What is an Inverter Charger?

What is an Inverter Charger?

Any device that serves as a solar charge controller and an inverter is known as an “Inverter/Charger” or a “Combined Inverter Charger” when used in solar power systems. Both direct current (DC) and alternating (AC) may be converted using this device. It is common knowledge that combining these capabilities improves cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and ease of installation, commissioning, and maintenance.

How to choose an inverter charger

Now that you know the basics of inverter chargers, you can start looking into which would be best for your household. There are a few things to remember when searching for a new RV or marine inverter charger to help you make an informed purchase.

The Input Voltage

The inverter charger you choose for your DC power input should be compatible with the battery’s voltage. Therefore, if you have a 12V battery, a 12V DC inverter charger, such as the 5000-watt inverter charger, is what you need.

Voltage Produced

Output voltages of 120V AC are standard in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and certain regions of Latin America. Worldwide, voltages range from 220-250V AC.

Average Power Consumption

To be safe, your inverter charger should be able to handle 1.5 times the continuous load you anticipate most of the time. Calculate this by adding the power requirements of all the appliances you want to use simultaneously. Check whether the inverters you’re looking at have adequate AC output.

Waveform

Pure sine waves and modified sine waves are the two primary choices for the waveform. What you connect to an inverter will dictate the waveform you should look for when purchasing.

The AC electricity used in most homes is not entirely pure sine waves, but using them will allow your devices to work quietly, cleanly, and smoothly. It is generally preferred because it provides a steadier signal than the choppy modified sine wave. A modified sine wave is incompatible with most of today’s electronic equipment. A pure sine wave inverter is recommended when powering delicate electronics or medical equipment.

Because of their increased variability, modified sine waves excel in industrial settings. This is often the most frugal option. A modified sine wave inverter is recommended if you plan on plugging in battery-operated devices.

Preventing Corrosion

Consider the inverter charger’s corrosion resistance while shopping for a marine or recreational vehicle. Since it will be used on a boat, it must withstand the effects of moisture and salt spray. Look for phrases like “corrosion-resistant,” “rust-resistant,” or “corrosion protection coating” in your search results. Your inverter charger will be protected and last much longer.

Increasing Demands

It is recommended that an expert install an inverter charger. Remember that this device’s improper wiring might cause electrical fires and deadly shorts due to the high current it consumes.

The recommended distance between a battery bank and a fixed-mount inverter charger is 10 feet. This eliminates the potential for voltage dips and low capacitance in the wiring.

Even though inverters aren’t secured against ignition, they may be put in a diesel engine compartment. Before you go out and buy an inverter, consider where you want to put it. We advise selecting a spot free of explosive gas while still cold, dry, and well-ventilated. Look for an inverter charger with fan cooling if you need to put it in a small location.

How to install an inverter charger.

Here are the steps to install an inverter charger:

Put the inverter charger somewhere convenient. It has to be dry, have fresh air, and have a minimum clearance of 12 inches for adequate airflow.

You should contact your local electric utility before connecting your inverter charger to the business electrical grid.

Disconnect the power to the whole setup.

Use the correct wires to connect the inverter charger to the power source’s batteries. Connect the positive cable to the battery bank’s positive terminal and the negative cable to the battery bank’s negative terminal.

Join the power cords from the wall outlet to the inverter. Connect the inverter charger’s AC input wires to a circuit breaker or fuse that can handle the device’s maximum power.

Join the inverter charger to the wires coming from the AC output. Connect the AC output wires to the breaker or fuse that powers the loads.

Join the inverter’s ground terminal to the terminal’s ground. A grounding rod or other appropriate grounding point should be attached to the ground wire.

Activate the charger inverter and make sure it is functioning correctly.

Inverter charger vs. other power sources

However, how do inverter chargers stack up against other power sources, and why are they so widely used? When deciding between an inverter charger and another power source, it’s essential to think about the following:

Generator vs. inverter charger:

Most inverter chargers are less noisy and use less gas than conventional generators.
Inverter chargers may fill the void where noise or emissions regulations make generators illegal.
Although inverter chargers are more costly than generators, they might be a more stable and dependable power supply.

Solar panels vs. inverter chargers:

Unlike solar panels, inverter chargers can still supply power even when the sun isn’t out.
An inverter charger may be used in place of solar panels if you don’t get enough sunlight where you live.

Inverter chargers are more expensive than solar panels but may offer a more consistent and reliable power source.

An inverter charger and a battery

Inverter chargers can simultaneously charge batteries and power loads, whereas batteries can only power loads.

While batteries must have a constant power supply, inverter chargers may continue operating even if their power source is depleted.

Inverter chargers may be more expensive than batteries, but they have several benefits.

Conclusion

When it comes to electricity, an inverter charger offers a versatile and reliable solution. It is both an inverter and a charger, so it can keep your batteries charged while you run your appliances. Using an inverter charger vs. a generator, solar panels, or batteries, each has advantages and disadvantages. If installed and maintained correctly, inverter chargers might be helpful. Depending on the requirements of your individual use case, one of many potential power sources may be your best choice.