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Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Sailor Bob, May 29, 2005.

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  1. Sailor Bob

    Sailor Bob Guest

    Can anyone tell me if an inverter actually uses additional energy t
    convert DC to AC? Is it a percentage in direct proportion to th

    thank yo

  2. Yes, it uses additional energy that must escape as heat. There is
    some minimum loss, just to run the converter, unloaded, some
    proportional losses, and some losses proportional to the square of the
    load. If the designers concentrated on efficiency, all these losses
    may amount to 5% to 10% of the full load output (90to 95 % full load
    efficiency. All units are zero percent efficient at no load.
  3. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    John gave you some good answers. Let me add one thing -- if you model the
    input power going to an inverter as something like:

    Pin = A*Pout+B (watts)

    ....where A is perhaps 1.10 (~10% losses or ~90% inverter efficiency), the
    constant loss term (B) tends to be proportional to the _maximum_ power the
    inverter was designed for. It's not uncommon to see something like a 5,000
    watt maximum inverter that'll sit there and dissipate 25 watts under no load,
    because the designers figured normally you'd probably be running 2-4kW and,
    hey, what's 25W vs. a few kilowatts? On the other hand, something like a
    little 300W inverter would hopefully dissipate, say, no more than 3W under no

    Moral of the story (all other things equal): Don't buy an inverter _too_ much
    bigger than you need!
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