Solar inverters are an essential part of any solar installation. Inverters convert the solar energy generated by your solar panels and store it in your battery from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). In addition, an inverter is required to power gadgets in your home, RV, or cabin, such as laptop computers and microwaves.

When looking for inverters, ensure you know what type of inverter you need: pure sine wave inverter or modified sine wave inverter. First, let’s look at the differences between the two inverters, what they can power, and which one would be the best fit for your installation.

Understanding Solar Inverter

Inverters act as a bridge between the photovoltaic system and the devices that draw energy from it. They convert your solar panels’ direct current (DC) output to the alternating current (AC) standard used by all business equipment.

What is the Purpose of an Inverter in Solar Installation?

The essential part of any solar installation is the solar inverters. Appliances in your home run on alternating current (AC), which means the energy generated by your panels (DC) must be transformed. Inverters convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). They also modify the voltage. After your solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it to energy, the energy is routed through inverters and charge controllers.

Inverters transform that power into alternating current (AC). You’ll be able to plug in your appliances and start using that energy at that moment. Renogy inverters additionally provide overload protection for both the AC output and the DC input to protect the components and the device.

What is a Pure Sine Wave Inverter?

Pure sine wave inverters produce a voltage as sine waves. Utilities can also generate sine waves. As a result, pure sine wave inverters are always necessary if you’re connected to the grid. In addition, pure sine wave inverters are typically essential for sensitive equipment like CFL light bulbs, newer televisions, and other appliances with AC motors (refrigerators and microwaves).

Pure sine wave inverters can generate smoother, cleaner, quieter, and more reliable energy, allowing appliances and gadgets to work without interference. Renogy offers a variety of pure sine wave inverters with varied capacities to suit your solar installation and energy requirements.

What is a Modified Sine Wave Inverter?

In a pure sine wave inverter, the alternating current generated by the inverter closely resembles an actual sine wave. However, the polarity of the modified sine wave inverter quickly changes from positive to negative. If you look at the wave, it displays a stair-step, square pattern with the polarity switched back and forth.

That rough wave may affect the complex, sensitive equipment negatively. For example, if you need power for medical equipment like a CPAP machine, you can’t use a modified sine wave inverter. Also, in most instances, you will hear a hum with equipment connected to a modified sine wave inverter.

The Verdict

In the past, pure sine wave inverters tended to be a nicer, more expensive option for many people. However, as the price of pure sine wave inverters continues to fall, they have become more reasonable. Of course, modified wave inverters are still a feasible alternative if you only need to power a few simple pieces of equipment and are not concerned with efficiency. But if you want peace of mind that your appliances and electronics will function safely and efficiently, we suggest investing in a pure sine wave inverter.

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