Inverter Basics: A Guide to Inverters and How They Work

What is an inverter and what role does it play?

As we increasingly rely on mobile devices in our daily lives, the need for reliable and portable power sources has never been greater. Inverters are electronic devices that convert low-voltage DC power into AC power, making them ideal for powering mobile devices.

While batteries or electric batteries can provide the low-voltage DC power needed by mobile devices, they cannot supply the 120V AC power that is essential in our daily lives. This is where inverters come in, as they are able to reverse the process and convert DC power into AC power.

Inverters are available in a variety of sizes and power outputs, so it is important to choose one that is suitable for your needs. If you are looking for a portable power source for your mobile devices, an inverter is an ideal solution.

By output waveform, how many types of inverters are there

There are mainly two types of inverters, one is sine wave inverter and the other is a square wave inverter.

Sine wave inverters output the same or better sine wave AC power as the grid we use every day because it does not have electromagnetic pollution in the grid.

The square wave inverter outputs a poorer quality square wave AC power, where the positive maximum to the negative maximum is generated almost simultaneously, thus causing drastic instability to the load and the inverter itself. At the same time, its load capacity is poor, only 40-60% of the rated load, and it cannot carry inductive loads.

If the load carried is too large, the third harmonic component contained in the square wave current will increase the capacitive current flowing into the load, which will seriously damage the power filter capacitor of the load.

What is inductive load?

Commonly speaking, it is the application of the electromagnetic induction principle of high-power electrical products, such as motors, compressors, relays, fluorescent lamps, and so on.

These products require a much higher starting current (about 3-7 times) than the current required to maintain the normal operation. For example, a refrigerator that consumes about 150 watts of power in normal operation can start with a power of up to 1000 watts or more.

In addition, because the inductive load will generate counter-electromotive force voltage at the moment of power on or power off, the peak value of this voltage is much larger than the voltage value that the inverter can withstand, which will easily cause instantaneous overload of the inverter and affect the service life of the inverter. Therefore, such appliances have higher requirements for the supply waveform.

What is the efficiency of the inverter?

The inverter itself consumes part of the power when it works, so its input power should be greater than its output power. The efficiency of the inverter is the ratio of the input power to the output power of the inverter. If an inverter inputs 100W of DC power and outputs 90W of AC power, then its efficiency is 90%.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to inverter efficiency. First, the higher the efficiency, the better. Second, the inverter must have a high enough power output to meet the needs of the system. And lastly, the inverter must be able to operate at peak efficiency under all conditions, including low light and high temperatures.

What are continuous output power and peak output power?

Some appliances or tools using electric motors, such as refrigerators, washing machines, drills, etc., need a large current to drive them at the moment of starting, and only a smaller current to maintain their normal operation once they start successfully.

Therefore, for the inverter, there is also the concept of continuous output power and peak output power. The continuous output power is the rated output power, and the peak output power is generally two times the rated output power.

It must be emphasized that some appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, have a start-up current equivalent to 3-7 times the normal operating current. Therefore, only the inverter that can meet the peak power of the appliance start can work properly.

How should I connect the inverter to the power supply and load?

For appliances under 150W, you can directly plug the 150W inverter into the cigarette lighter socket and use it.

The inverter over 150W is directly connected to the battery through the alligator clip wire, the red wire is connected to the positive terminal of the battery, and the black wire is connected to the negative terminal of the battery, if the place of using electricity is far away from the battery, the principle of connecting the inverter is: the inverter and the battery connection should be as short as possible, while the output line of 120V AC is longer.

What if I want to use the inverter for a long time without starting the engine

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, many of us find ourselves relying more and more on our home inverters to keep the lights on and our appliances running. But did you know that there's a simple way to extend the independent use time of your inverter?

All you need is another battery of the same voltage, and some thick wires to connect the positive and negative terminals of the two batteries. By doing this, you can essentially double your inverter's run time.

Of course, you'll need to make sure that the two batteries are properly matched in terms of voltage and capacity. But if you do it right, this simple trick can go a long way toward keeping your home running smoothly all winter long.

What is the danger of using an inverter?

The wire from the car battery to the input of the inverter carries a very large current. If the wire is of poor quality, the wire is too thin or the load is too high, causing the copper wire to heat up or even eventually catch fire, it will cause a very serious accident. How to choose the correct size of power inverter battery cable, you can read this article.

Therefore, during the use of the inverter, the operation must be strictly in accordance with the user manual.

What appliances can pure sine wave inverters be used for?

There are a lot of appliances that can use pure sine wave inverters, and the list is always growing. Some of the most popular appliances include:


2022 Model 4000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter


This 4000 watt pure sine wave inverter with dual US AC sockets. With two high-quality sockets and 2.4A 5V USB ports, you can use multiple appliances at the same time. The live, neutral wire and ground connection terminal also make it perfect for high-power appliances.

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- Refrigerators

- Freezers

- Air conditioners

- Heat pumps

- Water pumps

- Furnaces

- Hot water heaters

- Motors

- Power tools

- Electronics

As you can see, there are a lot of appliances that can use pure sine wave inverters. If you have any of these appliances, then you might want to consider investing in a pure sine wave inverter.

Check out our selection of Inverters in our shop to see which ones meet your power needs. For more information, you can check these articles:

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