Power Inverters allow you to power your AC tools, appliances, and electronics anywhere you are as long as you have the proper DC power source. You can power air compressors, drills, air conditioners, microwaves, TV’s, computers, and any AC equipment within the inverter’s power rating. Inverters provide quiet, convenient, and pollution free AC power.
Inverters produce either Quasi/Modified Sine or Pure Sine AC waveforms. Pure sine is the same waveform that power companies provide. Quasi sine is a less accurate, but cheaper version of the pure sine wave, see examples below:
All equipment that is designed to work with AC is designed to work with a pure sine wave. Some equipment however can work with quasi waveforms which can reduce the cost of the inverter.
As a general rule, the more sophisticated the device, the more likely it will require pure sine power. Computers can typically be run on both, but monitors and laser printers often need pure sine.
High Frequency (HF) Vs. Low Frequency (LF)
Besides choosing which waveform your equipment will need, you will also need to decide between HF and LF inverter designs. HF inverters can be purchased just about anywhere. These inverters cost less and are much smaller than LF inverters, but have they some major operational drawbacks. Here is a quick comparison:
The HF design has the advantages of a lower cost and a smaller and lighter package. The LF design has a high surge capacity for motor starting. It also has a longer life span and is much more durable than HF inverter designs.
If you are just powering devices that have a consistent draw you may be able to get by with a HF inverter. If you need to start motors, pumps, air conditioners, refrigerators, or power tools, then you will need a LF inverter. If you want an inverter that will last for a long time, withstand extreme heat and vibration, and can satisfy many different power demands – then you need an LF inverter. The majority of the Dimensions brand of inverters are of low frequency design.
Surge Power/Motor Starting
Air compressors, pumps, and other devices that have motors require extra power to start the motor. They can draw as much as 5-10 times their normal operating current during startup. Low frequency inverters are required for running this type of equipment since they are designed to provide surge capability. It is also important that the proper size inverter, battery bank, and cabling are chosen to match the load requirements.
Dimensions inverters are typically used outdoors on moving vehicles and are subject to high vibration and varied temperatures. Our high quality construction methods help to maintain system integrity over a wide range of operating conditions. The construction, performance, manufacturing testing, rating and marking of each Dimensions inverter has been examined by an independent testing laboratory.
Efficiency is a measure of the inverters ability to make best use of the DC power it draws as it converts it to AC power. The more efficient the inverter, the more run time you will be able to get from your battery bank. A typical inverter efficiency is greater than 80%. DC Input Voltages When choosing an inverter you must make sure that its required DC input voltage matches that of your system. Most vehicles use 12VDC but some service vehicles use 24VDC.
Wattages or Output Power
Choosing the output power of the inverter you need is based on the highest combined or largest load that the inverter will see and its surge capability if you are going to start motor driven devices.
If you are going to run multiple devices at the same time, simply add up their wattages to get a total value. Also think about if you plan to add more simultaneous loads in the future.
If you typically power tools one at a time, then consider which one will draw the most power and use that wattage rating as your starting point.
Once you have a value in mind of your power requirements, look on our product list to find an inverter slightly above the power you need or higher if you expect to run larger loads in the future. If you are going to start motors, make sure the inverter can start the hp rating of your motor.
Some inverters come with or have the option for a battery charger. Plugging the inverter into shore power while your vehicle is parked will allow the charger to re-charge your battery bank. If this is important to you, make sure to be looking for this option or feature as you select your inverter.
When the vehicle is plugged into shore power (utility), an internal transfer switch is used to transfer the load from the inverter output to shore power. Shore power then powers your load and the inverter will go into standby mode. If the inverter has the battery charger option it will start charging the system batteries. The internal transfer switch is an option that is available on most of our inverters.
The DC wiring and fusing are an important part of a successful inverter installation. For maximum safety and proper operation, please consult the inverters user manual or contact us to purchase the proper cable kit to go with your inverter.
Most of our products are UL Listed (just like the electrical appliances in your home) as an added safety measure. Our products are actually tested by UL which assures the highest level of compliance to the UL standards.
Our company is a registered ISO 9001:2008 company. As part of our quality process we visually inspect and pre-test every circuit board before we build the final assembly. Each completed inverter assembly is then fully tested before shipment. Our documentation and procedures are designed to consistently produce a product that performs to the products specification.
Call or email us if you’re unsure as to which inverter, options, or cable kit you need for your application and we’ll be glad to help.