What Size Power Inverter Do I Need?

Simply put, an inverter is a device that converts direct current (direct current) electrical energy into usable AC (alternating current) energy. Using an inverter, power from a battery can be connected to common household appliances when traditional AC sources fail or become unavailable.

The inverters have proven to be very useful as an emergency backup in the event of a power outage and as a portable power source on the go. These are extremely flexible and versatile devices and can be used in a variety of places. For example, you can use an inverter in your home in case the power goes out due to natural disasters, you can use an inverter as a portable power source for a camping trip, and even to power your coffee maker on a boat trip.

However, with the wide range of inverters available on the market today, it is imperative to find the right inverter that best suits your needs. For example, if you only want the inverter to charge your laptop and cell phone, there is no point in buying an expensive and expensive inverter designed to run refrigerators and heating systems.

In this article, we provide an overview of which ratings apply to an inverter, what they mean, and how to choose the right size for your power needs.

What does the rating of an Inverter mean?

An inverter is generally expressed in watts. A typical inverter has two different wattages: continuous and peak. The continuous wattage determines the amount of power it can deliver continuously for a longer period of time, while the peak power indicates the amount of overload it can withstand for a shorter period of time.

For example, an inverter rated at 1750 W continuous and 5000 W peak can handle a load of 1750 W for several hours and a peak of 5000 W during the short start-up period (which normally lasts no longer), a few seconds. Inverters are also typically capable of withstanding overloads for short periods of time (the inverter mentioned in the example above can handle 2000W loads for about 15-20 minutes), but this should only be used in an emergency. Overloading inverters for extended periods will affect their lifetime, cause excessive heating and damage equipment.

Commercial inverters are available in two types: true sine wave inverters and modified sine wave inverters. The modified sinusoidal variant is most suitable for light applications. Mobile phone and laptop chargers require DC power to work. So if the inverter has a direct DC output, the DC load can be connected directly (check the required DC amps of your device and make sure the amperage matches that of the inverter output).

How much power do you need for running common Appliances?

A Watt rating is associated with all electrical appliances. Watt is the unit of electrical energy and is mathematically expressed as the product of voltage and current.

Watts (power) = volts (voltage) x amps (current)

All appliances have their watt requirements listed on their labels. The inverters convert the 12 VDC from the batteries to 120 VAC. If you check the current rating (A) on the device label, you can also find out its rating. The table below lists some common devices and the amount of power they require to run (and start).

Please note that the power ratings listed below are indicative and the actual power of the appliance may vary depending on the brand and type you are using.

Common Appliance Wattage Requirement
Laptop 100
Cellphone charger 15
Light (incandescent bulb) 100
Satellite TV 30
Printer 50
Radio 40
Radiator 2000
DVD player 28
Hair dryer 2200
Television 42″ HD 120
Games console 100-200
Washing machine 2200
Toaster 1500 – 2000
Tumble dryer 2500
Dishwasher 2200
Iron 2800
Microwave 1000
Vacuum cleaner 2000
Radiator (oil filled) 3000

The first step in determining the size of inverter you need is determining your power needs. Identify the devices you want to power your inverter and add up the power requirements of the individual devices. It is recommended to buy an inverter that can handle an extra load of 10-20% of what you actually need.

For example, if you must have a load of 1000 W with your inverter, it is recommended to purchase an inverter with a continuous power of at least 1200 W. This ensures that the inverter does not overload or overheat and has a long life. for a long time. .

It is important to remember that investors are not generators. They produce no power on their own and require a reliable battery system to power their devices. The service life of the devices depends on the capacity of the batteries that power the inverter. To keep your devices running for a significant amount of time, a reliable backup battery is paramount.

Batteries must be charged regularly. If you connect your inverter to the batteries of your car or truck, you will need to run your vehicle for the period that your inverter is to operate. You can also use lithium-ion (Li-ion) or VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid) batteries instead.

Also keep in mind that the size of the inverter should take into account the maximum amount of load you want to use with your inverter. For example, if you run a washing machine for 20 minutes and only have one laptop for the time remaining, your inverter should still be rated according to the washing machine’s wattage requirements (~2000W), even though the laptop only needs about 100W for running. Average hourly power consumption is helpful in determining the size of batteries you need for an application.

In Conclusion: Which Power Inverter do you really need?

With the wide range of commercial inverters available on the market, choosing the right one for your needs can be a difficult decision. However, once you’ve identified your energy needs (ask yourself if you really need to do laundry when there’s no power.

If not, you can choose a much cheaper inverter with lower continuous watts), the choice should be easier. A true sine wave inverter will probably give you the cleanest and most efficient power supply, but a custom sine wave inverter may be cheaper and better suited to light power requirements. The batteries you choose must also be suitable for your inverter.

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