With the increasing need for access to power beyond the confines of our homes, more and more people are needing to invest in inverters to meet their increasing needs, but how can you choose the right one for your needs and what are they?
A key thing to remember is that pure-sine inverters work in a safer more efficient manner than modified sine, but will cost you more upfront as a result. However, in the long run, you are likely to have problems, and potentially cause damage to your devices, if you take the seemingly cheaper option to begin with.
Depending on your power needs, and whether you are looking to create an ‘uninterruptible power supply’ (UPS), you will be able to find the right inverter for you below.
Table of Contents
- Best 1000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
- Best 2000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
- Best 3000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
- Best Overall Pure Sine Wave Inverter Charger
- What does a power inverter actually do?
- What is harmonic distortion?
- What is the difference between Pure Sine and Modified Sine Wave Inverters?
- What is the benefit of using a Pure Sine Wave inverter?
- How much wattage power do I need?
- What is surge wattage and why is it important?
- How do I know the inverter is safe to use?
Best 1000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
Power TechON 1000W Pure Sine Inverter Review
If you are looking for an inverter to provide off-grid power, or simply to maintain energy supply for lower power devices in the event of a power cut, then this 1000-watt pure sine wave power inverter is great value and has excellent features. For example, the 2000-watt surge power helps get devices running that need that extra start up boost.
This is a great inverter for car with appropriate leads provided, although do not expect full power from a cigar lighter socket. It can be expected to be quiet and hardly gets warm when being used correctly. The easy setup and provided user manual means this inverter is ready to plug in and go.
For those with small power needs or only a few devices to protect against power-cuts, this inverter works well with a variety of devices, from fridge freezers to solar panels, and is a great unit for the money.
Q&A: Do you need a battery to go with an inverter?
A: Some inverters come complete with a chargeable battery to run the inverter off, but in this instance, you need to provide your own. A good choice would be a ‘deep cycle’ battery with plenty of amp-hours.
Best 2000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
Samlex Solar Pure Sine Inverter Review
If your power needs are varied and you want multiple inverter options from a single unit then you need look no further than the Samlex Solar PST-1500-12. Able to run continuous power across the complete range from 300W-to-2000W and with 4 different surge wattage rates from 500W to 3500W this is the best 2000 Watt pure sine inverter on the market and is also perfect inverter for power tools.
The 300-watt inverter, in particular, is perfect for those needing to power small tools or other low power appliances, whilst the unit offers the flexibility for when you might need to scale up the power. The excellent safety features of this device, such as the GFCI AC plugs on the front, custom-designed pin connector battery terminals on the back and safety certification to UL standards further highlight the suitability for power tool use.
The commercial design makes this suitable for all your needs, be that heavy duty loads, long periods of usage or simply as an emergency backup option. This quiet, reliable and flexible inverter with limited harmonic distortion may just be the best pure sine wave inverter charger out there.
Q&A: Why are GFCI AC plugs important?
A: GFCI ( ground fault circuit interrupter) plugs are important because they shut off electric power when sensing an imbalance between outgoing and incoming currents preventing and protecting against overheating and possible fire.
Best 3000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
Go Power! GP-SW3000-12 Pure Sine Inverter Review
The ‘GoPower!’, which converts 12 volt DC battery power into an exact replica of AC household power, is the best 3000-watt pure sine inverter we have seen. This is thanks to its excellent safety features (including the prevention of overloading; the prevention of working under unsuitable voltages; and the provision of 2 GFCI protected outlets) alongside its ability to provide 3000 watts of continuous power supply.
The giant 6000-watt surge can be used as and when needed, whilst running cool and quietly, which would be particularly useful if you are planning to use this an inverter for RV or as an inverter for truck. The instructive and user-friendly manual contains all the instructions you need to get you started, whilst the 2-year warranty and excellent customer service provided by this company, provides extra peace of mind.
If you are using this in your RV and your truck then this model easily runs air conditioning, even from solar power, so look forward to some chilled out rides with this GoPower!
Q&A: Will this be powerful enough to run a TV, a microwave and other devices in an 18 wheeler truck?
A: With the appropriate cables to get the battery power to the inverter this will be well within the capabilities of the GoPower! It will depend on the other devices, but it should be able to run at least a couple of these at the same time.
Best Overall Pure Sine Wave Inverter Charger
AIMS Power 4000W Pure Sine Inverter Review
If you are looking for a power inverter that offers pure sine conversion and is capable of handling the necessary surge power for devices with high start-up needs (such as motors, compressors, and pumps), then this product from AIMS is up to the task. The impressive 4,000W continuous pure sine power and outrageous 12000 Watt surge power for up to 20 seconds, makes this marine grade inverter the perfect inverter for marine or, frankly, for those needing power in any setting, whether that’s in the home or out on the water.
A positive inclusion is the in-built AC-to-DC battery converter charger which enables power to be sent back to the battery from multiple sources including fuel-powered generators and regular mains outlets. This is particularly helpful if your battery is stored in a hard-to-reach spot!
This well-built unit can be relied upon as the lifeline of your energy system and although it does not have an inbuilt display, it is easy to use and a display can be bought separately if desired. Also, if you are intending to use this unit to help with power outages, then you can rest assured that it will work as an inverter for UPS and seamlessly to switch energy source.
Q&A: What is UPS and why would I need it?
