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Alex Stanton
Henry Schober III
Benjamin Garber
What is an Inverter?
An inverter is an
electrical circuit
capable of turning DC
power into AC power,
while at the same
time regulating the
voltage, current, and
frequency of the
Why do I need an inverter?
Most solar panels provide 12V DC power
Household devices use 120V AC power
Necessary for a grid tie in system
What kind of inverter do I want?
Inverters come in all different shapes and
sizes, for all different purposes
Inverters vary in output from 50 5,000 W
Several different methods of changing DC
power to AC power
Some inverters put out electricity of higher
quality than others. What does that
Electrical wave forms
Graphs of voltage as a function of time

Power that comes Different types of

from a PV panel or inverters give
battery is outputs with
generally 12V DC different wave
Power forms

12V DC Power

Square Wave Modified Sine Wave True Sine Wave

Different types of inverter output
Square wave inverters are basically
Modified sine wave output will power
almost everything in your house.
However, things like power drills, or
battery chargers may not work
True sine wave output is exactly the same
as the power provided by a utility
company, and is necessary for a grid inter-
tie system
Methods of inversion
Rotary inverters use a DC Electrical inverters use a
motor to turn an AC combination of chopping
Power generator, the circuits and transformers
provide a true sine wave to change DC power into
output, but are inefficient, AC. They are much more
and have a low surge widely used and are far
capacity rating more efficient and
practical. Less expensive
electrical inverters
produce a modified sine
wave, while more
expensive models give a
true sine wave.
How do they work?
There are 2 types of electrical inverters, the first takes
low voltage high current power from a PV panel or
battery and sends it through a chopping circuit which
changes it to low voltage high current AC power at
60Hz. The power then goes through a series of large
transformers which output 120V AC power at 60Hz
How do they work?
The second type of electrical inverter is more complex. Two chopping
circuits are employed to make it possible for a much smaller and
lighter transformer to be used. The DC power is converted to very
high frequency AC power which is easier to transform into high
voltage low current power. The power is then rectified back into DC
power and sent through a second chopping circuit to turn it into 60Hz
120V AC.
How are Inverters rated?
Continuous output rating: The maximum
wattage that the inverter can support long term,
includes all everyday appliances, lights and
anything else that consumes power.
Surge capacity rating: The maximum wattage
that cam be supported at any given time.
Important when starting devices like refrigerators
or water pumps which require more wattage to
start then to run.
Applications of Inverters
Inverters are used for many practical
Small inverters can plug into your car
cigarette lighter
Large inverters can be used in a solar or
wind powered home