When it comes to buying power inverters, an important consideration is whether you choose a modified sine wave inverter or pure sine wave inverter.
Below we walk you through a detailed modified sine wave vs pure sine wave comparison to help you choose wisely.
Let’s start with the basics.
- 1 What is a modified sine wave inverter?
- 2 What is a pure sine wave inverter?
- 3 Modified sine wave vs pure sine wave inverter – where to deploy each type of inverter
- 4 Other modified sine wave inverter problems
- 5 A word on the pure sine wave inverters pricing
- 6 Converting modified sine wave to pure sine wave
- 7 Modified sine wave vs pure sine wave – frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- 8 Final words
What is a modified sine wave inverter?
To put it in very simple language, a modified sine wave inverter supplies alternating current in the form of square waves.
You may see the power as slightly distorted – it has a higher degree of total harmonic distortion than that of pure sine wave inverters.
Since these inverters use very simple “investment” technology (remember that the job of inverters is to convert DC to AC), you will find that their prices are very friendly.
But they have their weaknesses, as you’ll learn in no time.
What is a pure sine wave inverter?
This is an inverter that passes the power smoothly (flowing in a uniform wave) and without distortion.
In fact, by using modern technologies to eliminate spikes and other “threats” in the energy it transmits, the electricity from a pure sine wave inverter is as clean as the electricity distributed by the utility company.
For this reason, it is the best type of inverter for owners of delicate equipment such as coffee makers, computers and microwave ovens.
And yes, you guessed it right: these types of investors are more expensive because of such sophistication.
I want us to delve into modified sine wave versus pure sine wave analysis and, more importantly, look at the types of devices that each type of inverter serves best.
Modified sine wave vs pure sine wave inverter – where to deploy each type of inverter
If you’re like most people, it’s tempting to order a custom sine wave inverter, especially because of its fantastic price.
And the good thing is that these money savers work great for an impressive variety of devices, including:
- vacuum cleaners.
- Water pumps.
- Light bulbs.
- Phone chargers.
- Certain brands of battery chargers.
- Disadvantages of air.
Since it is not practical to list all the devices that can be safely powered by inverters that supply modified sine wave power, remember this rule:
As long as it doesn’t use an AC motor, it’s probably fine with a modified sine wave inverter.
You should also be concerned if you power medical equipment, such as X-ray machines and oxygen concentrators, with a modified sine wave inverter during outages.
Some are hypersensitive and prone to damage if fed with power that has not been properly filtered, as is often the case when connected to custom sine wave inverters.
On the other hand, pure sine wave inverters are installed with high quality power filter components such as inductors and capacitors and will power a lot of sensitive equipment without any damage.
The list can be quite large here: washing machines, sewing machines, bakeries, smart TVs, digital watches, laser printers, copiers, most fluorescent lights, refrigerators, compressors… you name it.
In fact, pure sine wave inverters power pretty much everything you own when faced with a power outage.
Other modified sine wave inverter problems
While many electronic components work well in inverters that use modified sine waves, be aware of some other issues that can arise.
Have a look:
- Noise-Motors and appliances with mains frequency transformers have a tendency to hum or hum during operation. They can also get hot.
- Reduced efficiency –Machines such as microwave ovens are very sensitive and require maximum voltage for proper operation. As a result, they can be significantly less productive in the modified sine wave.
- Interference –Some equipment suffers from modified sine wave inverter interference that makes the equipment difficult to operate. For example, you may have trouble listening to a radio powered by a custom sine wave inverter because of signal interference.
A word on the pure sine wave inverters pricing
If you still feel that a pure sine wave inverter is the right choice due to the nature of your appliances, we have good news….
The trend in the last pair is an ongoing drop in prices, which means we may see the introduction of affordable models in the coming years.
Another option would be to buy cheaper used pure sine wave inverters from markets such as eBay.
Converting modified sine wave to pure sine wave
Another idea I’ve often seen people floating around is converting the modified sine wave to pure sine wave with a device like a real 1:1 transformer or filter (you can build one if you have the skills).
Well, these can help complete the erratic power supply of the modified sine wave inverter circuit and make it almost as good as a pure sine wave inverter.
The problem is that it can cost you more money because of the advanced design and you can spend an amount close to the cost needed for a pure wave inverter.
For this reason, I see little economic interest in doing so.
Modified sine wave vs pure sine wave – frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What can i use a modified sine wave inverter for?
As explained above, the AC power flowing out of the modified sine wave inverter is very capable and can potentially power typical home electronics, including your laptop.
But it may not be “clean” enough to keep devices like fluorescent lights and laser printers running smoothly.
In short, with the modified sine wave inverter you endanger all sensitive devices.
Do you really need a pure sine wave inverter?
Of course, a pure sine wave inverter is safe with a wide variety of devices.
However, the higher cost of pure sine wave inverters means it may not be necessary, especially if you rarely need to provide backup power to equipment that can be easily destroyed by unclean power; for simple electronics a modified sine wave inverter is sufficient.
But if you have the right budget, it’s best to buy a “native” sine wave inverter right away.
From this discussion of modified sine wave versus pure sine wave, it is clear that the best type of inverter depends on the devices you are powering.
And for sensitive devices that are terribly sensitive to “dirty” power, you can get more peace of mind by choosing a pure sine wave inverter.
But if you own a lot of simple electronics, you’ll be fine with the most affordable modified sine wave inverter.