Off-Grid Mains Power Inverters - An Introduction
Off-grid inverters convert battery power (12V or 24V DC) to mains
power (230/240V AC). They are very convenient, as they allow the
use of standard "mains" appliances on a DC (battery) system.
Inverters are great for powering devices such as washing machines,
power tools and vacuum cleaners, which tend to have shorter
running times, or are only used occasionally. However, on smaller
systems, due to the standby and internal power losses in even the
most efficient inverters, regular loads with long running times
such as lighting and refrigeration are often best run direct from
Some off-grid inverters can be fitted with remote switches so that
they can be turned off easily when not in use. For maximum
inverter efficiency, it's recommended to try and match the
inverter rated power to the power draw of the devices to be run.
Most high quality inverters feature a battery protection circuit
which is designed to shut off the inverter if the battery voltage
gets too low. This prevents the batteries from being damaged by
Power inverters are very useful in vehicles, as they provide a
totally independent mains power supply. In this situation, we
recommend that clients consider having a second battery and split
charger unit fitted to the vehicle to handle the extra power draw.
Larger off-grid inverters are also
available with built-in battery chargers. These units are called
Inverter Chargers (surprisingly enough). These are great for
occasional topping up from the mains or from a generator.
Modified Sine Wave or True Sine Wave ?
There are two main types of off-grid DC to AC inverter – Modified
Sine Wave (aka Quasi Sine) and True Sine Wave. Modified sine
inverters are cheaper, but the power is a little rough. This can
occasionally produce problems with some devices, such as TV's and
True sine wave inverters produce exceptionally high quality
power, and run all types of equipment. At www.solar-wind.co.uk we
don't sell the 'modified' sine wave type.
Why Do Inverter Prices Vary So Much ?
The difference between a cheap inverter and the expensive ones is
that the cheaper ones normally use 'MOFSET' transistors,
whilst the expensive ones use a 'toroidal' transformer. The
toroidal inverters have a much better surge (peak power) ability,
and generally last longer - however the copper used on the toroid
pushes the price (& weight) up significantly.
Our Off-Grid Inverter Range
Inverters - 12V, 24V or 48V input, true sinewave, rugged
design from 180VA to 5000VA.
Inverter Chargers - 12V, 24V or 48V input, true sinewave,
built-in battery chargers, 2000 to 2300VA.
Inverters (Ex ASP) - 12V, 24V or 48V input, true sinewave,
industrial inverters from 150VA to 3400VA.
We also supply solar
pv panels, small wind turbines, deep-cycle batteries, solar pv
controllers and a wide range of accessories.