A: UPS stands for ‘uninterruptible power supply’ or ‘uninterruptible power source’ involving at least a transfer switch, battery charger, and an inverter. You would need this when electricity supply is subject to failure ie. when mains power fails. This can be a whole system or can be targeted to need, such as ensuring the A/C will stay on and the freezer won’t defrost in a power outage.
Q&A: Can this device be mounted vertically on a wall?
A: Yes, but make sure it is kept well ventilated
What does a power inverter actually do?
A power inverter is necessary for converting power which is stored in batteries (known as DC power) to power which is supplied by the electricity company (known as AC power).
In order to operate, electronic devices require AC power to function. This means a power inverter is needed to convert the DC power stored in batteries into AC power when mains electronic power is not available.
What is harmonic distortion?
Harmonic distortion is the presence of frequencies in the output of a device that are not present in the input signal – meaning the introduction of inefficiencies in output.
This is more of an issue for devices using non-linear loads, such as non-pure-sine industrial inverters, commonly described as modified-sine or ‘quasi-sine’ inverters.
A linear load is where voltage (a sine wave) is applied across a constant resistance in current (another sine wave). In non-linear loads the resistance changes during each sine wave of the applied voltage waveform, which leads to positive and negative pulses. This can introduce harmonic distortion, due to the combination of multiple waves of varying frequencies.
The key things to know about harmonic distortion when thinking about inverters are that it can; affect the efficiency of the device; lead to sudden loss of and/or reduction in power; and possible overheating of the equipment.
What is the difference between Pure Sine and Modified Sine Wave Inverters?
Now that we have an understanding of harmonic distortion we can move onto the difference between Pure Sine and Modified Sine Wave inverters and why this distinction is important. To put it simply, modified sine wave power reaches the device in square waves, whereas pure sine wave power flows in arching waves which are even and ‘pure sine’ waves. For modern devices, this is what they need to run efficiently, safely and noiselessly
What is the benefit of using a Pure Sine Wave inverter?
With modified sine wave power, the power that reaches your device is not coming through as clean and efficient, so it may not work on all devices and it might make some electronic devices run hotter and less efficiently, with some appliances giving off an annoying ‘buzz’ due to the way the power flows to them.
A modified sine wave inverter may also damage your electronic device, and stop it from working completely, or may mean that the device wears out sooner than when using pure sine wave inverters.
A pure sine wave inverter will have a low harmonic distortion and will provide power to your device which is almost identical to that which you experience from the mains supply in your home.
Devices which are powered by a pure sine inverter will run more efficiently and be quieter, faster and will not overheat. When powering a computer there will be less crashes in power and with electronic devices (such as TVs, radios, and fans), there will be no annoying buzzing sound as power runs through the device.
A modified sine wave inverter has a lower upfront cost, however, when considering the fact that this type of sine wave inverter may damage devices or shorten their lifespan it is worth considering whether this is actually economical in the long run.
Investing in a pure sine wave inverter will also cause you a lot less frustration as it will prevent the likelihood of power cuts, overheating and buzzing electronic devices – which is hard to put a price on, but worth thinking about when considering your patience levels.
How much wattage power do I need?
When considering which sine wave inverter to purchase you need to think about the power requirements of the AC device you need to power with it, and the total sum of the AC power required if you are wanting to power multiple devices at once. If you plan to use the inverter with different types of devices and applications you may also wish to invest in an inverter that is able to offer flexibility in terms of Watt output and power surge capabilities.
What is surge wattage and why is it important?
Sine wave inverters will have two different watt powers listed on the device, continuous power and surge power. Surge power is the total watts that the inverter is able to provide to the device for a short period which is normally provided when the device you are using is starting up. Continuous power is the total amount of watts that the inverter will be able to support indefinitely once the device is powered up. The surge power, therefore, will always have a higher wattage than the continuous power. When using devices that have high start-up needs (such as motors, compressors, and pumps) you will need an inverter that has a high surge power.
How do I know the inverter is safe to use?
High power inverters will have large current flows passing between the battery and your electronic device so it is important to consider the inverters safety features. Make sure you check that the inverter has protection from overheating, overloading and that an overflow of current cannot be drawn from the battery.
You can also check if the inverter meets UL standards. UL (previously known as Underwriters Laboratories) is a global safety certification company who are approved to perform safety testing by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US and Canada.
They carry out extensive safety testing of products to ensure that they meet UL’s nationally recognised standards for safety and performance.
When a product has received a certification to UL standards, it has been tested and evaluated by UL and met the strict requirements that UL set out in their standards for safety. Essentially, the UL certification mark means that you can be confident in the quality and safety of the sine wave inverter you are purchasing.
If you are going to be away from the mains power supply for a length of time and require power for your electronic devices, or live in an area where power shortages are common a sine wave inverter is essential to keep you powered up.
When considering the different types of sine wave inverters, pure sine wave inverters are the most efficient option for converting DC battery power into the AC power that is required to run electronic devices. While they are more expensive than a modified sine wave inverter, the investment will be beneficial in the long run as devices will run faster, will not overheat and will be a whole lot less noisy.
Make sure that you check the safety features of the sine wave inverter you are purchasing as there can be a huge amount of power running through these systems, with some big inverters being able to process kiloWatts of power.erters being able to process kiloWatts of power.loWatts of power.