FAQ's: Inverters

FAQ's: Inverters

How do I select Load Shed or Solar Control Mode

What are the Mode Options on the Microcare Inverter

Previously Microcare Inverters had 2 Modes to Select from: SOLAR CONTROL MODE or NORMAL SENSE MODE

NOW All new Microcare Inverters will have the following 3 modes available:

  2. UPS

The following applies to each Mode:

SOLAR CONTROL – The AC Battery Charger is disabled, AC and DC RUN TO voltages are enabled

This mode means the Solar Panels are given priority to supply the load & charge the batteries

UPS – The AC Battery Charger is enabled, AC and DC RUN TO voltages are disabled

In this mode the AC will charge batteries & supply the load. If you have Solar Panels it will assist the charging of the batteries when AC is present. If no AC present the Solar Panels will charge the batteries & supply the load.

LOADSHEDDING – The Battery Charger is disabled, AC and DC RUN TO voltages are disabled

Loadshedding Mode is intended to assist the end user to ensure batteries are full ahead of an anticipated loadshedding window

In Loadshedding mode the AC will supply the load. The Solar Panels will charge the batteries & keep them full until loadshedding occurs.


NOTE: There is also a SHORT CUT to switch from SOLAR CONTROL mode to LOADSHEDDING mode & back: [Hold down the MENU DOWN button & PRESS ENTER]

NOTE: Loadshedding Mode is only to be used if the installation has Solar panels connected


When do I select Solar Control Mode on a Microcare Inverter?

Solar control mode can be described as an OFF-Grid solution with AC backup. The Inverter mainly runs in the Inverter mode. The batteries power the load via the Inverter circuitry. Renewable energy charges the batteries. The system will run from battery power until the batteries have discharged to a set level. At this level, the load is disconnected from the batteries and the load is connected to the grid. As soon as the batteries are charged to a set level, the Inverter switches to Inverter mode and the load runs from the battery powered Inverter.


NEW Combined 15-cell & 16-cell Li-Ion Software

Up to now when ordering a Microcare Inverter our Sales teams would’ve asked you what battery you will be using with the Inverter.

Why? … Microcare needed to know whether to load either our 15-cell Li-Ion software (typically used on Hubble, Pylon Tech batteries)

or 16-cell Li-Ion software (typically used on Blue Nova, Solar MD, Freedom Won batteries) onto the Inverter.

This software allows the Inverter & Battery to work optimally based on the set Voltages that the Battery requires

NOW Microcare has upgraded this software to accommodate both 15-cell and 16-cell Li-Ion batteries

This new software (referred to as V21R1) comes standard with all 5, 8, 10 & 15kW 48V Inverters

Why choose a Pure Sine Wave Inverter?

The output of a pure sine inverter provides power to the load in the ideal way. There is no better, cleaner or more efficient way to deliver power to a load. All grid connected loads are designed to operate from a pure sine wave inverter because it: Is the only type of inverter that can power any type of load without negatively affecting it's life span, the intercom can transition "cleanly" and rapidly through the zero crossing, has a slow voltage ramp with a slow voltage ramp with a slow increase in load current, and doesnt induce high current ripple in load capacitors.


Why not a modified, simulated or quasi sine wave inverter?​

These inverters were introduced to rectify the problem of unregulated output voltage that the square wave inverters have. This inverter can regulate its own output voltage and keep the load operating at a safe output voltage regardless of battery voltage and or load changes.  In short, if you are on a budget and looking for an inverter to go camping with, this might be a smart choice for you. Butif you have a computer, laptop, CFL/LED lights, any dimmers, fridge, plama or LCD TV then you should not power any of these devices from a modified sine wave inverter for any length of time. These inverters are not designed to run your loads on a daily basis. It is only for casual or emergency use. Not everyday loadshedding.

Do not be fooled by false marketing: If you need any advice or more information do not hesitate to contact our sales or technical support department at sales@microcare.co.za or support@microcare.co.za 

The marketing of this type of inverter is done in a very misleading way by having the words "sine wave" in its description, even though it is in no way shape or form anything like a pure sine wave inverter with no part of its waveform resembling any part of a pure sine wave inverter.

Such inverters however still have all the negative aspects of the square wave inverter pertaining to its wave form shape. The fast-rising edge forces high ripple current into capacitive load or loads with capacitors inside (PC power supplies, TV's ect). Most electronics like cell phone  chargers, microwaves and LED light controllers  take strain when forced to run in this type of waveform.

Not Working! Most lights (CFL, LED, dimmers) have problems to operate or won't work at all when using this type of inverter. A distinct flicker might be noticeable especially under a light load condition when the off time is at its maximum. A modified sine wave inverter has significantly more electrical noise which will cause you a snow-effect on TV's and a humming sound from connected audio equipment.

