What Are Power Inverters?

You must have heard of the term “Power inverters”, sometimes they are simply referred as inverters. If you are planning to buy one but don’t know much about them then this article is just what you need in order to educate yourself.

What Are Power Inverters?

In the most basic sense, power inverters are simple electronic devices that convert direct current in to alternating current. If you are familiar with scientific terms used in electronics then you can think of a power inverter as a device that performs the opposite function of a rectifier (rectifiers are used to convert direct current to alternating current). Earliest power inverters used mechanical rotating parts to achieve this conversion; however, advancements in electronic circuitry have replaced these moving mechanical parts with electrical circuits.
  • What are the applications of power inverters?
1)     It can be used to power up electrical devices such as light bulbs, television sets, computers and fans. The main source of power in this application is a battery or multiple batteries connected in series. These batteries give out current, but the current thus produced is direct current. Most of the electrical devices however run on alternating current. So to convert this direct current in alternating current, a power inverter can be implemented. It is used widely in consumer homes to generate electricity in cases of power failure.

2)     Power inverters are used on a commercial scale in solar power plants. The electricity generated from solar cells is also in the form of direct current. Power inverters are used to convert this direct current in to alternating current.

3)     It can be implemented in engineering solutions where some part of the circuitry needs to run on alternating current.
  • So can the inverter produce any power?
No, a power inverter cannot produce any electricity on its own; all of the power has to come from a direct current source. Power inverters simply accept this direct current and give an output in the form of alternating current.
  • Can I find one in my home?
Most probably yes, if you have a desktop computer then you will notice that the power wire of the computer is plugged in to a UPS. UPS stands for uninterrupted power supply. This is actually a packaged combination of an inverter and a battery with some additional circuitry. When there is a power cut, the batteries act as a power source but they provide this power in the form of direct current. The inbuilt inverter then converts it in to alternating current that is used to run your computer. When the main power is back on, a rectifier puts the batteries on direct current to recharge them.
  • Any other devices which have a built in power inverter?
Yes, devices known as tasers, used widely for law enforcement and security purposes have a built in power inverter in them. Tasers are also known as electroshock weapons, some of them use a power inverter to generate large amounts of electricity from a very small 9V DC battery.

The author of this article is an electrical engineer and operates a firm that deals in power inverter installations. He writes regular post on www.donrowe.com.

2 comments

Hi this one is great and is really a good post. I think it will help me a lot in the related stuff and is very much useful for me. Very well written I appreciate & must say good job.

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Thanks for this post; Battery is the only source that assists to prevent us from the power demanding time, so choice of your battery should give at least minimum power consumption so better to buy your batteries from the battery authorized dealers.

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