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FAQ Power Inverters

Q. What is a Power Inverter?

A. Power Inverters are devices designed for powering household appliances from a car, or similar battery. They convert 12V or 24V DC battery power to 230V (±10VAC) AC mains power and are an ideal source of portable mains power. 

Being compact and portable, power inverters can be used in cars, caravans, boats, 4WDs and trucks. Using a power inverter for household appliances is a much cheaper option than purchasing specialised 12V or 24V appliances for those times when mains power is not available. Compared to Generators, Power Inverters are a greener and cheaper long term option.

example of a pure sine wave inverter Modified Sine Wave Inverter
Pure Sine Wave Inverter Modified Sine Wave Inverter

Q. What is a Pure Sine Inverter and what does it do?

A. Pure (true) sine wave inverters (PSW) produce clean power from a Direct Current (DC) power supply as seen by the image below. In fact the power can be cleaner than most household alternating current (AC) mains power.

Highly efficient pure sine wave inverters replicate standard AC mains power from batteries that provide DC power. These inverters are also known as switch mode converters, because they switch DC power into AC power to enable house hold appliances to be powered in remote areas. This is ideal for people who want to use the power from their regular vehicle batteries or from renewable energy sources eg: Solar.

These switch mode power converters are also known as off grid inverters, some have built in charging circuitry as well which are calledinverter chargers.

To gain a clearer understanding of the difference in output between mains power, modified sine wave and pure(true) sine wave inverters, check out the diagrams below.

ac mains sine wavepure sine wavemodified sine wave

A pure (or true) sine wave inverter has a lot more sophisticated electronics compared to a modified sine wave inverter and as a result is more expensive. Modified sine wave power inverters are quite simple electronically and many high powered electric appliances can be powered from them. Kettles, lights, microwaves and power tools are examples where a Modified sine wave can be used.

But please use caution; Appliances must be checked to see if they are compatible on modified sine wave. Some appliances can be damaged or the appliance can in fact damage the inverter, If in doubt use pure sine wave.

Pure (True) sine wave inverters are now the industry standard and are our primary recommendation. Increasingly, appliance manufacturers are changing to a mandatory pure sine wave power source specification for their appliances.

Q. How do I connect an 8Zed 150W USB Cup Inverter

Cup Inverter
Cup Inverter
Step 1 
Ensure the inverter is switched off
Step 2 
Ensure your device is switched off
 Cup Inverter  Cup Inverter
Step 3 
Plug device into your 3pin (cigarette lighter) accessory
 Step 4 
To use while the car is turned off,
switch your car to accessory to power the 3pin
(cigarette lighter) accessory.
Alternatively, switch on your isolator to
provide power to your 3pin (cigarette lighter) accessory. 
Cup Inverter Cup Inverter
Step 5 
To use while running your vehicle,
ensure to inverter is switched off. 
Step 6 
Start your car
Cup Inverter Cup Inverter
 Step 7 
Switch on your 8Zed Inverter
Step 8 
Switch on your appliance 

Q. What is the difference between a pure sine wave and modified sine wave inverter?

A. The Sine wave comparison chart shows the difference in pure sine wave and modified sine wave wave forms.But what does it all mean in terms of performance? The red line shows how the power output signal looks from any house hold alternating current (AC) power point and pure sine wave (PSW) inverters are designed to replicate the same output. The blue line is the power output signal generated from Direct Current (DC) power and is a called a modified sine wave (MSW).Be wary of sellers calling their inverters "sine wave". If they haven't included the word "true" or "pure" then it is probably a 'modified" sine wave.However, modified sine wave is more economical when used on simple loads such as induction loads ie motors and resistive loads such as lights. Modified sine wave inverters are the first choice for these applications as they use DC more efficiently than the pure sine wave.Always double check beforehand to make sure modified sine wave inverters are compatible as new technology devices have electronic motor control. 

For example the coffee machines. Earlier models run effectively on MSW inverters whilst the new automated units require PSW inverters to switch power from DC to AC. This is due to the more sensitive electronic sensor control on the boiler and motor control for the pumps. 

MSW inverters will remain in the market place as they are the most economical and cost effective inverter to power items such as power tools, drop saws, kettles toasters, sandwich presses and microwaves. (Check they are not digitally controlled) 

If the inverter is for only one application such as a water boiler and nothing else, or just for a microwave then the MSW inverter is the right choice. If many appliances may be used then the Pure Sine Wave is the best choice. In some customers applications it is also more cost effective to run a large MSW inverter for the one high powered device and than a smaller PSW inverter for your sensitive appliances. 

Always first check with your manufacturer or contact WallCann Technical Services.

