January 18, 2021

How to Select the Right Power Inverter For You

WHAT IS A POWER INVERTER?

A power inverter is definitely an electronic device that converts electricity in one form to another. Power inverters have become very popular recently as the technology has become more effective and much more affordable.

The most popular use to get a power inverter is converting electric battery electricity into mains electricity. Such as converting your car batteries’ 12 volts DC into mains electricity 240 Volt AC (Australia) or 110 Volt AC (USA).

Power inverters allow mains operated electrical equipment for use even where there is no mains stores, like in your car, caravan or even on the boat!

Power inverters bring creature conveniences from home when you go camping or caravaning allowing you to use your TV, fridge or even electric shaver in fact most of the regular mains powered conveniences from the home.
You can charge your laptop in the car even if it doesn’t happen to possess a 12 volt adapter. In fact a power inverter can be a very handy gadget just to have in your car for all those times you need to use a mains powered appliance while you’re away from a power plug.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A POWER INVERTER

Apart from looking for a good quality well priced item there are a couple of important elements to think about when selecting your power inverter:

HOW MUCH POWER IS ENOUGH?

Power inverters are available in a range of power capacities so choosing the right one for you is very important. Your strength inverter needs to be able to provide sufficient power for the equipment you want to use it with.

Here is a brief check list:

o Check the power consumption for the gadget you want to power
o Allow an additional 20% free board
o Add the power for all the devices you want to run at the same time

Note also that devices along with induction electric motors like an energy saw may require 3 to seven times the operating power if they start.

Using an under-powered power inverter may damage it or the equipment you are trying to use, so be sure to check the specific wattage requirements and operating instructions for appliances or tools to be used.

PURE SINE INFLUX INVERTERS

Normal mains power is known as Alternating Current (AC) and is a sine influx shape like the black line within the drawing below

Pure sine wave (black) versus modified sine wave (red)

A typical power inverter generates a ‘modified sine wave output’ like the red line in the sketching above. While this works for most appliances, light dimmers, variable speed exercises, sewing machine speed controls, several laser printers etc . will not run correctly with a modified sine wave power inverter.

Pure sine influx power inverters are especially designed to provide a better sine wave output and so can be used with these appliances, but unfortunately these are more expensive.

Check with your with machine manufacturer or its specifications to confirm if you can use a conventional power inverter or will need a pure sine wave inverter.

WARRANTY

One of the advantages of electronic equipment is there is no moving components (although there is a fan in some models) so you can expect a long serviceable lifetime from a power inverter.
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STANDARDS

Transformers generate dangerous mains voltages so ensure the product you choose is accepted for use with your mains voltage plus supplier.

Power inverters can also generate electro-magnetic radiation that can interfere with other digital equipment such as radios transmitters etc . Check for compliance with relevant standards such as C-Tick etc

SAFETY

Power inverters can generate potentially lethal voltages so the utmost of care ought to be exercised using them to avoid accidental electric shock.

SUMMARY

To select your power inverter carefully check the power requirements for the appliance(s) you intend to use it with.

u Start power – Allow up to seven times for an induction motor
o Operating power – Permit a 20% margin
o Pure or modified sine wave

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