Power Inverter is a device used to invert batteries direct current into alternating current for providing backup to different appliances when main electric supply fails. So, it acts as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to keep the appliances running in absence of external source of electricity. Power Inverters for home, office and industrial use come with built-in charger facility so these can charge batteries as well when external power is restored.
Every Power Inverter has got different kinds of buttons and switches on it designed to perform different tasks. Depending upon the make of your power inverter, you may find information about the functions of those in user manual that will help you correctly using that power backup device. Given below are the general instructions about the usability of different buttons and switches which you find on different models of power inverters.
Power ON/OFF Button
This button is usually at the front side of power inverter and let you turn ON or OFF the power inverter according to your requirements. You will find Power symbol on such button that guides you what this button is for. While performing maintenance of batteries, changing them or cleaning power inverter, must use this button to turn it OFF to avoid any possibility of electric shock.
Trip Reset Button
You will find this button at the backside or front side of power inverter depending upon the model and make of it. This button resets the tripping of power inverter if for some reason you overloaded it, short circuited the output, or did something else that resulted into activating the trip state of power inverter to protect its circuit and the connected devices.
This button can turn ON or OFF the LCD of power inverter in case you do not want that keep glowing at night. This button can also perform some other display tasks if it is designed that way like displaying charging rate, input and output voltage, appliances load and remaining batteries charge etc.
Voltage Range Switch
This switch is also known as Narrow-Wide range switch and it is used to adjust the input voltage range for which power inverter will work on line mode (external power) and then switch to backup mode. For example, you have got a power inverter that has got ‘narrow range’ of 170 V to 250 V, it won’t switch over to batteries backup if voltage is higher than 170 V and lower than 250 V. On the other hands, if ‘wide range’ is selected which is supposedly designed for 110 V to 260 V, the power inverter will not switch to backup mode as long as external power is available and voltage is higher than 110 V and lower than 260 V. Such switch is useful when you use electric generator or you have got issues with stability of main electricity supply voltage. Make sure you choose narrow mode while connecting sensitive electronic appliances like computers, TVs etc as narrow mode reduces the switch over time from external power source to batteries backup.
Charging Rate Switch
This switch lets you adjust the charging rate of charger for connected batteries. If you are using larger batteries or smaller batteries, you can adjust the charging current accordingly. Larger batteries require higher charging current to let them charge faster. Smaller batteries should not be charged with higher charging current as this can wear them faster. You may find about required charging current for batteries from the user manual.
Batteries Voltage Switch
Some power inverters are designed to be used with single battery or multiple batteries. Such power inverters are either automatic to make necessary adjustments themselves or ask you to adjust the battery voltage from power inverter to make it function. Make sure you are aware of the batteries voltage how they add up when connected in series and choose proper settings from the power inverter.
Input/Output Voltage Switch
Some power inverters are made for universal use that is you can use them in America where standard voltage is 120 V (+/- 10) or you can use them in Europe or Asia where standard voltage is 230 V (+/- 10). Carefully choose the input/output voltage according to your region to make power inverter function correctly. Wrong selection of voltage can damage the electronic appliances. So, be careful in this case.