Power inverters are an important component in the solar power sector. Power Inverter chargers convert DC power (direct current) into AC power (alternating current), which allows the user to operate standard 110V/120V/220V appliances. Today we will be going over the two major types of inverters, the benefits to each, and their most common uses. Let’s jump right in!
How does AC Power Work?
AC stands for alternating current, which describes a flow of charge that periodically changes direction. The most common type of AC is the sine wave. Residential grid power, like you find in your home, typically has an oscillating voltage that produces a sine wave. This can be envisioned as a wave that gently rises and falls, then swaps polarity when it hits zero volts.
The Power inverter’s job is to replicate this process as best it can. The closer the output wave is to standard residential AC power, the more consistent, and efficient the appliances being powered will operate.
Modified Sine Wave Inverter
Modified Sine Wave Inverters convert DC power to usable AC power. This is performed by taking constant DC voltage and changing it to a sine wave curve, that goes below and above zero volts (this can be seen in the diagram below). Modified Sine Wave inverters will operate about 90% of the applications out there, but typically not as efficiently as a Pure Sine Wave Inverter.
Modified Inverters are commonly used for simple systems and shouldn’t be used with high-end audio equipment or delicate electronics. Occasionally, this can result in a buzzing or humming sound on operation of certain items and shouldn’t be used to power medical equipment.
The major benefit to utilizing this type of inverter is the lower upfront cost.
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave Inverters, commonly referred to as True Sine Wave; have quickly become the more popular choice. A Pure Sine Wave inverter outputs power in a smooth, rounded transition resulting in less total harmonic distortion. You can see this flow of power demonstrated in the diagram shown below.
As we rely more heavily on delicate electronics, the need for a more consistent power output is growing. Most newly released electronics are designed to operate on a Pure Sine Wave, which guarantees consistent operation and ensures that your equipment will work to its full potential and specifications.
If you have any questions on inverters or which inverter is best for you, please leave us a comment! As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your Solar needs!