FAQ’s2019-03-22T04:58:04+00:00
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Can I use a laser printer with an inverter?2015-07-29T13:18:59+00:00

Only if you must. Laser printers use up a surprising amount of power (due to the heated fusing rollers), and will discharge your battery faster than you expect, even on standby. If you do, make sure the inverter is rated for the power of the printer plus computer plus monitor. It doesn’t do any good to have your computer brown out as soon as the the printer starts to print. Ink jet printers, on the other hand, use a surprisingly low amount of power.

Why would you use a 24 volt inverter instead of a 12 volt inverter?2015-07-29T13:17:45+00:00

At a given power rating a 24 volt inverter will need half the current as a 12 volt inverter. This makes the entire system more efficient, and since high current transistors are expensive, the inverter will be cheaper.

Why do I need such humongous cables to the battery when a small cord takes the AC output fine?2015-07-29T13:16:31+00:00

Power is volts times amps (Watts = V x A). So if you have a lot of voltage you don’t need many amps to get a watt. Roughly you need 24 times as much current from the 12 volt battery as you need from the 230 volt AC outlet. Current is what causes cables to heat up, not voltage. That is why they use thousands of volts in long distance power transmission grids. The thing to do when you have lots of current is to lower the resistance of the cable. The larger the wire the lower the resistance. Think of the cable as a water pipe. A big pipe (wire) can carry more water (current or amperage) with less pressure (voltage), and will present less pressure (voltage) drop from one end of the pipe to the other.

Another consideration is how far the cable has to run from the battery to the inverter. Long cable runs are expensive, either in copper or efficiency, or both.

Are stereo amplifiers rated the same way?2015-07-29T13:14:08+00:00

Stereo manufacturers are bigger liars than politicians. Some times they use peak output power (milliseconds), sometimes they use power drawn from the wall, but often they just look at the competition’s carton front and add 10%. However the truth is available: look at the boilerplate sticker, which has been evaluated by UL. This will give the maximum possible power drawn, so it tends to be higher than you will actually draw.

How is a microwave rated for wattage?2015-07-29T13:13:12+00:00

When you buy a microwave oven you want to know how intense the microwave field is, not how much the oven draws from the wall. So a microwave oven that boasts 600 watts on the box, will have an input requirement of 1200 watts on the boilerplate in the back. Don’t be fooled!

How should I select the right size inverter?2017-01-10T13:07:55+00:00

First add up the power ratings of all the appliances, then buy the next larger inverter! At least that is the simple answer. Note, however, that some appliances, such as table saws, refrigerators, and microwaves have a surge requirement. Volton inverters are designed to supply such surges, but since every appliance has its own requirements sometimes you will need to get a bigger inverter than you would otherwise think. Note that the inverter isn’t the only consideration when you are pondering the mysteries of start-up surges. The battery must also be able to supply the surge power, and the cables must be able to supply the increased current without dropping the voltage too much.

Why don’t I measure rated voltages when using a multimeter on my modified sine wave inverter?2015-07-29T13:10:53+00:00

The rated voltage is an RMS (root mean square–they square the value to make sure it is always positive, then average it, then take the square root of the average to make up for having squared it in the first place) measurement. Most multimeters are designed to give correct RMS readings when applied to sine waves, but not when they are applied to other waveforms. They will read from 2% to 20% low in voltage. Look for a voltmeter that brags about “True RMS” readings, and that will read correctly no matter what the wave shape is.

Why do I hear buzzing on my stereo when using a modified sine wave inverter?2015-07-29T13:10:02+00:00

Some inexpensive stereos use power supplies that cannot eliminate common-mode noise. These would require a sine wave inverter to operate noise-free. What you hear is some of the higher harmonics of the modified sine wave. Contact us for a solution by installing a filter inline with the input power to the Stereo.

How do I know if I need a sine wave, or if I can live with a modified sine wave?2015-07-29T13:08:13+00:00

How do I know if I need a sine wave, or if I can live with a modified sine wave?
A: The following gadgets work well with a modified sine wave: electric blankets, computers, motor-driven appliances, toasters, coffee makers, most stereos, ink jet printers, refrigerators, TVs, VCRs, many microwave ovens, etc.

Appliances that are known to have problems with the modified sine wave are some digital clocks, some battery chargers, most light dimmers, some battery operated gadgets that recharge in an AC receptacle, some chargers for hand tools (Makita is known to have this problem in the past). In the case of hand tools, the problem chargers usually have a warning label stating that dangerous voltages are present at the battery terminals when charging. We would like to add to this FAQ any appliances that you have had trouble with, or had success with, using modified sine wave inverters.

