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What is a Sine Wave Inverter?

A sine wave inverter is a great choice if you love camping and long-distance road trips, but also want modern conveniences that are powered by electricity. Sine wave converters are devices that convert power from a battery to the same power you get from a wall outlet in your house or office.
Sine wave inverters convert direct current (DC), from a battery, into alternating currents (AC). AC power can be used to power appliances, light strips and lamps, as well as compressors, and other devices that are not powered by batteries.

Although the concept of a sinewave inverter is simple, it can become more complex when you look at all the available sinewave inverters. There are two types of inverters available: modified sine wave and pure sine wave. You’ll be able to determine which 12/24/48v pure sine wave inverter is right for you once you understand the differences.

A Pure Sine Wave Inverter is what you need

The most expensive inverters are usually pure sine wave ones. They produce AC power that is most similar to a sine wave or power from wall outlets. Pure sine waves are a continuous, steady wave that produces a smooth, periodic oscillation.

Pure sine wave converters are the best, as they can run all equipment that is designed to operate on a pure signwave. Pure sine wave inverters will power all devices to their full potential. You should also note that some devices are only compatible with pure sine waves inverters. If you use other types of sinewave inverters, there is a possibility of malfunction, damage or even non-functioning.

These devices require pure sine wave converters:

Appliances that have AC motors (e.g. refrigerators, compressors, or microwaves)
Other devices include bread makers, light dimmers, and battery chargers.
Satellite systems, audio and video equipment
Some medical equipment, like many CPAP devices to treat sleep apnea or oxygen concentrators, may not be compatible with certain medical equipment.

Pure sine wave inverters provide all the necessary functionality, so everything you can power with them will work to its maximum potential.

Modified Sine Wave inverters:

Modified sinewave inverters are the most affordable sine wave inverters. They produce a type that is easy to make. Modified sine wave inverters have a rapid polarity switch from positive to negatively, creating a waveform more similar to a square wave than with pure sine inverters.

Modified sine wave inverters can be used with most equipment. However, there are exceptions. Modified sine wave inverters can reduce power consumption or cause damage to some devices, while others will not work at all. For details, particularly for laptops, check your manufacturer’s guide.

You don’t want devices to be run on modified sinewave inverters.

Motors can also be used with appliances and devices with motors like fans, refrigerators, or microwaves. Motors that are not optimized for efficiency will require more power to operate, which can lead to overheating and even damage.
Appliances with electric or digital timers or clocks will not work properly. The sine wave’s peak power is what causes the clocks and timing devices to lose their power. Flattened wave patterns don’t provide the peak they require and can lead to malfunction.
Equipment that uses variable speed or electric temperature controls can also have the same problem. For example, a variable speed drill may not be able to run at all speeds but only on low or high speeds.
Some fluorescent lighting devices won’t work as brightly and some may make annoying buzzing, humping sounds.

Modified sine wave inverters are a cost-effective alternative to expensive equipment unless you have special equipment. They are also the most popular and widely used inverters.

Choose the right equipment for your application

A pure sine inverter charger is best if you plan on having the inverter connected to public power, a generator, or other power sources. These chargers have a built in charger that stores power in a bank of batteries and automatically connects to external power. These are great for mobile use such as in a vehicle, boat or RV.

The intended purpose of the sine wave inverter will determine which one is best for you. Consider the equipment that you will use with the inverter. Also, review any manufacturer instructions to determine the best type of inverter. Then you can confidently choose the best inverter for you.