What is an inverter?

An inverter is also known as a power inverter. The Toshiba inverter, for instance, is an electronic device. It is also known as a circuit. It changes direct current – DC – into an alternating current – AC.

Toshiba inverter

Input voltage produced, as well as output voltage and frequency, also overall power handling, will depend on the design of a specific device or set of circuits. Note that the inverter does not produce power. Power is produced by the DC – direct current – source.

The power inverter can be wholly electronic. It can also be a combination of mechanical effects. This would be the case for a rotary apparatus, for instance. But static inverters will not be using any moving parts during a conversion process. Circuits that work in the opposite direction – converting from AC to DC – are known as the rectifier.

In the production of input voltage, the power inverter or circuit needs a reasonably stable DC power source. This source must have enough capacity to supply enough current for intended power demands for a given system. Input voltage will depend on the design and purpose for which the inverter has been built. A 12 V DC inverter will be used for smaller consumer goods; it will run from a rechargeable 12 V lead acid battery.

It can also be powered from an electrical outlet. Anything from 24 to 48 V DC is suitable for home energy systems. 200 to 400 V DC are now being considered for use in solar panels. But a V DC that goes as high as 450 is now being used as part of an electric vehicle battery that still needs to obtain power from a grid-like outlet. Inverters can produce a variety of waves – square, modified sine, pulsed sine, pulse width modulated. It will all depend on the circuit’s design.