Have you been searching for an inverter to use with your grid, solar, wind or other renewable energy system? Then you have come to the right place.
In this article we will explain what inverters are, how they work and some of the features available on inverters. We will also provide a buyer’s guide section that can help you decide which type or size is best for your needs.
We have formulated a list below of the best inverters that you could buy at Amazon. This list could serve as a time saver for those who are really busy with their daily tasks. The buyer’s guide follows after the listing.
|Affiliate Disclosure: Essentialspoint.com is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.in. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.|
|Luminous Zelio+ 1100 Home Inverter UPS (Sinewave)||Check Price at Amazon|
|Luminous Zolt 1100 Home UPS Inverter (Sinewave)||Check Price at Amazon|
|Microtek Inverter UPS EB 900 (800Va) 672 Watts Digital Inverter (Sinewave)||Check Price at Amazon|
|Microtek UPS SEBz 1200 (850 Watts) 1100VA Inverter (Sinewave)||Check Price at Amazon|
|Luminous Eco Volt Neo 1050 Inverter for Home, Office and Shops (Blue) (Sinewave)||Check Price at Amazon|
Table of Contents
What are inverters?
An inverter is a device that takes DC (direct current) energy and converts it into AC (alternating current) energy. This allows you to run your regular household appliances from renewable energy sources without worrying about damaging them. Inverters are essential for maximising the benefits of generating your own power, but they also come in handy if you rely on a backup generator or if the power is out.
How do inverters work?
Inverters use “buck” converters to change DC energy into AC energy. They are made up of semiconductor switches that control the flow of electricity in thousands of tiny wires without using magnets. This is known as an “inductor-less design.” As the name suggests, this design is good for small devices that don’t need a lot of energy.
What are the features to look out for when buying an inverter?
There are many different types of inverters on the market with varying features, so it can be tough making a choice depending on what you’re using it for. So it’s important to understand what features are available and which will benefit your specific situation the most.
Nominal output power – How much power an inverter can produce is measured in wattage. The more watts you have, the bigger items you’re able to run off of the inverter at once. Just remember, you don’t want to go too big. It’s important to find the wattage that is just right for your needs, otherwise you could lose power after starting several appliances at once.
Peak output – Having a peak output may not be necessary depending on what you’re using your inverter for, but it will allow you to operate your appliances at a higher level for a short amount of time. It’s mostly only needed for high-powered appliances such as a refrigerator, while low to medium wattage inverters don’t really need peak output.
Mode – Inverters typically have the capability to work in three modes: modified sine wave, pure sine wave, and inverter/charger.
- Modified sine wave – This type of mode is typically for low-end inverters that are cheap, while modified sine wave models are good for noncritical appliances like lights, TVs, fans and microwaves.
- Pure sine wave – This is the best option if you want to run power tools, computers, motors and other items that require precise amounts of electricity.
- Inverter/charger – This type allows you to charge batteries by using the inverter itself as a generator.
Power factors – Power factors are basically how much of your wattage is actually getting used for an appliance compared to how much power is being drawn from the inverter itself. So it’s important to find inverters with a high power factor so as many watts as possible are actually going toward your appliance.
Noise level – Inverters range from being very quiet to being extremely loud. They all have different noise levels, so you should read reviews and look for one that is quiet enough to not cause a disturbance.
Number of outlets – How many outlets you need depends on how and what you’re powering. If you only want to power a TV and a few lights, then your needs will be much less than those running an entire refrigerator and other appliances at once.
Solar and battery compatibility – If you plan on using your inverter with solar panels or batteries or both, you’re going to need an inverter that is compatible. Generally speaking, pure sine wave inverters work best with both.
If you plan on buying an inverter battery, then check out our list of the best inverter batteries.
What are the different types of inverters?
There are many different kinds of inverters and you should choose the one that fits your needs and budget best.
Pure sine wave inverter: These devices produce “pure sine” power, which means they are very similar to the current produced by traditional grid sources. This allows you to run your appliances as if you were still connected to the grid.
Modified sine wave inverter: These inverters produce an alternating current that is very close to a pure sine wave, but they don’t quite meet the criteria for true sine. These devices are usually less expensive than pure sine wave inverters, but will still work for many applications like powering lights and small appliances.
Grid-tie solar inverter: This type of inverter takes your DC power from solar panels or wind turbines and converts it for use by your home. It allows you to get paid for the excess power that you send back into the grid and is compatible with standard household wiring.
