JASPak Solar Generator Inverter Technology
12 volts of DC inverted to 120 volts of AC is truly a feat of science. Granted, it comes at a cost of high amperage from the battery, but that is why we use a 110Amp-hour or 153 Amp-hour battery to get you through the long haul! So, what does the inverter actually do and why?
Let’s begin with the wattage of an inverter because it is the primary advertised number alongside it’s surge wattage. Continuous running wattage is what the inverter is designed to support with no regard for the voltage supply. The advertised inverter wattage makes an assumption that you have a power supply that can support the continuous running wattage and also any surge wattage for items like motors and compressors that have huge in-rush needs to get started. This is where careful considerations must be made in system design. The JASPak team wanted ample power available, but also wanted to have that level of power sustained over several hours. For every 100 watts of AC power, the inverter is going to take an additional 10% for inefficiency and this requires about 11 amps from your battery.
The “True” Pure Sine Wave or “Square” Modified Sine Wave
Inverters in today’s marketplace consist of 2 primary types: “True” or Pure Sine Wave inverters and “Square” or Modified Sine Wave inverters. All JASPak units are built with true pure sine wave inverters, and here is why:
The modified sine wave (MSW) is the easiest wave form to produce and costs less and is actually a very square wave. It is a simple method of instantly swapping the positive and negative charges of the DC power source back and forth to produce the alternating current, or AC. Special filters are then added in the circuitry to try and soften the hard corners of this square wave and the result is called a modified sine wave. The above image illustrates the hard square wave, and then the filtered, or modified square sine wave.
MSW inverters are compatible with many appliances and tools and will operate with less efficiency than a pure sine wave (PSW). You will notice an increase in heat from items plugged into an MSW inverter due to the extra work it must do to compensate for the extra power it is forced to consume from the edges of the modified square wave. You must use extreme caution when connecting devices like fluorescent lights, audio and computer equipment and other sensitive electronics as they may have been design to only use “clean” or pure sine wave power such as from the electric utility company. Use on an MSW inverter may cause them to overheat and result in permanent damage.
The pure sine wave (PSW) inverter is always preferred over MSW, but it does come with an increase in cost and that cost can be significant. That additional costs gets you a clean and pure sine wave that can safely operate just about every device and appliance you have in your home today. Sensitive electronics, digital devices, appliances with thermostatic controls and computers can all be run from a PSW inverter. There is better efficiency and PSW inverters tend to run equipment at cooler temperatures.