Let’s get back to the term inverter, converter, transducer, etc. Actually, these are different names of the same device. In English the most common term is converter, in Russian – transferter. To make the situation even more complex, saying only inverter can refer at least to three different devices, which we will not review in detail: inverter air-conditioner, inverter electric welding machine, inverter for solar systems with UPS. Furthermore we shouldn’t forget that there are three-phase inverters. Is it now clear?
If it’s clear, let’s move on to the second part of the question, namely: “how to use it “?
In the first part of the article we paid special attention to the risks of overloading the inverter due to ignorance or disregard of the nature of the load. However, there are other, not less serious risks which we need to consider before and during the operation of the voltage inverter.
Firstly, like all electric appliances, it is adversely affected by dust, high ambient temperatures, e.g. above 40 degrees, high humidity above 90% and other contaminants impeding the normal convection of the air flow, which serves to cool the device. The more powerful inverters have a built in fan that turns on automatically during prolonged work and in harder working mode in order to protect it from overheating, so it is important not to put objects, which could block the air, blown out by the fan. It is good to leave some space, about 10 cm, around the inverter and to place the device on a dry, flat and clean surface. Do not immerse in water and keep away from rain and moisture.
Special attention needs to be paid on the cables which connect the inverter with the supply battery. They must be properly sized, i.e. relevant to the power of the inverter. If the cables are not sized properly they will give heat. The cables must also meet the standards and must not have damaged insulation or broken wires. Furthermore, there are special safety requirements for working with and around batteries. Smoking and lighting fires nearby are not allowed as well as putting metal objects on the battery because they could cause short circuits. Metal jewellery, such as long necklaces, bracelets, etc. when getting in contact with the plus and the minus of the battery may lead to short circuit and cause burns. When devices with large inrush current are connected to the inverter, this can lead to a peak in which the inverter may turn off and if at the same time there is an operating computer and you work with data, the computer may also turn off (unless it is a laptop) and this may lead to data loss.
In conclusion we can say that the voltage inverter is a very practical and useful device which provides mains voltage where there is no electrical network. It definitely provides greater independence at remote and non-electrified places. It can also be a device, which if supplied with a built UPS, uninterruptible power supply, can be used in central heating, fireplaces with water jackets and other home automation systems, which if not power supplied can cause severe and costly accidents.