A power inverter is a device that converts low voltage DC (Direct Current) power to standard AC (Alternating current) to provide reliable backup power that can be used to power all sorts of electrical devices. The DC power is produced from cars, truck or boat battery or renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines. DC power is what batteries store, while AC power is what most electrical appliances need to run so an inverter is necessary to convert the power into a usable form. The inverter is a basic component of any independent power system that requires AC power. Inverters convert DC power stored in batteries into AC power to run conventional appliances. Popular items run from an inverter include computers, entertainment systems, power tools and kitchen appliances. Power inverters are devices that can be set in place to power an assortment of electronic devices and electrical appliances in the absence of direct sources of power.
An inverter resembles a rectangular box. At one end are wires for connecting to a power source, at the other are AC holders. The inverter draws it power from a 12 Volt battery or several batteries wired in parallel. The battery will need to be recharged as the power is drawn out of it by the inverter. The battery can be charged by being plugged into an AC outlet to recharge the battery. A power inverter uses electronic circuits to cause the DC power flow to change directions, making it alternate like AC power. An inverter uses transistors to continually switch the direction of the voltage or in an oscillator to produce a sinewave which happens 50 or 60 times a second, according to the frequency required. These oscillations are rough and tend to create a square waveform rather than a rounded one, so filters are required to smooth out the wave, allowing it to be used by more electronic devices.
AC power is easier to step up or down, or change from one voltage to another, than DC and easier to regulate. In many cases, when a power inverter is in use, DC power is being converted to AC power, which is then stepped down and turned back into DC power inside the device. AC power flows back and forth in alternating directions so that, when represented on a graph, it appears like a sine wave, with smooth and regular peaks and valleys. A DC power is steady and continuous, with an electrical charge that flows in only one direction.
True Sine Wave Inverters: Also known as Pure Sine Wave Inverters, True Sine Wave inverters deliver the smoothest and fastest wave output and they are also the most expensive. A true sine wave inverter outputs a sine wave at mains voltage level, just like a generator would. The wave form produced by true sine wave inverters is the same as or better than the power delivered by the utility power. These types of inverters produce cleaner power and are able to cover all the complex electronics that are part of our everyday lives. Sensitive equipments, like certain medical equipment and variable speed or rechargeable tools requires this type of inverter to operate correctly. Radios and computers, for example, work better with true sine wave inverters because modified square wave inverters’ less-smooth waves disrupt the radio’s reception, causing static and other noise. True sine inverters use toroidal (donut-shaped) transformers and electronic circuits to transform direct current into a smoothly varying alternating current very similar to the kind of genuine sine wave normally supplied to our homes. True sine waves replicate the kind of the power you get from a utility grid, providing a wide range of benefits which allows electronics run more efficiently than they might on other types of sine waves. Devices that requires this type of Sine wave includes televisions, digital clocks with radios, laser printers, photocopiers, home automatum systems, computers, medical devices and telecommunications equipments. Without clean power sources, these types of devices may not run at all, may run inefficiently or shorten their lifespan and cause them to fail prematurely. True sine waves also reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, florescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.
Modified sine wave or square wave inverters are among the most commonly used type of inverters in automobiles and boats. They are efficient and consistent enough when it comes to running most household devices and appliances. These types of waves use relatively inexpensive electronics such as thyristors, diodes and other simple components to produce a square wave. They are cheaper and work more proficiently if you want to run something off a battery with a limited charge. They are also the most common in the market. It is not advisable to use modified sine waves on delicate electronics such as digital clocks, home automatum system and medical devices because they the waves are rougher and create extra noise. A modified sine wave is suitable if you mostly want to run lights, TV, microwave oven, tools and other similar electrical devices.
This is a very pivotal part of an inverter. The performance and life of an inverter depends greatly on the battery. The battery of an inverter is undeniably its most important part and not only determines its life span but its ability to function effectively. There are several classifications of inverter battery. Flat plate batteries, also known as Lead acid battery are used for automotive purposes. These batteries are designed to provide high current for a very short duration. They are also not designed to be regularly discharged by more than 25% of their rated capacity. Deep cycle batteries provide continuous power which can be discharged at least 50% of their rated capacity. Deep cycle batteries have specially designed thick plates to withstand frequent charging and discharging. Tubular batteries are very efficient and require relatively low maintenance. They also have longer battery life because it is protected by a tube. Maintenance free batteries are safety secured and do not emit any kind of poisonous or harmful gases. They are best for old or busy people who do not have the time to refill distilled water at regular intervals. The power supply of inverters depends on the age and condition of the battery, and the power demand being placed on it by the equipments being operated by the inverter. It is imperative to study your inverter and know the proper requirement of your inverter in order to make a tight decision when getting a battery match for your inverter.
The size of an inverter is a principal feature you mustn’t overlook when buying an inverter, and the size here refers to size in terms of output. Before buying an inverter, endeavor to calculate the total wattage of power your electronic devices run and ensure that the inverter you buy will supply the adequate Alternate current power needed to power the electronic devices. You should also take into consideration the size of your home or office as well the number of electrical appliances in use and their energy consumption levels as this will play a very big part in selecting the right capacity of inverter and battery for your specification.
The power output that any inverter is capable of generating is typically displayed in watts, and most electrical appliances and electronic devices require a certain amount of wattage to function as they should. Most electronic devices and electrical appliances come with specific requirements in terms of volts and amps. When it comes to deciding how much power to look for in a power inverter, buyers should know that higher-watt inverter (800 upwards) is enough to run power tools, microwave ovens, larger TVs and other power equipments. It is also imperative to take into consideration the type of appliance that requires power because different appliances are known to draw power differently. The higher the working load of the equipment, the higher the required watts. For instance, a 200-watt midsized Tv requires a 400 -watt inverter and an 800 watts coffee maker or microwave oven requires 1,800 watts or more, and equipments with heavier workloads like require up to 3,000 watts.