WHAT IS A POWER INVERTER?
A power inverter is an electronic device that converts electricity from one form to another. Power inverters have become more popular recently as the technology has become more efficient and much more affordable.
The most popular use for a power inverter is converting battery electricity into mains electricity. For example converting your car batteries’ 12 volts DC into mains electricity 240 Volt AC (Australia) or 110 Volt AC (USA).
Power inverters enable mains operated electrical equipment to be used even where there is no mains outlet, like in your car, caravan or even on your boat!
Power inverters bring creature comforts from home when you go camping or caravanning allowing you to use your TV, fridge or electric shaver in fact most of the normal mains powered conveniences from the home.
You can charge your laptop in the car even if it doesn’t happen to have a 12 volt adapter. In fact a power inverter can be a very handy gadget just to have in your car for those times you need to use a mains powered appliance while you’re away from a power socket.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A POWER INVERTER
Apart from looking for a good quality well priced product there are a couple of important elements to consider when selecting your power inverter:
HOW MUCH POWER IS ENOUGH?
Power inverters come in a range of power capacities so selecting the right one for you is very important. Your power inverter needs to be able to provide sufficient power for the equipment you want to use it with.
Here is a brief check list:
- Check the power consumption for the device you want to power
- Allow an additional 20% free board
- Add the power for all the devices you want to run at the same time
Note also that devices with induction electric motors like an power saw may require 3 to 7 times the operating power when they start.
Using an under-powered power inverter may damage it or the appliance you are trying to use, so be sure to check the specific wattage requirements and operating instructions for appliances / tools to be used.
PURE SINE WAVE INVERTERS
Normal mains power is known as Alternating Current (AC) and is a sine wave shape like the black line in the drawing below
Pure sine wave (black) versus modified sine wave (red)
A typical power inverter produces a ‘modified sine wave output’ like the red line in the drawing above. While this works for most appliances, light dimmers, variable speed drills, sewing machine speed controls, some laser printers etc. will not operate correctly with a modified sine wave power inverter.
Pure sine wave power inverters are especially designed to provide a more accurate sine wave output and so can be used with these appliances, but unfortunately they are more expensive.
Check with your with appliance manufacturer or its specifications to confirm if you can use a conventional power inverter or will need a pure sine wave inverter.
One of the great things about electronic equipment is there is no moving parts (although there is a fan in some models) so you can expect a long serviceable life from a power inverter.
Power inverters generate dangerous mains voltages so ensure the product you choose is approved for use with your mains voltage and supplier.
Power inverters can also generate electro-magnetic radiation that can interfere with other electronic equipment such as radios transmitters etc. Check for compliance with relevant standards such as C-Tick etc.
Power inverters can generate potentially lethal voltages so the utmost of care should be exercised using them to avoid accidental electrocution.
To select your power inverter carefully check the power requirements for the appliance(s) you intend to use it with.
- Start power – Allow up to seven times for an induction motor
- Operating power – Allow a 20% margin
- Pure or modified sine wave
Established in 1999, Power Master is a young and rapidly growing company within DC to AC Power Inverter, AC to DC Battery Charger and UPS industry. We specialize in Modified and Pure Sine Wave Power Inverters, Solar inverter, Inverter with built in Battery Charger, On Line & Off Line UPS, and designed three stage Battery Chargers.
The company with industry integration expertise provides professional solution to accommodate customers’ specific needs in home and office appliances, mobile applications, marine, solar power applications, wind power, electronic equipment, and various applications.
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