Inverters for Homes and Properties
How to choose inverters for homes and properties. Inverters convert the solar battery output into 110 or 230-volt alternating current. It is all-but-essential to use one. Using only 12-48 volts is too limiting for all but basic cabins.
Two Outback Power inverters are interconnected. Pic: Outback Power
User only inverters marketed as sine-wave (not modified sine wave etc). High-quality sine-wave inverters produce electricity that is ‘cleaner’ than the average grid supply. Other types do not. They may wreck sensitive electronics. There are two main types of sine-wave inverter:
Those transformer-based are bulky and heavy. This is rarely an issue for homes and properties. Their major plus is inherent overload capacity. Tools and domestic appliances draw two/three times they’re running current whilst starting. Transformer units handle this with ease. Some produce twice or more their output rating for 30 minutes or so.
Transformer-based inverters up to 1500 watts will run from 12 volts. Those for up to 3000 watts require a 24-volt inverter. Anything over that needs 48 volts.
Only a few (e.g. Outback Power units) can be parallel-connected to increase output. This ability is uncommon. If you need, obtain written assurance of feasibility.
Switch-mode inverters are smaller and lighter. Few, however, have overload capacity. Most only sustain their rated output for a few seconds. The better quality units sustain 80% (of rated output) for constant use. Some, however, may only sustain 50%. Switch-mode inverters work best for loads that draw no excess starting energy. These are rare. Air-compressors draw many times they’re running current whilst starting.
In Solar Books opinion, the best inverters for home and properties are those transformer-based.
Inverters involve complex technology. Our book, Solar Success explains inverters for homes and properties. Solar That Really Works! does likewise for boats, cabins and RVs. The top-selling Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers inverters in detail. All our books are in digital or print versions. Digital ones can be bought right now. Click on a title (above). Print versions are stocked by all Jaycar stores in Australia and New Zealand and most Australian book shops. They are also available via email (and post) from booktopia.com.au