What Does A Power Inverter Do?

What does a power inverter do; types of power inverter and its functionality

What does a power inverter do? Rather your needs are large or small, a power inverter could be a viable option for your electric needs. Power Inverters are something often misunderstood or seen as something more complicated than they actually are.

Their function is actually quite simple. They convert the energy of one type of power to another so it can be used freely. They take direct current power, DC power, and convert it to alternating current energy, AC power. But what does this mean?

What Does A Power Inverter Do - In Depth

Introduction To Power Inverters

Power inverters are capable of taking energy from one source and applying it to all electrical devices that run off of AC power. This makes power inverters essential for modern life, especially in the city. They are absolutely indispensable to power farms but not limited to them as they can be used on a smaller scale as well.

Are There Different Types Of Power Inverters?

There are three main types of power inverters. Sine Wave, Square wave, and Modified Sine Wave. Sine Wave inverter is something that is used by utility companies. Their source of power is most often grounded in a generator.

They function through the rotation of AC machinery and are the most expensive version of the inverter because most electronics are made with Sine Wave inverters in mind. 

Square Wave inverters are an older version of a power inverter. In a lot of cases, they are seen as out of date as they are only capable of powering simple tools that contain universal motors. 

This is because they create a very abrupt current. They are the cheapest option of power inverter but because of their status as being outdated, they are not seen very often.

Modified Sine Wave inverters have a waveform that is very much like a square wave, but they are more advanced. They are known to work alright with most types of equipment.

But the efficiency of how much power they use is somewhat wasteful. They will need to have their battery source charged more often. 

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How Do Power Inverters Actually Do?

The divide in DC and AC power goes back to Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Edison went out of his way to try and prove that DC power was a more efficient way to power the world when in fact it is not true. The truth is that Tesla’s way of controlling a current is much more effective. 

Despite the fact that we do primarily use AC to power our world, which includes anything from lights to cell phones. The truth is that simple motors still generate DC power.

This is where Inverters come in. They take the power that something like a generator or a car battery is creating and convert it into the power we must use to supply our devices.

But How Does This Work?

Essentially, when a power inverter converts DC power to AC, the inverter is rapidly flipping the direction of the electrical current back and forth.

To do this properly, the inverter must do this rapidly about fifty or sixty times per second. This is done through electromagnetic switches inside the inverter.

As the device is powered, a switch is magnetized and it gets pulled open. It quickly is pulled back into position by a spring and then the process is repeated over 3000 times a minute.

In What Kind of Situations Are Power Inverters Needed?

Power inverters can be used in many situations. This can be something grand, such as energy generated by windmills. The inverters can also be used on a smaller scale. 

For example, bringing a generator that powers your trailer with you while you camp. An inverter can be used to take power from this generator and use it to power devices that require AC energy.

But this is not the only use. Inverters are commonly used in power outages. They convert energy supplied from an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS,) which is created from rechargeable batteries.

Think Solar charged batteries. The inverter takes the energy supplied and converts it to be used in your home.

What Other Considerations Are There?

  • Power Inverters are heavily influenced by watts. You must have an inverter powerful enough to supply the watts that are attached to your needs.
  • AMPS are another measure of electrical current at a specific moment. Amps determine the wire size needed inside of your inverter. Elsewise they can get hot and the system can melt down.
  • The battery source of inverters need to be charged because inverters draw the energy out of them. This can be achieved with a rechargeable battery of some kind, including green energy like solar power.


There are a lot of types of inverters out there. They can change depending on the type of power wave they give, sine, square or modified sine waves. They can also change from the watts they can supply and the amps they can handle.

Power inverters are incredibly useful tools and can help power your home during an outage of supply power while being away from a conventional power supply. Hope so you can understand what does a power inverter do.

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