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Explanation And Definition Of An Inverter

Explanation And Definition Of An Inverter />


With the rolling power interruptions being experienced throughout South Africa, back-up power solutions are becoming a necessity for many South African households. These systems are designed to ensure many of our general household appliances can continue to function when we lose power from the grid.

The system itself is divided into three parts: A deep-cycle battery, a power source to charge the battery, and an inverter. The inverter supplies AC power from the battery when mains power is not available, such as during an outage or load shedding.

Many buyers are often curious about the role of the inverter in the electric power distribution system, or which back-up power solution to choose. Battery Power Zone, as a leading battery retailer, understands some of these queries and will try to provide a general overview of inverters below. We will also touch on their operation, investment prospects, applications, installation process, and where to purchase them.

How inverters operate

In a power backup system, the inverter serves as the hub for all the other components. In other words: the power source, the battery, and those appliances connected to the inverter. The function of the inverter is to convert the battery D.C. (direct current) power supply into an A.C. (alternating current) power supply. This is important because our household appliances and electrical devices run on A.C. while the battery in the system provides D.C. In the event of a power outage, the battery would become the power source and provide backup to the electrical devices and appliances based on its amp hours (Ah) rating. The DC which would be converted into AC by the inverter to power your appliances.

The other scenario where the inverter is used is to charge the battery. In this case, the mains supply or some solar panels provide the power which is used by the battery charging circuit within the inverter.

Types of inverters

You will find different classifications of inverters, depending on various parameters and needs. There are three major types of inverters:

  • Pure Sinewave
  • Modified Sinewave
  • Square wave

A Pure Sine Wave inverter is slightly more expensive and produces a smooth signal with little to no harmonic distortion (interference) when converting direct current from D.C. to A.C.. This makes it ideal for sensitive electronics, such as T.V.s and laptops, which can be easily damaged as a result of power fluctuations. Modified Sine Wave inverters do not have a smooth sine wave A.C. signal, but rather designed to mimic the true sine wave in the form of a "step signal". Most appliances can function normally when attached to a modified sine wave inverter, but some motors, such as cheaper standing fans will not run.

Investment prospects of an inverter

An inverter is a worthwhile investment. It can be used in many different ways to make our lives easier. Before looking at their use, there are different specifications to consider when choosing the best possible option suited to your needs. Most batteries paired with inverters are 12 V batteries, important to bear in mind when choosing your inverter. It should support a 12 V D.C. input and provide an A.C. output of 220V since most home appliances work on this voltage.

The maximum load capacity of an inverter is measured in Volt Amperes (VA) or Watts (W). The VA rating along with the battery's Ah rating determines the number of appliances that could be connected to the back-up system for what length of time. The surge rating is the peak power the inverter can supply in a short period. The surge rating is important for deciding whether the inverter can provide the starting power for heavier loads, such as to the power required for a fridge.

Applications of an inverter

The inverter is normally used as part of a back-up power system, with either solar panels or mains power serving as the primary power supply.

Inverters can also be used in off-grid power systems. This normally involves the use of solar panels as a power source, as well as a quality battery bank, which is used to make a business or home self-sufficient in terms of its electricity needs.

Smaller and portable inverters could also serve as chargers when attached to a vehicle battery able to charge loads of around 300 watts. This could include charging electronics such as smartphones and laptops.

Installing an inverter

Installation of the inverter involves integrating the battery, as well as the inverter with the main power supply of the house or building. It is best to get the work done by a professional technician to avoid any chance of mishaps, unless you buy a ready-made plug-and-play system.

Where to buy an inverter?

As a leading battery retailer, BPZ sells regular and solar inverters. With the promise of high-quality performance, our inverters are designed to meet the needs of South Africans looking for reliable power back up solutions.

For further details, product information, and store locations, you can visit our website: