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Car inverter – what parameters should it have?

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The lack of an electrical outlet during a long journey makes life miserable, especially when the journey concerns the professional sphere. What can you do in such a situation? A great solution will be to buy a car inverter, which will allow you to charge your devices and use several of them at the same time. Also while driving a car

What is an inverter?

A car inverter is also called an inverter or an inverter. Generally speaking, it is an electronic device that changes 12 volts from the car’s DC system to 230 volts AC – similar to what you would find in your home

The converter is connected to the car’s power supply system via the cigarette lighter socket or directly to the battery. Thanks to the car converter you can connect 230V devices in places where there are no sockets. It is enough to connect to a 12V or 24V car socket to enjoy the operation of electrical devices while traveling.

Inverters are divided into two main categories – those with modified sine wave and those with full sine wave.

Automotive inverter with modified sine wave

This type of inverter is used in devices such as

  • laptop,
  • power tools,
  • tV,
  • lighting.

Inverters with modified sine wave have limitations that must not be forgotten:

  • When working on this converter, you may find that the operation of your laptop will be unstable – you can tell by the excessive heating and buzzing of the power supply whether your laptop is equipped with an appropriate PCF filter,
  • Devices with commutator motor, such as a drill or a grinder may encounter problems with proper regulation of the motor rotation,
  • Some TVs may experience picture and sound interference.

Full sinus auto inverter

This type of automotive inverter is designed for devices that require continuous electrical power, such as

  • induction motors,
  • refrigerators,
  • pumps,
  • air conditioners.

What parameters should an inverter have?

If you are actively looking for an inverter for your car, pay attention to several characteristic features that will greatly facilitate the work and save you from all kinds of problems:

  • thermal protection of the inverter – protects the equipment from failures caused by excessive temperature,
  • ventilation – each inverter should be equipped with an adequate ventilation system,
  • smooth sinusoidal voltage waveform,
  • overload-dependent ventilation control,
  • automatic battery charging to save energy,
  • low power consumption in stand-by mode,
  • optimal performance,
  • number of available sockets and USB ports,
  • reverse polarity and short circuit protection,
  • protection against contaminants such as dust and dirt that may affect the operation of the inverter,
  • compact size – the inverter should not interfere with the use of the handbrake or gear stick while driving.

12V and 24V inverter

When it comes to differences between these two types of inverters, the difference is simple – 12V inverters are used in passenger cars, while 24V inverters are used in trucks and campers.

Power

The basic parameter of an inverter is its power. Manufacturers usually provide two parameters – 500/1000W. The former is the value of the continuous power of the device, while the second value determines the instantaneous power. Therefore, if we plan to use the converter for a longer period of time, the power consumed should not exceed 85% of the continuous power of the converter (in this case 500W)

Battery capacity

Another key parameter is the capacity of the battery inside your vehicle. Proper selection of the power of the converter will prevent the battery from discharging quickly

Most importantly – before deciding to buy an inverter, you should consider whether you will use the device to its full potential. If you only want to connect your computer, we recommend buying a power adapter or car charger. However, if you plan to connect devices such as a TV, power tools or microwave the best solution will be a properly selected inverter

(photo: Adobe Stock)

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