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Power inverters
01-16-2014, 12:19 PM (This post was last modified: 01-16-2014 12:20 PM by Butch Moore.)
Post: #1
Lightbulb Power inverters
I mentioned "pure sine" inverters compared to "modified sine" inverters in one of the pellet stove threads. Last night I had a conversation with a friend who is also an electronics engineer. He told me that the debate is somewhat misleading because almost all modern electronics immediately convert power back to DC volts which is what they run on. If this is the case, would it explain why my flat screen TV didn't have all the problems it was supposed to have during the ice storm when I hooked it up to a "modified sine" inverter?

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01-16-2014, 01:50 PM
Post: #2
RE: Power inverters
I'm not much on lectrifcationing.

Is it considered a conspiracy if they really are after you?Huh
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01-16-2014, 02:19 PM
Post: #3
RE: Power inverters
I have lived off the grid for the past 30 years. I have solar and wind power for electricity and use a Trace inverter , modified sine wave. I have never had a problem running anything EXCEPT for a Sear gas range with a touch screen... For whatever reason the modified sine wave eats the circuit board in the range. Luckily I bought a service contract with the range. As it turned out the circuit boards cost over $600.00. Replaced the board twice in a short period of time. Had to buy a different range.
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01-16-2014, 04:59 PM
Post: #4
RE: Power inverters
Did the circuit board itself use AC or DC power?

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

"As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but together we make a mighty fist." - Sitting Bull

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01-16-2014, 07:09 PM
Post: #5
RE: Power inverters
I have no idea.... Just know that plugged range into a/c 120 V circuit and in a couple days the circuit board would burn up. And I mean burn up!!
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01-16-2014, 08:44 PM
Post: #6
RE: Power inverters
Depends on what you mean by 'electronics.'

Virtually everything I know of runs on DC voltages at levels running from 1.5 volts all the way up to 15,000 volts or so for CRT's.

Given our AC electric supply, the biggest and often most challenging part of 'electronics' in the past has been 'power supplies,' which in every case I can think of, converted AC input to DC output appropriate to the task at hand. Regulation was always a part of the more involved applications. That means holding the DC voltage constant independent of the load.

Otherwise, you're just talking about transformers, which provide step-down or step-up of the source AC voltage, just like the ones on your nearby power pole.

Inverters usually refer to devices that work in the other direction...DC voltage in, say like from a car battery, converting it to AC voltage to run devices that operate on 'AC outlet power' or 'line voltage,' like a toaster, or blender, or power tool, or whatever.

My guess is that the average inverter does not provide the precision regulation of waveform that many home appliances might be designed for, but I have no real experience in this regard.

I do have a gas powered generator that we use during outages, and have never had any problem with our well, or boiler, or other appliances when using it.
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01-16-2014, 11:03 PM (This post was last modified: 01-16-2014 11:03 PM by FrankLee.)
Post: #7
RE: Power inverters
A good inverter such as a Trace can be had in either a modified or full sine way. I happen to have a modified sine way and as I said the only item I have had a problem with was that range. Most generators designed for home use, generate notoriously "dirty" electricity. Electricity from a good inverter is much cleaner then that from the average home generator.
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01-17-2014, 10:04 AM (This post was last modified: 01-17-2014 02:41 PM by Butch Moore.)
Post: #8
RE: Power inverters
Here is a post that I shamelessly plagiarized:

http://cartech.about.com/od/Power/f/...e-Inverter.htm

This is a good link discussing pure sine wave and modified sine wave inverters.

sine wave link

Here's a good quote from that site: "However, most electronic devices run just fine on a modified sine wave. For example, laptop computers, cell phone chargers, and all other equipment that uses a rectifier or AC/DC adapter to take an AC input and output DC to the device will typically work just fine without a pure sine wave inverter."

Many people get caught up in the "if one is more expensive, it must be better" way of thinking. However, unless you are dealing with synchronous motors (which almost no one outside of an industrial application does) or very sensitive radio equipment, pure sine wave inverters are unnecessary at best and a waste of money at worst. You're better off getting 2 (or 3) modified sine wave inverters because two is one and one is none.

If you still don't believe me, then go to this website:

sine wave inverters link

Steven Harris, a preparedness and electrical expert, doesn't even own a pure sine wave inverter.

Most of the people who recommend these do so for one of two reasons. First, they once used a modified sine wave inverter, something went wrong, and they blame the inverter. Usually, they just didn't use a big enough inverter in the first place. Second, they're trying to sell you a pure sine wave inverter.

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01-17-2014, 02:46 PM
Post: #9
RE: Power inverters
TANSTAF1, that's pretty much the same info I got from my friend regarding electronics. It was interesting regarding the CPAP machine, but I can understand someone making the recommendation to not take chances on medical devices.

I'm going to have to go through my owner's manual now to look at the schematic on my pellet stove.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

"As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but together we make a mighty fist." - Sitting Bull

*All posts reflect my personal views, not necessarily those of any organizations with which I am affiliated.
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01-17-2014, 03:07 PM
Post: #10
RE: Power inverters
I am not an electrician nor an electrical engineer. I would not have any problem connecting an electronics device such as a CPAP (mine has no warning about needing a pure sine wine input) - or laptop that uses a power brick or has an internal power supply such as a desktop as I suspect you are correct that once modified back to DC the device would not be damaged by just a modified sine wave. Your pellet stove, or a cook stove with electronic controls or a HDTV or monitor I am not so sure about - they seem to direct connect who knows what the internals do to make the electricity into a form the device can use.

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