Q. How do I choose what Inverter is right for my Application?

A.  In order to determine the size Inverter you may require for your specific application. There are several main points that you first need to establish.8ZED Power Inverters

  1. What appliances do I need to run from the Inverter at the same time?
    Take into consideration every appliance you may wish to run from the Inverter simultaneously in order to meet your needs.
  2. What is the power requirement (watts or Amps) of all of these appliances?Adding the total power requirements of all of the appliances that you wish to run will give you an initial indication of what size Inverter may be suitable for your specific application.
  3. Do any of these appliances contain elements such as a compressor, motor, pump or heating element?
    Appliances carrying these listed elements will have special requirements. As their start up requirement will greatly exceed their listed continuous power requirement. You will require a larger Inverter, with the continuous capacity to cover this initial start-up requirement. For more information, please feel free to contact us.
  4. How to connect my Inverter to my power source?
    Smaller Inverters may only provide limited battery connection possibilities such as a cigarette lighter plug.
    Larger inverters will require a direct connection to the DC Battery source. For more options, please speak with a Technical person to ensure you have the right cables and connections for your Inverter. For more technical information, please feel free to contact us.

Q. Can any appliance be run from an Inverter?

A.  Yes and No, in some cases Power inverters are not an efficient way to run appliances that have very high power requirements during start up or continuous operation. This is due to their high current draw and rapid battery depletion. In these cases such as mobile/vehicle applications the batteries required would far outweigh the space, weight and cost. For Off grid solar solutions this would not be the case.

You may have difficulties running the following appliances in mobile applications: (Please note: This is not an exhaustive list, for more information please see the updated table or contact us.

Electric Heaters, Stoves/Stove Tops,Kettles, Air Conditioners, Large Refrigerators/Freezers, Energy Saving Lights, Florescent Lights,Large Air Compressors, High Capacity Pumps, Large Coffee Machines

Q. What is a suitable power source to operate an inverter?

A.   To operate an inverter and supply power to an appliance, a suitable 12V DC power supply is required. This can be a vehicle, boat or caravan battery, portable power pack or an independent 12V lead acid battery. For most applications, a deep cycle battery is recommended for best performance.

Q. How do I connect my larger inverter to a DC power source?

CAUTION: Before making any connections ensure inverter is switched off and has no AC appliances plugged into the AC output sockets.

  1. Connect the ring terminal on the positive lead (Red) to the positive (Red) DC terminal on the back of the inverter.
  2. Connect the battery clip (Red) or ring terminal on the other end of the lead to the positive DC supply or (+) battery terminal.
  3. Connect the ring terminal on the negative lead (Black) to the negative (Black) DC terminal on the back of the inverter.
  4. Connect the battery clip (Black) or ring terminal on the other end of the lead to the negative DC supply or (-) battery terminal.
Inverter Connection Step by Step
Step 1
Ensure the inverter is switched off
Step 2
Connect the positive cable to the battery
switch off step 2
Step 3
Connect the negative cable to the Battery
Step 4
Connect the positive cable to the inverter
 connect  step 4
Step 5
Connect the negative cable to the inverter
(the cable may spark upon initial contact.
This is normal and will not harm the inverter or yourself).
Step 6
Best practice is to connect the case
directly to an earth. In vehicles a true earth
is not avail unless an earth stake is used.
inverter inverter
Step 7
Ensure the appliance is switched off
Step 8
Plug the appliance in
 switch  plug
Step 9
Switch the inverter on (a short beep may be heard, this is normal)
Step 10
Switch on your appliance and operate as normal
 plug  switch

Q. How do I know whether my new 8ZED inverter is not overheating if the fan is not running?

A.  An old inverter may have a very noisy fan that runs almost all the time. Modern inverters such as the 8ZED inverter use smart thermatic temperature controlled technology and operate relatively quietly.

8ZED fans are set to activate between 50 deg C to 55 deg C or when the load exceeds 80%. These fans are made with high-quality bearings and a smart variable speed adjusting mechanism, so at low speed, they are hard to hear.

If you look through the fan guard aperture you will see the fan rotate at a low speed once the internal control board reaches 50 deg C. As the temperature climbs the fan speed will increase. If the inverter is working efficiently, the fan speed will optimise and only increase if a bigger load is applied.

For moderate to normal load inverter running, the HD Heat sinks are designed to remove the heat from around the control boards quickly, so a low-speed fan will disperse the heat build-up.

The advantage of the new inverter technology set up is the lower standby current draw and lower running current draw, which in turn gives you improved operating efficiency.

If you are operating in a very high ambient temperature, we can reset the inverter fan, bypassing the smart controller so the fan always runs at maximum, or an option to operate at 25% loading, regardless of temperature. This will replicate the function of an older model inverter fan system.
For service adjustments - Go to Live support - ticketing or call 1300 799 455