What about square wave inverters?2015-07-29T13:07:36+00:00

These old-fashioned inverters are the cheapest to make, but the hardest to use. They just flip the voltage from plus to minus creating a square waveform. They are not very efficient because the square wave has a lot of power in higher harmonics that cannot be used by many appliances. Synchronous motors, for example, use the 60Hz component and turn the rest of the frequencies into heat. The modified sine wave is designed to minimize the power in the harmonics while still being cheap to make.

Can I use a modified sine wave inverter for my medical equipment?2015-07-29T13:05:18+00:00

For Medical equipment, oxygen generators, etc. talk to the manufacturer of the equipment. Volton inverters are never tested or rated with medical equipment, and we don’t guarantee that they will work to save your life. For such applications please find inverters that are rated and tested for such applications.

What is the difference between pure sine wave and modified sine wave?2015-07-29T13:06:13+00:00

Alternating current (AC) has a continuously varying voltage that swings from positive to negative. This has great advantages in power transmission over long distances. Power from your power company is carefully regulated to be a perfect sine wave, because that is what naturally comes out of a generator, and also because sine waves radiate the least amount of radio power during long distance transmission.

On the other hand, a sine wave is expensive to make in an inverter, and many sine wave techniques use heavy, inefficient transformers. The most inexpensive way to make AC is to switch the DC on and off–a square wave. A modified sine wave is scientifically designed to simulate a sine wave in the most important respects so that it will work for most appliances. It consists of a flat plateau of positive voltage, dropping abruptly to zero for a while, then dropping again to a flat plateau of negative voltage, back to zero for a while, then returning to the positive voltage. This pause at zero volts puts more power into the 60HZ fundamental than a simple square wave does, so it is called “modified sine wave” instead of “square wave.” Because the MOSFETs only have to turn completely on and completely off the dissipate he least amount of heat for the power generated, and so smaller semiconductors and heat sinks are needed than if you were trying to generate a real sine wave.

How is an inverter different than a UPS?2015-07-29T13:05:50+00:00

A UPS typically includes the inverter, battery and battery charger in one stand-alone unit. However, there are UPSs that use external batteries, and has made inverters with battery chargers, so the differences blur as features proliferate.

UPS’s also can have communication with the equipment that it is powering, which lets the equipment know that it is operating on standby, giving it shutdown warning, or communicating with the human in the loop. Only some inverters have this communication.

What is an inverter?2015-07-29T13:00:23+00:00

An inverter takes DC power (from a battery or solar panel, for example) and converts it into alternating current (AC) “household” power for running electronic equipment and appliances.

What payment options do you have?2015-07-21T06:29:43+00:00

There are two ways at this stage that we offer.

  1. Credit Card payments – and on top of this we offer it on budget periods of 6, 12, 24 and 36 months.
  2. Direct payment into our bank account. Once you have placed your order you will receive an email with our banking details. All you need to d is use the reference number when making payment.

Shipping will take place upon successful payment received.

Is online purchases safe?2017-01-10T13:07:55+00:00

Absolutely. There is no way that anyone can get your credit cads information by intercepting a purchase. When you are directed to the “Checkout Page” you are being directed to a Secure Server. You will see this at the top of you browser address bar like this…

secure

 

This security certificates are provided by GeoTrust, a world leader for secure online transactions.

When you are directer to the Payment Gateway, you will once again enter our Payment Gateway Service Provider’s secure server environment. Once on the payment gateway website, you will once again notice that they also conform to the secure server environment.

sage

We assure you of our utmost care of your online transaction and endeavor to prevent any fraudulent activity on your credit card.

As a last resort backup procedure you will be required to provide a pin code that will be sent via SMS to your cell phone that is on record at your bank to verify that you have indeed made a purchase.

Does your system generate any noise?2015-07-13T11:32:29+00:00

While charging or while using battery power the cooling fan will generate approximately the same amount of noise that a computer’s power supply would generate.

Do you produce a pure sine wave model?2015-07-21T06:31:27+00:00

Yes, we do. Please check our Products page on our website. we can provide backup and solar power for any utility fed application.

Do you produce larger or smaller systems?2015-07-13T12:35:08+00:00

Yes, we do. Please check our Products page on our website. We also provide custom systems for specific requirements.

