Stand-alone inverters are available with three basic power output waveforms: square wave, modified square wave (sometimes called modified sine wave), and pure sine wave. Synchronous inverters and utility companies deliver a pure sine wave.
Square wave inverters have the lowest cost and efficiency. Modified square wave output are an economical choice in power systems where waveform is not critical. Their high surge capacity allows them to start large motors while their high efficiency makes them economical with power when running small loads like a stereo or a small light. They can power most lighting, televisions, appliances and computers very well. However, this type of inverter may destroy some low cost rechargeable tools and flashlights, and their waveform will not allow many laser printers, copiers, light dimmers, and some variable speed tools to operate. Some audio equipment will have a background buzz that may be annoying to music connoisseurs.
Sine wave inverters have a slightly higher cost, but they can operate almost anything that can be operated on utility power. They range in size from 150 watts for small applications to 200,000 watts that can run a small village.
Related category• ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND SUPPLY
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