbs and tubelights.

A.B. SUDHINDRA

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