Types of Inverter

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Inverters are a type of electronic machine that does the job of converting DC to AC or vice versa.  This is necessary because AC doesn’t store power, but when converted to DC that power can then be stored in batteries and used for later. 

Inverters are a necessary part of a power supply system and are used in a large variety of electronic devices. 

Inverters are not all the same, they can be divided into two categories based on their function. These are the switching type inverters and the linear type inverters. The former are used in AC-DC power supplies and the latter are used in DC-AC power supplies.

This article will explain the different types of inverter. We’ll go from the basics all the way to how they work and what they do for various products.

Knowing the Basics


Watts are a unit of measurement unique to electricity and are measured in joules. The watt as a unit of measure is used to quantify the power of electrical devices such as motors, bulbs, and anything else that consumes electricity.


This measurement simply refers to the amount of watts that are used for however many hours. 


Ampere (AMP) basically measures the amount of electromagnetic force that travels between two conductors that are emitting electricity.


This is more or less used as a rating for consumers letting them know how much amperage a battery can last per hour without losing power.

Power Ratings of inverters


Refers to the amount of max power output for the inverter. This is only temporary and mostly used in the event of an overload to protect the inverter and product..

General Rules

A low surge rating of around 25%-50% maximum overload tells you that these inverters are the high-speed switching type.

The highest surge ratings can come from inverters that can temporarily handle a 300% max overload.

Pros and Cons

The lower the surge rating the more inexpensive the inverter is

Lower surge inverters are typically much smaller than the higher rated ones

Different Classifications of Inverter

Going by the Output Characteristic

1. Square Wave Inverter

LOTOS TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder with DC Stick/Arc Welder, Square Wave Inverter with Foot Pedal and Argon Regulator 110/220V Dual Voltage Brown

This inverter, also known as a bridge rectifier, converts alternating current (AC) from a utility line into direct current (DC) for use with electrical appliances like a fan or lamp. These are low end and inexpensive inverters.

2. Sine Wave Inverter

BESTEK 500W Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter DC 12V to AC 110V Car Plug Inverter Adapter Power Converter with 4.2A Dual USB Charging Ports and 2 AC Outlets Car Charger, ETL Listed

The Sine Wave Inverter is a device that converts an AC signal into a sine wave signal, which may then be used to drive a load such as an electric motor, lighting, or a solar panel array. 

3. Modified Sine Wave Inverter

Power Inverter 12v to 110v, Dc to Ac Converter with 3 AC Outlets, 1000W Modified Sine Wave Inverter for Car/RV/Home

This inverter is very similar to a square wave but has a few more additions. Most appliances will work with modified sine wave, but not as efficiently when more power is needed.

Also Read: Types of Solar Inverters

Going by  the Source of Inverter

1. Current Source Inverter

Converts DC into AC, but can use an adjustable current. Since this power is controlled, there is less likely a chance of disaster.

2. Voltage Source Inverter

Converts AC to DC and regulates AC power. A good example is an UPS power supply

Going by the Type of Load

1. Single Phase Inverter

Produces single phase power specifically for single phase products. This is mostly used in homes. Single phase does not transfer power. 

2. Half Bridge Inverter

A single phase converter that requires two diodes and switches to function. It is used in solar inverters  and UPS power modules.

3. Full Bridge Inverter

This is a high frequency inverter that is popular in AC motors and UPS systems.

Three Phase Inverter

1. 180-degree Mode

Used in 180 degree conduction states. Allows a motor to be reversed for instance.

2. 120-degree Mode

Assists with AC cycle turning. This is done in specified intervals.

Going by different PWM Technique

1. Multiple Pulse Width Modulation (MPWM)

Reduces the PWM harmonics by sending out several pulses. Normally this is done for each half cycle of input voltage 

2. Sinusoidal Pulse Width Modulation (SPWM)

Helps to produce a sine wave frequency inside of inverters. It is able to generate AC power by using the incoming DC power. 

3. Modified sinusoidal Pulse Width Modulation (MSPWM)

Used for power control and to optimize certain power factors

Going by Number of Output Level

1. Regular Two-Level Inverter

Produces output voltage using two voltage levels. Many do not prefer this type of inverter due to harshness and noise levels.  

2. Multilevel Inverter

Capable of producing a high amount of power from medium voltage sessions. A very reliable method.


We hope you enjoyed our article all about types of inverter. We hope that you will agree that inverters are simply fantastic pieces of technology. They can power the tiniest of electronics to the largest of solar arrays.

We discussed how inverters work, from the basics on up. We also showed you how inverters are sophisticated and at the same time simple to use.

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