Get all your essential devices - and must-have devices - working whether you’re off road, or you have a power outage at home.
What does an inverter do?
An inverter gives you portable power so you can use devices like microwaves, phone chargers, power tools, radios, kitchen appliances, and laptops.
It works by converting DC power (direct current) from a battery into the AC power (alternate current) needed to run devices.
How long can I use my inverter?
It depends on your battery power and how many devices you’re using. The more devices you use, the higher the load.
You can support the load and extend the runtime of your inverter by connecting more batteries.
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What size inverter do I need?
- Work out what devices you want to use in watts.
- Decide how many you’ll run at the same time.
- If you’re unsure, choose the device with the biggest load and get an inverter that is double the size of the load you’ll be placing on it. This will help you cover peak surge loads (and reduce the change of blowing fuses during a power surge).
For example if you’re camping and wondering what power inverter to use, find out the watts of your fridge and choose an inverter that’s double that. Inverters range from 150 watts to 6000 watts across many brands.
Note the 2 important ratings on your inverter: continuous and peak rating.
The continuous rating tells you what loads you can place on the inverter over a longer time. The peak rating is the maximum load the inverter can handle for a short time - it’s usually double the continuous rating as appliances take more power to start up before settling into a lower continuous rating.
Why is there a high pitched alarm coming from my inverter?
A couple of potential reasons:
- Your battery doesn’t have the capacity to run a device
- Your battery cable isn’t the right size - and has caused a voltage drop
If your battery is fully charged and the alarm is still going off, your cables may be undersized - or you might have loose connections.
What size battery do I need?
It depends on how much energy your devices use, measured in watts (or amps). It’s better to buy a bigger model than you think you’ll need.
These days, it’s common to run a few devices at the same time. For example the kids could be watching TV in front of the fan on a hot day - while you power the computer.
An easy way to estimate this is to work out which device puts the biggest load on your inverter - a battery bank of 20% of the amps is needed.
For example, a microwave may be the largest appliance with 1,000 watts. So you’d need 200 amps in your battery bank to deal with the load.
Give us a yell to help you work out what inverter will best suit your needs. We can help you work out how much start up power you need, and continuous power (power to keep running the devices). Some devices take more power to start up a device than it does to maintain it.
- Inverters can get very warm. Install it out of direct sunlight, and make sure there’s good ventilation and cooling airflow.
- Check your inverter often for insects, who like to nest in the heat dissipation vents.
- Turn your inverter off when you’re not using any devices. This will save your batteries from draining too quickly. Inverters draw power from your batteries even when devices are not being used.
- Place your inverter in an easy to reach spot in case you need to isolate it in an emergency.
- Get the right sized leads to prevent overheating and voltage drop. Place the inverter as close as possible to the battery bank.
- Install lightning protection if there’s a risk.
- If you need AC hard wiring to an inverter, please contact a trained and qualified expert. This can be dangerous.
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