Most households and commercial establishments need inverters these days, to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power during outages. However, choosing the right kind of inverter can be challenging unless you know some basics about them. Especially, being aware of the differences between a sine wave and a square wave inverter is important.
Inverter basics: Your inverter converts energy into usable form for you. First, while charging the batteries (either from a solar panel source or from grid supply) it converts the alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). This is the form in which batteries can store power. Next, when you need to utilise storage (during night, when the PV panels are no longer generating power, or when there is a grid failure), the inverter converts the DC in batteries to AC. That is the form in which your appliances need power.
Sine wave advantages over square wave
Sine wave inverters are more efficient than square wave inverters, when it comes to the conversion of DC to AC. This ensures that the power loss is minimised, due to greater efficiency. As a consequence, your electricity bill does not shoot up. This is an immediate benefit of using a sine wave inverter. There are other long-term advantages too, which we will discuss below.
The red line in the figure represents a sine wave while the green one shows the current alternating in a square wave. You can see the smooth change-over of a sine wave. This is the same kind of power that the grid supplies. Since your inverter is going to be a substitute for grid power, it is important for the kind of power be the same.
Benefits of using sine wave inverters
• A sine wave minimises the risk of damage to your sensitive appliances. Compared to a square wave, there is very little harmonic distortion in a sine wave—essential for expensive equipment.
• Devices that use control circuits, which sense the phase for speed/voltage control, or devices that sense instantaneous zero voltage crossing (for timing control) must have a sine wave supply. As you can make out from the figure above, sine wave changes polarity instantaneously and smoothly, when it crosses zero volts. The rise and fall of voltage is smooth as compared to the shape of the square wave. Due to this feature, inductive loads (as in motors or microwaves) run quieter, cooler and faster.
• Electronic items like printers, scanners and monitors have minimal harmonic distortion. Therefore, fewer glitches and irregular printouts are assured. This is important for sensitive commercial applications too. Even fans, audio amplifiers, TV etc. produce less audible noise in sine wave v/s square.
So, which one to choose?
You can well imagine the risk you will be taking if you go for the cheaper square wave inverter. Customer dissatisfaction and impaired performance will be the price you might have to pay.
Most importantly, you should look at the total cost of ownership, and not just the initial price difference. Also, the sine wave power inverters won’t turn out to be more expensive if you look at the replacement cost. Plus, you can add what you save on monthly electricity bills to the lower depreciation of appliances/equipment, to see where you are profiting more.
To make an informed choice, visit Genus. Choose the STATICA range from Genus, as it is a much superior alternative to any commercial UPS. The output power is pure sine wave, purer than the power supplied by the grid. Apart from a substantially long battery life, STATICA possesses various modern features which ensure quiet, hassle-free performance for years. The Static UPS from Genus allows computers, sensitive equipment like air conditioners, and other high load capacity appliances to function safely during power cuts.
For heavy-duty applications, Genus inverters are regulated and stabilised for pure sine wave output. This powerful machine is a complete power generation system that is suitable for all types of commercial establishments and is capable of running everything— from lights to air conditioners and lifts to elevators—in a cost-effective manner. It supplies pure power equivalent to the grid, and is 100% safe for running the most sophisticated, expensive and sensitive office equipment, without pollution.