A power inverter converts DC power into conventional AC power allowing you to use your favorite devices when an AC outlet is not available. Simply connect an inverter to a battery source, plug your appliance into the inverter and you’re set!
A home outlets produce if connected to the grid (if you pay a power bill your a part of the grid) an AC pure sine wave on a 15 or 20 amp breaker.
Solar panels create DC power that is useful to change to AC power with an inverter and maybe store excess power in battery banks(it’s up to you).
Car, truck, golf cart and boat batteries all give DC. Hook an inverter up to any and you got AC power. Or for smaller use you can get an inverter that plugs into your lighter socket for plug and play inverter action.
Different devices require specific wattages to run correctly and efficiently. Please use this easy formula to determine the correct size inverter: If the AC voltage is 120V.
AMPS x 120V = Watts
Example: 15 Amp Cooling Unit X 120V = 1800 Watts
Please refer to our estimated watts page to help you find the inverter that is right for you
Power inverters vary in their uses from industrial and home grade devices that power entire states, or small countries, all the way to versions that power only simple electronics in a portable manner. The principle remains the same no matter what size the power inverter happens to be. Electrical companies use the largest inverters in massive industrial complexes to generate their own power supply.
Electrical power generation methods create a either alternating or direct current. The typical versions in many electrical companies involve a power turbine that generates alternating current due to the spinning motion of the copper wires. However, modern green technology will generally create direct current due to the nature in which electrons are allowed to move. Solar cell technology is a prime example of this.
Alternating current is easier to transport through cables over long distances than direct current. The electricity itself is still the same concept. It is the method of delivering that electrical current that changes to that it is in a specified frequency and power scale in accordance with individual power related needs.
The largest power inverters power cities and states. However, the smallest of these can have something as simple as a twelve-volt battery attached to it and will generate a safe and reliable form of alternating current as a portable or emergency power supply that can run many smaller types of electronic equipment.
This form of electricity is generally lower in voltage but it has a continuous stream of steady power. Direct current is normally found in batteries both internal and external. Many home based appliances such as television sets have internal battery systems that convert the alternating current into a lower powered and safer version of direct current for the sensitive circuits that the electricity will run through. Higher electrical levels can short out or even set those circuits on fire and are a serious safety hazard. This is why power inverters were made to switch current types back and forth, or even shift them in scale from the same type to a higher voltage of that type.
Alternating current has negative and positive alternating cycles, thus granting this form of electricity delivery its name. This is useful for equipment that requires a surging style of power as well as transferring electrical current across large distances through conductive metal wires. However, this can be a dangerous form of electrical power to use in sensitive electronics.
Residential power inverters and vehicle power inverters
These are the ones that are used for inversion of green technology power generation methods such as solar cells, which generate direct current so that this can tie into the homes power grid. This type of power inverter is called a grid-tie, or grid-inversion, inverter.
However, the simplest use of all for a power inverter is through the addition of a simply 12 or 24 volt DC car battery. Many individuals will even leave their vehicle running while the inverter is attached so that the battery continues to cycle. With this as an emergency or portable power supply the owner of the inverter can power simple electronics such as radios and televisions. The amount of electronic equipment that can be run and the length of time they can be run, called run time, will vary on the voltage of the battery and the capacity of the inverter.
Keep the cables between your inverter and batteries as short as possible. This will help your batteries perform their best and keep the inverter’s signal clean. The cables that come with the inverter are “rated” or good for up to six ft. If you plan on going over six ft., drop down to a larger gauge cable. Please call us if you are still unsure. This is pretty important stuff that should NOT be overlooked. If the cables between your battery and inverter get hot while under heavy load, then you should use heavier cables.
Yes, no problem. If cables need to be run, it is best to keep inverter as close as possible to batteries. Use extension cords on the output side (Vac output) rather than extending the Vdc cables. Tip: Contractors often need to mount the inverter in the back of their trucks. In a case like this it would be best to mount a secondary battery near the inverter and wire it to the primary truck battery. Vac extension cords should not exceed 200 feet or you will have signal loss
The run time depends solely on the amount and size (capacity) of your batteries.
- Total the amps on your batteries and divide by 12. Take that number and set it aside, we’ll get back to it in a moment.
- Total the amps on the devices you will use on the inverter, add another 1/2 amp for the inverter itself.
- Take THAT total and divide into the first number youcame up with.
- The result will be your runtime in hours. The more batteries you put in parallel the longer runtime you can expect.
Yes, most of our customers will leave their vehicle running while using their inverter. We recommend that only 2500 watt inverters and below be used on your truck or large vehicle. Advise your vehicle’s manufacture or mechanic to make sure your alternator will keep up with the amps being used.
