Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently asked questions on inverters
- What is an inverter?
- How do they work?
- Pure Sine Wave vs. Modified Sine Wave -- What is the difference?
- What is Pure Sine Wave?
- What is Modified Sine Wave?
- What size inverter do I need?
- An inverter is a device that takes the power from your DC battery source and through special technology boosts it to household AC electricity giving you the power to run appliances such as televisions, lights, computers, and power tools wherever you may be. Simply, an inverter increases your 12/24/48 volt battery power to 230/240 AC power.
- An inverter boosts your DC power 10 to 20 times by switching the power to create pulses of electricity in AC. This switching process is generally done by high frequency power mosfets.
- There are two forms of electric wave output generated by an inverter, pure or true sine wave and modified sine wave. To understand the difference we need to look at their performance.
- Pure Sine wave is the same as the power you have in your home. It is very clean and is the optimum for performance. Please take look at the graph below. You will notice the wave is very smooth. This smooth pure sine wave is most efficient. Therefore, appliances such as TVs, computers and stereos run cleaner and easier. Also, Pure Sine wave generates less heat than other waveforms.
- Modified Sine wave is an output that tries to imitate pure sine waves but comes up a little short. Nevertheless, modified sine wave inverters have their advantages. Modified sine wave inverters are great to run appliances and equipment such as power tools, non-digital microwave oven, lights, and other motor driven loads.
The main downside to modified sine wave output is slight interference. This interference can be seen on some televisions and computers. It will not cause any damage, but can be a little annoying. The upside to modified sine wave inverters is they will run most appliances, and are very affordable.
- This depends on what you want to operate. If you want to run a 600-watt drill, a 150-watt inverter will not do the job. When choosing an inverter determine what you want to run and then get the inverter that delivers the appropriate power you need. Most appliances have their power rating printed on them or their packaging. A simple equation to help determine the power you need is as follows:
Volts (110/230) x Amps = Wattage