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Inverters

Power inverters are commonly found in a variety of household appliances. Many appliances, such as power tools, will not function without a device that generates the right type of current. Inverters are commonly used as backup power units. Computers and televisions, for instance, can operate during a power failure because inverters generally function in conjunction with battery banks.

Descriptions

An inverter is essentially a small rectangular device generally powered by a 12-volt or 24-volt battery. It may also be powered by a group of connected batteries. Depending on the application, the batteries are charged by various media including solar panels, generators and vehicle engines. Inverters vary in size; some have the capacity to create larger voltage than regular household outlets. An inverter's capacity ranges from 100 watts to over 5,000 watts. The size of the inverter determines the device, or combination of devices that it can power.

Purpose

An inverter's main function is to acquire direct current (DC) from a source such as battery and convert it to alternating current (AC). Inverters can also perform in solar powered homes by taking energy from photovoltaic cells and using it for lighting up the appliances.

Types

The two main types of inverters are the True Sine Wave and Modified Sine Wave inverters. The primary difference between the two is their capacity. While True Sine Wave inverters can be more costly, they are designed to replicate the power provided by power grids. They are generally used with applications that consume a high amount of energy. Modified Sine Wave inverters are recommended for running applications and appliances that consume less energy, such as microwaves. They are only capable of running a few appliances simultaneously.city to create larger voltage than regular household outlets. An inverter's capacity ranges from 100 watts to over 5,000 watts. The size of the inverter determines the device, or combination of devices that it can power.

Selection and Ratings

Selecting an inverter is relatively simple. Add up the power ratings of your appliances and obtain the next largest inverter. However, you must keep in mind the three basic ratings for inverters. Surge ratings are commonly used with appliances that require a high surge to begin performing, but a lower surge to continue running. An inverter must keep its surge rating for a short amount of time. Continuous ratings are the most common because the inverter supplies a continuous amount of power without overheating. The final 30-minute rating is recommended for appliances that are not used on a regular basis. These types of inverters are used where continuous rating is below the capacity needed to power applications that use a high amount of energy.