Power Inverter Buyer’s Guide

Do you own a boat or RV and need to learn more about power inverters. Here is our comprehensive buyer’s guide on how power inverters work. Power inverters are great tools to convert DC power to AC, such as when you want to draw power from your car’s cigarette lighter to power a television for example. There are two general types of power inverters: Modified-sine Wave (Square Wave) Inverters; and True-Sine Wave Inverters.

Learn More About Power Inverters

There are two general types of power inverters:

  • Modified-sine Wave (Square Wave) Inverters; and
  • True-Sine Wave Inverters

Modified-sine Wave (Square Wave) Inverters: Modified-sine wave (square wave) inverters are the most common types of power inverters on the market. Modified-sine wave power inverters produce a power wave that is sufficient for most devices.

True-Sine Wave Inverters: True-sine wave inverters produce power that is either identical or sometimes slightly better to power from the public utility power grid system. The power wave when viewed through an oscilloscope is a smooth sine wave.

What does that mean to the everyday user? Not much. Most household electrical devices will run perfectly fine on either type of wave form. However, because modified-sine wave (square wave) inverters are generally less expensive, most people use them to power most household electrical devices. Most of our customers who are using a power inverter to run a laptop, a/c cell phone charger, fan, or camera find that a modified-sine wave power inverter that operates through the cigarette lighter socket the easiest to use. We usually suggest choosing power inverters that are rated under 300 watts when using the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket found in most vehicles. We suggest this because after reaching 300 watts of draw on the inverter, the fuses in your car will begin to blow.

Modified-sine wave (square wave) inverters, which are appropriate for most road trips, fall into the following four groups:

300 watts: For household appliances, TVs (up to 27″), VCR, desktop computers, other mobile office equipment. Most of these connect via a 12-Volt plug.

600 watts: For household appliances, large screen TVs, 5-amp power tools, and bread machines. Most such inverters are connected directly to the 12-volt battery and have three or more grounded outlets for powering several products at the same time.

1750 watts: For household appliances, larger power tools, microwave ovens, toasters, and hair dryers. All of these inverters are designed for direct connection to the battery network and can generally supply 1500 watts of continuous power.

3000 watts: With output power generally rated at 2500 watts for continuous load, these inverters can power virtually all household appliances and office equipment. For loads of this magnitude, special wiring and battery banks may be required.

The problem with wave form only comes into play when specialized pieces of equipment need to be powered. Here are a few devices which could have problems when they are connected to an inverter producing a modified-sine wave signal: oxygen concentrators, fax machines, laser printers, high voltage cordless tool chargers, equipment with variable speed motors, electric shavers, and garage door openers.

There are a few other applications — high-end audio video units, plasma displays, gaming systems, and certain scientific testing equipment — for which true-sine wave is not usually required. Even so, these applications can usually benefit from the improved clarity of the electrical signal produced by a true-sine wave power inverter. Users of these particular items have usually spent a lot of money to achieve optimal results from their equipment, and it would be a shame to have a cheaper modified-sine wave signal cause inaccurate readings on a piece of scientific equipment. It would be equally disheartening to have small distortion lines appear on a $3000 plasma TV because the user saved $250.00 by buying a modified-sine wave power inverter.

Now that you are ready to purchase a power inverter, please visit us www.Bundlecity.com to choose among our comprehensive variety of inverters.

For Additional Questions, Please e-mail us at: sales@bundlecity.com or call toll free at 888.488-2635.

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