Pure sine wave inverters and modified sine wave inverters convert 12V DC from batteries into AC (alternating current) power available from wall outlets.
Producing a modified sine wave is a far simpler process than creating a pure sine wave, which boils down to a modified sine wave inverter being a lot cheaper. The trade-off is that some electronics just don’t work properly or may even be damaged if they are not powered by a pure sine wave. For peace of mind, it is advisable to do your homework well before investing in either.
Modified Sine Wave Inverters
The polarity switches from positive to negative abruptly in modified sine wave inverters. Simple inverters make square waves and the polarity is then flipped backwards and forwards.
As a rule of thumb, with modified sine wave inverters, there is always the worry that electronic devices could be damaged. The best way moving forward is by doing as much research as possible when investing in any type of sine wave inverters.
When using modified sine wave inverters, the two devices that have the most potential of being damaged are delicate medical equipment and AC motors.
All other electronic devices are unlikely to be damaged by applying modified sine wave inverters, although a pure sine wave inverter is safer when applied to a broader range of devices. Usually, the cost of pure sine wave inverters is not necessarily worth the investment.
Avoid using modified sine wave inverters on these devices:
- Electrical devices that use thyristors should only be used with pure sine wave inverters such as photocopier machines and printers
- Electrical devices that use silicon-controlled rectifiers will most probably not work with modified sine wave inverters
- Lighting using electronic ballasts such as fluorescent lights should not use modified sine wave inverters
Use these devices with modified sine wave inverters:
- Devices that are not sensitive
- Electronic equipment that don’t have AC motors
- Usually, devices that use rectifiers that change AC into DC are safe
- Some laptops are safe – read the manufacturer’s instructions
Moving forward, it is always best to do your homework thoroughly before investing in a modified or pure sine wave inverter.