The low voltage alarm will sound when the DC source falls below 10 volts and the automatic shutdown will power off the inverter. This is done to save your battery(ies) so you can restart your vehicle
My inverter’s fans won’t come on
Good! On almost all of our inverters over 600 watts, the fans are connected to a thermal switch which will only allow the fans to come on when they reach a certain temperature. This helps keep your batteries holding their charge longer, and also makes it QUIET!
No. Treat your inverter like you would your TV. You wouldn’t put your TV outside in the rain, please don’t leave your inverter there either. Be aware of lighting storms. If struck, your inverter would go into a permanent overload state and may even smoke it. If using in a marine environment, try to keep it tucked away underneath, in a dryer area.
Most of our customers prefer to use deep cycle marine batteries with their inverters. A few advantages are:
- Delivers higher peak amps faster than conventional batteries
- Provides up to twice the life of conventional batteries
- More consistent voltage across the discharge curve
- Superior cold and hot weather performance vs. conventional batteries
We suggest Lifeline deep cycle batteries, they work extremely well with power inverters.
The following three paragraphs are from the Batteries:
Connecting Batteries Together in Parallel
If your battery application requires more starting power or reserve capacity you can install multiple batteries together in parallel by connecting the like terminals together (positive to positive / negative to negative). Each time you add a battery in parallel you increase the CCA and Reserve Capacity, the voltage remains at 12 volts.
Suggestions for connecting batteries in parallel
- Use batteries of identical make, model, and age.
- Make sure cable gauge is sufficient to handle the higher current flow.
- Prevent cables from shorting (do not allow them to rub against the vehicle body).
- Use only high quality connectors, clean all contacts prior to installation.
- Periodically check all connections for snugness.
- If you are unsure of this procedure, contact your automotive service center.
Battery installation tips
- Ensure that the battery is properly secured in the vehicle or equipment to prevent movement or vibration wear.
- Do not over tighten the hold down bracket
- Connect high amperage accessories such as a winch to the top terminals only. Do NOT use the side terminals.
- Replace any cables and connectors that have corrosion, rust, or other damage.
- Do not install batteries in a non-ventilated or sealed compartment.
- Do not lift or handle the batteries by the terminals.
- Do not over tighten terminal bolts
There are generally two types of inverters on the market for residential use. These are pure sine wave and modified sine wave inverters. The differences between the two are quite substantial in overall usefulness and cost.
They are 'pure'. This means a cleaner running system that allows most equipment that would run on standard electrical power outlets to be powered by the inverter. This purity of this sine wave allows for a lower harmonic distortion factor similar to the standard power outlet.
With a pure sine wave power inverter sensitive electronics will run better overall with more efficient processes and less audible noise. There are some types of electronics that will not work at all with a modified sine wave and this much more expensive version is the only true answer to your power needs.
Pure sine wave power inverters allow motors to run cooler, last longer and provide very clean power like you would receive from a power company. Devices such as laser printers, digital clocks, and most medical equipment require a pure sine wave inverter to run correctly. As noted above, as a precaution, please contact the manufacturer of your device to determine if pure sine wave power is required.
Modified sine wave power inverters are more portable than pure sine wave power inverters, lighter, and lower in cost. However, the price drop comes with a cost in efficiency and noise reduction. They will reliably run equipment that isn't as sensitive as some high-end electronics but they may generate an electrical hum or distort sounds in some manner.
There are a few types of electronics that a modified sine wave power inverter cannot run effectively. Generally any highly technical piece of electronic computer should be checked with the manufacturer to determine if a modified sine wave will work for you. Laptops, laser printers, optical hard drives, and a great deal of medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators will not work properly with this type of power inverter.
For the solar power system, the inverter is the most important for the whole system, and the cost is nearly the cheapest unit,so we recommend you choose pure sine wave inverter for your system, especially for the system bigger than 500W.
As a precaution, please contact the manufacturer of your device to determine if it is compatible.
Maybe. Never leave an inverter connected to a line where other power (shore, household .etc Vac) may feed into inverter. It doesn’t matter if inverter is on or off, you will most likely smoke your inverter.
Here in the US, things run at 60Hz, in Europe and most other places around the world, things run at 50Hz. You’ll most likely require a 60Hz inverter if you are running a device intended to run on US power.
Yes, many of our customers use their inverter for that very reason. We do recommend a pure sine wave inverter though, but as always, please check your manual or contact the manufacture of your device.
Every inverter comes with a helpful manual, but questions may still arise. When you purchase an inverter from us, we will walk you all the way through the installation process and make sure you’re up and running!
Please feel free to contact a customer service representative by email firstname.lastname@example.org!