The multi and floating zero state of the wave form causes most clocks and devices with timing functions like ovens and washing machines to work erratically or not at all. The same applies to variable speed devices and laser printers. Motors such as fridge compressors operate at elevated temperatures due to higher peak coil records.


Why not a Square Wave Inverter?​

This is the oldest type of inverter. The output is unregulated and lights willdim as battery voltage decays. But worste of all when battery voltage is high and load is low the output volatge is normally above a safe level and loads are most certainly taking strain. These are typically only available as 500W or smaller sizes.


Why not a high frequency inverter?​

High frequency inverters have two advantages over Bi-Directional transformer isolated inverters. These are lower shipping weight and lower cost to manufacture. It is for these reasons that inverters from abroad are typically of high frequency (HF) type. This is where the advantages over a Bi-Directional inverter that is transformer isolated stops.

A Bi-Directional inverter has several advantages over an HF inverter. It can firstly galvanically isolate your batteries and any other devices connected to the batteries from the grid and any surges, faults or lightening that might be transmitted down the grid lines. The Bi-Directional inverter has a much wider input voltage without damage. This is especially useful when trying to connect a generate to the input of the inverter. Most notably a decent Bi-Directional inverter can be used to run loads with high startup currents such as motors, pumps, washing machines, coffee makers, welders, lawnmowers, laser printers, ect. HF inverters struggle or can't cope with these types offloads. If interested in a HF  inverter, ask the supplier to guarantee its operation under these conditions. Most of all don't forget that the South African grid has a very bad reputation for voltage spikes and operation out of specification. It is therefore best to buy an inverter designed for South African conditions. 


Why not an imported inverter?​

With the South African grid having a bad reputation for voltage spikes and operation out of specification, it is best to buy an inverter designed and built in South Africa for these conditions. With local support around the corner, you won't need to wait for shipping to and from abroad manufacturer nor pay the same for the shipping as what you paid for the inverter. Don't get caught out by the fly by night importer who wants to make a quick buck, when your inverter packs-up you'll most likely have to bin it. Microcare has been around for 32 years and even if your original supplier can't help you, we will still be here to support you. Our inverters have been customized for local conditions and even include features requested by insurance companies that protect your loads, for example the inverter can delay a selectable amount of time after load shedding and wait for the grid voltage to stabilize before it reconnects itself and your load to the grid. No other supplier can provide you with the same level of service and features. Many so-called "local" companies rebrand inverters from overseas, so ensure that your inverter is proudly South African.


Why not a UPS with built in batteries?​

If you can carry an inverter with built in batteries with 1 hand then make sure you understand what those batteries are worth and how long will it run your load. Be careful not to buy so called "load shedding" kits that make use of these inverters. They are not designed to run loads for more than a few minutes. If bigger batteries are installed the UPS will overheat. These inverters do not have good waveforms, they rely on the fact that their small batteries will deplete before the inverter overheats and before they damage your loads. It is not meant to run your loads on a daily basis. Please consult your local accredited Microcare installer to ensure you get a Pure Sine Wave inverter that works for you.

What is the 12B Tax Allowance?​

The 12B Tax Allowance is ideally targeted at Shopping centres, Business Premises, Farms, Small Manufacturing Plants and Property with larger than residential roof space!


What is it?

Section 12B of the Income Tax Act provides for an accelerated capital allowance in respect of  certain assets owned and used by a taxpayer in the generation of electricity from wind power, solar energy, hydropower to produce electricity of not more than 30 Mega Watts as well as biomass comprising organic wastes, landfill gas or plant material.

It is important to note that the allowance is only available if the asset is brought into use for the first time by the taxpayer. In other words, the allowance is not limited to new or  unused assets. The wording merely prevents the taxpayer from claiming the section 12B allowance twice on the same asset.

As from 1 January 2016, Section 12B of the Income Tax Act (South Africa) was amended from a three-year (50% 30% 20%) accelerated depreciation allowance on renewable   energy to an even quicker depreciation allowance of just one year (100%).


How do we benefit?

Business / company’s tax in South-Africa is 28%. With this incentive, you can deduct the value of your new solar power system as a depreciation expense from your company’s profits. This means that your company’s income tax liability will be decreased by the same value as the value of the installed solar system. This reduction can also be carried over to the next financial year as a deferred tax asset.

This is a direct saving of 28% on the purchase price from day one on the solar system!

The financial ROI model of such a solar power system looks very attractive. If a system is bought cash, the ROI would be 3-4 years and if it’s on a loan, the ROI would be 4-5 years, depending on the local municipality kWh tariff billing rates.


Link to 12B Tax Allowance


For a LOCAL SOLAR solution or to understand the Benefits of the 12B Tax Allowance please contact Microcare today on 041 453 5761 or email sales@microcare.co.za

📍15 Swartkops St, North End, Port Elizabeth, SA

15 Swartkops St, North End, Port Elizabeth, South Africa