Solar inverters: These devices are similar to a grid-tie system, but instead of sending any excess power back into the grid, they store it in batteries. You can use the stored power later to run your appliances at night or if there is no sun or wind.
Solar inverters with AC transfer switch: This type of inverter allows you to seamlessly convert between solar, hydro, and/or backup generator power. They’re extremely useful in areas where blackouts are frequent. Usually they are designed for RV conversion and include battery trickle chargers.
3-phase inverters: This type of device is mostly used in commercial applications. They can be very powerful (up to 30,000 watts) and can run a large number of appliances at once.
How to choose an inverter?
Inverters range in size, scope, and price. The more features you need and the larger size your inverter is, the more expensive it will be. So how do you choose one? Decide on what appliances you want to run through the inverter and then look at overall wattage. Inverters are rated by watts and kilowatts (KW). For example, a 1000 watt inverter can power a TV, computer and coffee maker at the same time. A 2 KW inverter could power two air conditioners or a refrigerator with no problem.
There are several things that you should look out for:
Avoid cheap knock-offs – Many companies sell modified sine wave inverters at bargain-basement prices. These inverters will work for small appliances and light fixtures, but you probably don’t want to use them with sensitive electronics like a computer or TV.
Choose an inverter that can handle the power of your solar system – Even if you have a large battery bank, it’s still advisable to choose an inverter that can handle your solar system’s peak power. If you choose an inverter with less wattage than your solar array, you risk “browning out” and damaging sensitive electronics.
We’d recommend choosing a pure sine wave system. The improved quality will be very noticeable when using high-end electronics with your inverter.
Why should you buy an inverter?
Inverters are extremely useful if you want to live off the grid or just get more out of your solar, wind or other renewable energy system. If you don’t have an inverter, then your home is tied to the grid and will only receive power when it’s being generated. With an inverter in place though, you can store excess electricity in a battery bank and use it whenever you need it.
Inverters are also useful if the power goes out in your home or area. An inverter will allow you to continue using your appliances while the power company restores service.
For uninterrupted power supply to your home, buy an inverter at Amazon.
Commonly Asked Questions on Inverters
1. What is the difference between a pure sine wave inverter and one that is modified?
A pure sine wave inverter produces a smooth, clean power source that is very similar to the type of electricity you’d get from commercial sources (and from the grid). An AC modified sine wave inverter on the other hand creates an alternating current that will work for most smaller appliances. Modified sine wave inverters are less expensive and usually have a smaller footprint.
2. How big of an inverter do I need?
The size of the inverter you need depends on your appliances and what you want to run at one time. Generally speaking, if you’re running high-powered appliances like air conditioners or refrigerators, then it’s a good idea to get a 2 KW or larger inverter. For smaller appliances such as lamps and laptops, any inverter might be enough.
3. Should I buy a grid-tied or an off-grid inverter?
Grid-tied inverters tie your small power system into the larger power grid. This means that you can sell excess electricity back to the electric company (which lowers your monthly bill), but it also means that you don’t have complete independence from the grid if something goes wrong or there’s a blackout. Off-grid inverters on the other hand aren’t connected to the grid, so you’ll have total independence from commercial power sources. The only potential downside is that during a blackout, nothing will run in your home unless there’s an emergency battery pack or generator nearby.
4. What kind of appliances can be used with inverters?
Inverters work with all types of appliances. This includes things like lights, fans, refrigerators, air conditioners and more. Inverters even work on certain computer equipment, stereos and TVs.
5. Which appliances need a pure sine wave inverter?
In general, any appliance that uses motors or has a sensitive circuit board will do better with a pure sine wave inverter. For instance, some microwave ovens and tube TVs work better with a pure sine wave inverter. However, most small appliances like lamps and laptops can be powered by either type of inverter as long as they have a low wattage.
6. Which appliances require modified sine wave inverters?
The vast majority of appliances can be powered by a modified sine wave inverter (with the exception of some high-end electronics). Modified sine wave inverters tend to be less expensive and more compact.
7. How should I connect the appliances to the inverter? Are there any special installation issues to consider?
In order to connect your appliances to the inverter, you’ll need some basic wiring knowledge. You can either install a new circuit in your home with wires that run from the inverter to each appliance or you can use extension cords and plug adapters. Again, this is standard electrical work, and you shouldn’t have any trouble with it.
Inverters help to keep your household running during a power outage. If you’re looking for an inverter, we recommend considering the type of appliances that will be connected and what size is best suited for your needs. If you’re not an expert when it comes to electricity and wiring, then we also recommend hiring a professional to help you with the installation.