efficient use of an inverter

73 Posts
Nov 16, 2008 07:52 am
efficient use of an inverter

At what point does using an inverter become efficient? I understand the issues of energy loss due to conversion from the DC batteries to AC. But if an inverter is sized correctly for the job at hand, does the % of loss during conversion become a little more bearable? I have my current small system running completely in 12v DC, but have a few items that will be difficult to convert to using straight DC, hence the possible need for an inverter now. The size of the AC load will be smallish..around 300 watts. So, is there a good rule of thumb when looking for an inverter, in terms of sizing it for the load for better efficiency? I'm looking for a "Pure" sine wave inverter...any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


184 Posts
Nov 16, 2008 08:54 am
Re: efficient use of an inverter

An inverter is most efficient when operating near it's maximum rated load.  You can look at the specifications via the alt energy store and compare various brands.  You say that your loads will be around 300 watts, so you might want to consider a 600-watt inverter. You may not be operating at maximum efficiency, but I wouldn't be too concerned about that.  You're probably going to turn off the inverter when you don't need it anyway.  Don't forget to consider the momentary high motor-starting current that you'll need if you plan to operate devices like refrigerators or water pumps.  Exeltech makes good inverters, I love mine.  They are made in the USA, a plus in my opinion.  You won't blow it up if you temporarily overload it.  The voltage just declines a bit until the overload is removed. 

You are wise to only consider a pure sine wave inverter. 

73 Posts
Nov 16, 2008 10:12 am
Re: efficient use of an inverter

Thanks for the Exeltech reccomendation...just read thru their .pdf and they are definitely a fine product. Lowest harmonic distortion out there as far as I can tell. Which is critical for my use. Yes, I will be simply turning it off with a breaker when not in use, helps eliminate it's self consumption when not in use. Thanks again John


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