Tips on how to Select the Right Power Inverter For You

WHAT EXACTLY IS POWER INVERTER?

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

The most popular use for a power inverter is converting electric battery electricity into mains electricity. By way of example converting your car batteries’ 12 volts DC into mains electricity 240 Volt AC (Australia) or 110 Volt AC (USA).

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

Power inverters bring creature comforts from home when you go camping or caravaning allowing you to use your TV, fridge or even electric shaver in fact most of the normal mains powered conveniences from the home.
You can charge your laptop within 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 run appliance while you’re away from a power socket.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A POWER INVERTER

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

HOW MUCH POWER IS ENOUGH?

Power inverters are available in a range of power capacities so selecting the right one for you is very important. Your power 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 extra 20% free board
o Include the power for all the devices you want to operate at the same time

Note also that devices along with induction electric motors like an energy saw may require 3 to 7 times the operating power when they start.

Using an under-powered power inverter may damage it or the product 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 wave shape like the black line in 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 devices, light dimmers, variable speed drills, sewing machine speed controls, a few laser printers etc . will not function 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 utilized with these appliances, but unfortunately they are more expensive.

Check with your with product manufacturer or its specifications to verify 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 parts (although there is a fan in some models) so you can expect a long serviceable life from a power inverter.
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STANDARDS

Power inverters generate dangerous mains voltages so ensure the product you choose is authorized 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 specifications such as C-Tick etc

SAFETY

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

SUMMARY

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

um Start power – Allow as much as seven times for an induction motor
o Operating power – Enable a 20% margin
o Pure or modified sine wave

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