If you are planning to buy an inverter for your home, you will be faced with the choice of a sine wave or a square wave inverter. Before you decide which inverter you should get, it is important to know how an inverter works, the basic functioning of a sine wave inverter as well as a square wave inverter, and of course, the difference between the two.
What is an inverter?
You must have heard of a ‘conductor’ which basically converts AC current into DC current. This means that in a conductor which is an electromagnetic device, the current flow is a typical AC in DC out the circuit. On the other hand, an inverter is the exact opposite of that.
In an inverter, a DC current is the input which is then converted into an AC current. An inverter is used at homes as an alternate source of power when the main power lines are not running. Since the power produced by your local power stations is the AC current, it is what is required for running all the electrical devices at our home.
However, it is not possible for a small electric setup that an inverter has to actually produce AC current. Therefore, it works as a converter of DC into AC which is then used to power up the lights and electrical devices.
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How does a sine wave inverter work?
A sine wave inverter works on the advanced technology of conversion of DC into AC current. The sine wave inverter produces a kind of wave of AC current by switching the DC current between negative and positive values.
When a sine wave inverter is turned on, it initially creates a flat plateau of positive voltage before bringing it down to zero, taking it further down to negative voltage and then again bringing it gradually up to zero and back to positive voltage.
How does a square wave inverter work?
As compared to the sine wave inverters, square wave inverters are considered to be old tech and are even considered obsolete in some parts of the world. The square wave inverters also convert DC to AC current but they do so by simply flipping the voltage directly from negative to positive and back again.
Unlike the sine wave inverter, there is no pause at the zero levels between the negative and positive voltages. Because of its functioning, these inverters create a square waveform because of which they are called a square wave inverter.
Difference between a sine wave and a square wave inverter
The sine wave inverter is vastly different from the square wave inverter simply because their core functioning itself is very different from each other. The way these two inverters convert DC into AC current is different which ultimately results in both these inverters having their own unique features. The following are some of the major areas where these two inverters differ:
A sine wave inverter is considered to be much safer for domestic use as compared to a square wave inverter. This is because many electrical appliances are designed to run on sine waveform of current only. If these appliances are forced to run on square wave inverters, they will get heated up and may even start emitting humming noises if exposed for long.
Motors are the only appliances that are guaranteed to be compatible with working with square wave inverters. All other appliances such as refrigerator, air conditioner, television, etc. are usually not supported for square wave inverters such that they cannot even be connected to the square wave inverter.
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A square wave inverter has a much higher noise level as compared to a sine wave inverter which is fairly quiet and creates to real disturbance. If your appliances are not compatible with square wave inverters, they can even start humming which is not just unsafe but is also a potential cause of disturbance.
Square wave inverters work on an old form of technology and are therefore much more economical. Sine wave inverters are a bit pricey because they are the latest in the market and also have more appeal due to their compatibility with all the regular gadgets and appliances as well as because they fulfill the required safety standards.
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Which inverter should you go for?
A square wave inverter is recommended for those users who just need an inverter for powering up very basic electrical equipment such as lights and fans or who need it for running motors. It is also a good buy for those who do not have a very high budget for purchasing an inverter as well as those who will not need to use it on a daily basis.
However, if you are planning to connect sensitive electrical equipment such as television, microwave, refrigerator, etc. with the inverter as well, you will have to go for the sine wave inverter because of its compatibility with the electronics as well as safety features.
If you live in an area with frequent power outages such that you will need to use the inverter quite regularly, then too, a sine wave inverter is a much better option, though a little costly.
There is also a third kind of inverter called a modified sine wave inverter whose functioning is kind of in-between that of a sine wave and square wave inverters. A modified sine wave inverter does not produce a pure sine wave but rather simulates a sine wave in its most important aspects.
This ensures that most of the appliances can still be connected to this inverter and will not heat up easily. This kind of inverter is preferred by those who want the benefits of a sine wave inverter but without having to spend too much money. However, if your priority lies in ensuring that your appliances are absolutely safe, the most foolproof way of ensuring the same is to invest in a pure sine wave inverter.