Power inverters- change 12V or 24V to 240V
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What does a Power Invertor do?
A power inverter is not a generator and it will not store power like a battery. It changes the input to give you a different output and allows you to have mains or household power in your vehicle. Power inverters take a DC power source, your vehicle battery, and turn it into ac power with an output voltage of 240 Volts.
Why do I need a Power Inverter?
Power Inverters allow you to operate a range of household appliances or devices in your vehicle. Things like laptops, electric jugs, TV's, power tools and microwaves can be run on an inverter. Most larger caravans now run a battery/power inverter setup. A power inverter is simply a box or unit whose overall size and weight is smaller than a car battery. One end is connected to a DC source, the vehicles battery (usually a hard wired connection) the other has one or multiple 240V power outlets. Inverters have a fuse or built in circuit breaker for protection.
Power Invertor Types
There are 2 main types of inverter, modified sine wave and pure sine wave. Both do the same job. Household 240v alternating current has an AC frequency that is a pure sine wave. A pure sine wave inverter mimics this exactly where a modified sine wave inverter closely follows it. Pure sine wave inverters should be used on sensitive electronics such as medical equipment. Sound and audio equipment also fall into the sensitive equipment category.
What size power inverter do I buy?
The power rating in Watts (energy) of a power inverter is important. Before buying the inverter you need to work out what you want it to power. You get that device and look at its power rating. The inverter you purchase needs its delivery output to exceed the power rating of the device by around approx 20%. If running more than one device at the same time add the power ratings together and add in the 20%. This is an approximate value and it will pay to check the inverter manufacturers guide. A pure sine wave inverter is more expensive than modified sine wave and prices go up as the wattage increases.
Keeping Power up to the Inverter
Power inverters get there energy from the vehicle battery. It you run a 240V appliance on the inverter it will slowly drain the battery. If not using the inverter it is best to switch it off as it will still draw a small charge from the battery. How long an inverter runs is limited by the charge in the battery. You need some way of keeping the battery charged. If in the vehicle simply running the engine while using the inverter will keep the battery charged.
A lot of battery/power inverter setups are used on caravans and they rely on a number of methods to keep the batteries topped up. The use of high efficiency solar panels, connecting the vehicle to the caravan and running the engine or using a portable generator and a battery charger. Deep cycle batteries are recommended when using an inverter.
A power inverter can be used in a power outage as an emergency power source. It also needs a battery. If you live in an area where the power grid is interrupted now and again it may be a cost effective solution to keep a fridge running. There are large systems available that have the capacity to run a house, we are talking about more portable vehicle /caravan set ups.
Our Range of Power Inverters
As a business Repco supply a range of power inverters, batteries and accessories both in store and online with a price to suit your budget. With around 400 stores in Australia, we are sure to have one in a location near you. Check our store locator to find your nearest store. You can sign up to our Rewards program for exclusive offers or our catalogues for a discount offer.
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