Inverter and Battery Backups
The Inverter – This is an electronic circuit that will convert the backup power source (usually a battery) to an AC Supply. There are various types, on line (supplies the AC all the time), and off line (supply power only when the Eskom is not available), Sine Wave (like Eskom provides) and square, stepped or modified sine wave which simulate the sine wave to varying degrees to save costs.
The Battery – This is an electro-chemical fuel tank that can be used “filled” when Eskom is available, and used when Eskom is not present. “Filling” or charging of the battery needs to be carefully controlled to avoid damaging the battery. UL and CE marks on a battery will generally cover the safety requirements. BS or IEC specifications will cover safety as well as performance of the battery and will give you better protection.
The Charger – This is an electronic circuit that allows the battery to be “filled” or charged from the AC Supply. It forms a critical element in achieving the life out of the battery, as under or over charging will shorten the life of the battery, and the quality (ripple currents, charge voltage, charge time) can also affect how the battery will perform when needed.