What will work on a PowerStash?2015-07-13T12:35:26+00:00

Lights, TVs preferable Flat screens as they use less power, Hi-Fi, Computers, Laptops, Internet Routers, Roof and Standalone Fans, Fridge and Freezers younger than 10 years, preferably those with energy star ratings. Garage and gate motors, dishwashers in “eco mode”, washing machines in cold water mode.

What should I NOT connect to the PowerStash?2017-01-10T13:07:55+00:00

This solution is a backup solution meant to power essential equipment in case of a power disruption. Running your Pool, Air conditioner, Electric Heater, Jacuzzi, Tumble dryer, Electric Kettle, Micro Wave oven, Stove hob and Oven, Hair salon quality hairdryer is not an option. If it produces heat from an electrical source, you can’t use it. Usually, when an appliance uses an electro-magnetic motor it is also not suitable.

Can I connect it to my 3 phase main DB board?2015-07-13T12:36:09+00:00

Yes as long as the PowerStash is supplied with single phase input power and you isolate only certain circuit breakers, such as lights and a few plugs, onto the output. Speak to your electrician on how to do this.

Do I have to connect it to my main distribution board?2015-07-13T12:34:13+00:00

No it works just as well as a stand-alone unit. It’s sometimes more convenient to not have to run extension cords and for that reason it makes sense to have an electrician connect it.

Can I use a plug-to-plug extension cord to connect my home or office?2015-07-13T12:36:35+00:00

No. The most important reason not to do this is that it can electrocute you. It’s also illegal and it will void your warranty if things go wrong.

Can I connect a PowerStash to my home or office mains DB board?2015-07-13T12:47:04+00:00

Only if you get a certified electrician to wire the PowerStash correctly to the DB board (Distribution board). Without the assistance of a certified electrician you may cause fire, loss of life and irreparable damage to electrical appliances. We do not take any responsibility for loss or damage as a result of connecting the output sockets to the mains supply directly, not only is it dangerous it’s also illegal. If the inverter is found to be damaged by an illegal connection, the warranty is automatically voided.

How quickly does a PowerStash unit switch over with a power failure?2015-07-13T12:37:00+00:00

Typically 20 ms or less, that is fast enough to keep the power to a PC connected without interruption causing a reboot. TV decoders aso do not get affected by this fast switching from mains to backup power.

If the power is ON does it still use the batteries?2015-07-13T11:19:24+00:00

No. If the power grid is supplying power via the input socket, power is passed onto the output directly, the batteries are recharged and kept at full capacity.

Can I recharge with solar panels?2015-07-13T11:18:38+00:00

Yes BUT you need to reload 2300 Wh into the batteries. That implies you will need panels that can, at the very least, produce 400 Watt per hour over 6 hours (with a 24 V regulator) in order to recharge the batteries in a single day’s sunlight – all under sunlight conditions.

How many times can I recharge the batteries?2015-07-14T13:11:22+00:00

Our Inverter/Chargers are designed to maximize battery life. It is common practice not to discharge a Deep Cycle battery more than 50%. This ensures that our batteries should last for 500 Charge Cycles. Given that current Load Shedding happens about 2 times per week, your batteries should last for up to 5 years. As many as 7 year battery life is not uncommon.

How much will it cost to recharge the batteries?2015-07-14T13:22:53+00:00

 

Current cost for electricity is about R1-10 per KwH (Kilowatt Hours). To recharge a run down PowerStash about 0.8 to 1.2 KwH is required and the cost will be between  88 Cents and  R1.32.

 

How long will it take to recharge the batteries?2015-07-13T12:37:52+00:00

The charger needs to replace 2.1 kWh plus 11% = 2.33 kWh in total. Roughly 2 hours to recharge 80% thereafter 8 hours to to trickle charge the remaining 20%.

What are the battery replacement costs?2015-07-13T12:38:27+00:00

You will need to replace 2 batteries, please check our products page for pricing.

What type of batteries do you use ?2015-07-13T11:07:45+00:00

SMF100, 102AH deep cycle, maintenance free, factory sealed, lead acid batteries.

Where should I keep the PowerStash ?2015-07-13T11:07:03+00:00

Indoors, away from direct sunlight, water & dust . The input should always be connected and the inverter should be ON. The batteries rely on a constant charge and failure to keep the PowerStash ON and connected will result in battery damage and voiding your warranty.

Do you offer a warranty on the PowerStash ?2015-07-13T11:06:13+00:00

Yes, 1-year on condition that the inverter and trolley seals and connections are intact.