What is a Power Inverter? FAQ

Posted on 2/14/2019 by Justin G. (Marketing)

What is a power inverter?

In the simplest of terms, it is a device that takes DC power (like your car’s battery) and converts it to AC power (like the wall outlet in your house).

 

What do the numbers on the inverter mean?

There are a few numbers printed on the inverter: Input voltage, Output wattage, and Peak wattage (aka Peak Surge).

• Input Voltage: this is the DC current that the Inverter requires to operate. Most cars run off of a 12 volt DC (12V DC) electrical system. For this application, you will need a 12V inverter.

• Output Wattage: this is the maximum wattage that the inverter can carry under normal loads.

• Peak Wattage (Surge): this is also known as “Peak Surge” and is the amount of wattage that the inverter can handle for < 1 second. Large appliances (Air compressors, Power  Tools, Ovens, Heaters, Large Fans) will often have a “start-up surge” where the device requires a large current to start.

• Continuous Wattage (Power): Usually not printed on the inverter, but a very important number for people using their inverters near maximum load. See this BLOG for more information on Continuous wattage.

 

How do you use a power inverter?

There are two main types of power inverter connections, “plug-and-play”, and hard-wired.

• “plug-and-play” type inverters are the simplest to use. Simply plug them into your vehicle’s DC Socket (aka: Cigarette lighter plug/Accessory Socket), then plug in your device.

• Hard-Wired/Hard-wiring: this is the best way to connect large inverters. In this case, you will run battery cables from the battery directly to the inverter.

 

Are Inverters hard to use?

Power inverters are actually quite simple to use. All you need is a stable power source (such as a battery or battery bank) and the inverter itself. Once you connect the battery to the inverter (using battery cables), it is ready to be used.

 

What battery cables should I use to connect my battery to the Inverter?

See this BLOG, it will explain what you need to correctly and safely connect the battery to the inverter.

 

What inverter do I need?

Take a look at this BLOG. The inverter size (output/wattage) you will need is based upon the electronics that you need to power. Basically, add up the wattage requirements of the appliances, add 20% to that number, and you will have the approximate inverter size you need.

 

Are there different voltage inverters?

Yes! We manufacture inverters that have an input voltage of 12V, 24V and 48V.

 

What is the largest size power inverter?

We manufacture power inverters from 80W all the way up to 10,000W!

 

What is Modified Sine Wave?

Modified Sine Wave or MSW is a “manufactured” sine wave. This allows inverters to be manufactured in a less-expensive way allowing consumers to have an inverter at a lower price. Also known as a “Square Sine”, this is a less-expensive alternative for powering your appliances.

 

What is a Pure Sine Wave?

A Pure Sine Wave or PSW is the same type of electrical power that comes out of the wall outlet in your house. It is the cleanest, smoothest, and most reliable waveform and will power 99.99% of all appliances. PSW is also known as: Sine, True Sine, Natural Sine , and True Wave.

 

Wagan Tech

Should I get a Pure or Modified Sine Wave Inverter?

Answer these questions:

• Are you using the device often (daily) or temporarily?

• What are your power requirements in watts (now and in the future)? Pro Tip: take a look at your device; power consumption will be listed in watts or amps on its label.

• Are any of the device(s) you need to power “sensitive” electronics: electric motors, computers, dimmer switch controlled, medical devices, clocks, heaters, audio/video equipment, hairdryer, pellet stove, tool chargers, or adjustable temperature devices?

I have two blogs written on this topic; this BLOG has an easy to use flow chart that can help you to decide. For more reading, see this BLOG here.

 

What can an Inverter Power?

A power inverter can power nearly any appliance as long as the battery power supplying the inverter is sufficient and the inverter is rated to handle the wattage. Just imagine:  It’s a beautiful weekend morning and you’ve set up at your favorite tailgating spot. The canopy is up, friends are arriving and the meat is cooking on the grill. What else could you want? How about adding some entertainment or a blended beverage to kick it up a notch? Take a look at this BLOG to see how to step-up your game!

 

Are Inverters hard to install?

Everything you want to know about Power Inverter installation is located in this Top-Rated #1 searched blog, HERE.

 

As you can see, we know a thing or two about Power Inverters. We have been manufacturing Power Inverters since 1991; taking those 28+ years worth of knowledge, we've produced a clean, compact, and beautiful Pure Sine Inverter...our Pure Line. Take a closer look at the Pure Line by clicking the link to this BLOG.

 

What is the difference between our inverter models?

• Pure Line: Our Pure Line is the latest generation of superb looking, high-wattage, Pure Sine Wave (PSW) inverters. Featuring internally protected GFCI circuits with NEMA 5-15 3-prong AC outlets, the Pure Line inverters will supply you with the clean pure sine wave power that you need at a price you can afford. Current models range from 700W-2,000W with more sizes to be released soon.

• ProLine: As the name implies, our ProLine is built for the PROfessionals. These are our high wattage MSW inverters with models ranging from 3,000W-10,000W. Featuring high output terminals, NEMA 5-15 3-prong AC outlets, high-grade SMT components, and internal safeties, the ProLine is ready to assist you on any job site.

• SlimLine: starting at 250 watts and ending with the 2,000W model, the SlimLine is an affordable MSW inverter that is perfect for everyday use. All SlimLine Inverter models feature narrow designed bodies (hence the “slim” moniker); this allows these inverters to be mounted and stored nearly anywhere. Perfect for weekend-warriors, road-trippers, and soccer moms alike.

• Elite: For those looking for smaller wattage Pure Sine Wave (PSW) inverters, the Elite series is the best choice. With models ranging from 200W all the way up to 1,000W, the Elite series is an affordable and compact PSW inverter that fills your needs.

• Smart AC: Our Smart AC line is one of the best known and highly regarded power inverter series. With MSW inverters ranging from 80W up to 400W, the Smart AC line is a true “plug and play” power inverter. When ease of use and reliability is the name of the game, the Smart AC series is the smart choice.

 

 

Links in this blog (click):

Pure Line Inverters - ProLine Inverters - SlimLine Inverters - Elite Inverters - Smart AC Inverters 

All Pure Sine Wave (PSW) Inverters -  All Modified Sine Wave (MSW) Inverters

 

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