by Justin G.
Customer Question: What is the difference between cheap (brand name withheld) inverters and yours? They are the same wattage as yours, but the price is 1/3 less... Don't they do the same thing? -Tony (via email)
Tony, you bring up a really good point.
For the most part, you are right; an inverter is an inverter with no discernable differences between models/brands/etc. to the untrained eye.
When you open up the inverter, you'll see major differences in components: quality/lifespan/ and most importantly lifecycle.
The first thing you'll notice with our inverters is the conformal coating. This is not something that every manufacturer does as it adds costs, but it adds weather-resistance, protects the circuit board (from stuff like dust & debris), and increases the overall life and reliability of the unit. Component quality is another benchmark.
Cheap components breakdown quickly and tend to fail early. We commonly see this with less expensive brands; the components will work for a few months, and then cease operation altogether rendering the inverter useless. Our inverters source reliable quality components that are tested and duty-cycle rated to perform at or above our standards. They are run at thousands of cycles and for weeks upon end to ensure that they can handle the loads, heat, and cycles applied to them. Another important factor is over-rating components to handle the use/misuse often applied by the human hand.
Another critical aspect of inverter manufacturing is ensuring that the components are correctly sized
to handle the task. We've seen other inverters running barely capable capacitors/transformers that will only handle the correctly sized load - if overloaded, they become damaged and no longer work. They'll use a 17V component because its cheaper, while we'll use a 24V unit to handle the occasional overload because it's better.
Another performance factor is the actual output
of the inverter. This is a HUGE one! Many (if not most) inverters will claim a wattage on the unit, but is unable to sustain that wattage for any useable length of time. This is the reason that we coined the term "TrueRated Power" - TrueRated Power is Wagan Tech’s coined term for truth in advertising and performance. While actual output wattage of competitor’s inverters varies greatly, Wagan Tech inverters help consumers to understand and trust that the number printed on the inverter is the actual output of the device (and will sustain that output load for at least 24 continuous hours). Learn More about TrueRated Power
Lastly, we have "boots on the ground" in the factory who are constantly testing the units to ensure that each one can handle the use it was intended for. Quality Control is ultra important to us; we live by the "buy once, cry once" motto - we want you to have an inverter that is only installed once and never has to be messed with again.
In all honesty, if you only plan on using the inverter once or twice and are not worried about the cleanliness of the power output or the life of the inverter, the cheaper option may be the best for you.
If you're looking for something that is safe, powerful, and will last - our Inverters are a sure bet.