Does your business work with electrical devices in any capacity? Then you’re probably familiar with the terms converter and inverter. While these devices have similar names and somewhat similar functions, there are some key differences. But let’s start with the common point—converters and converters both convert voltage. What sets the two apart? Well, converters convert an electrical device’s voltage from AC to DC. Inverters, on the other hand, convert the voltage from DC to AC. Essentially, the two devices work in opposite directions.
Why do I need a converter or inverter?
If your business works with electrical appliances and technologies in any way, it’s crucial to know the difference between converters and inverters. When powering up any electrical device, you’ll want to make sure you’re supplying it with the correct level and type of voltage. That’s where converters and inverters come into play. Almost all electronic devices require converters to run safely. For example, to run a desktop computer, you’ll need a converter to change the alternating current running from a power point to a usable direct current at a suitable voltage. Inverters are a little more complicated. You’ll generally find these devices used to convert energy from a battery, fuel cell, or solar panel to AC electricity, making the energy usable in the electric grid. Uninterrupted power services or UPSs also use inverters to access AC power when mains electricity is unavailable.
All about converters
There are a few different types of converters. These types are:
● Digital-to-digital converters, or DDC
● Digital-to-analog converters, or DAC
● Analog-to-digital converters, or ADC
Digital-to-digital converters change digital data from one type to another. Digital-to-analog converters change digital codes to analog signals—you’ll often find them used in computer sound cards, CD players, and digital music players. Analog-to-digital converters convert analog voltage into digital numbers that represent the voltage or current’s magnitude.
Converters boast various uses, including converting AC to DC energy, detecting modulated radio signals, and providing polarised voltage for welding. Converters can also perform DC to DC conversion. For example, a 12V to 24V converter can double DC power, reducing the necessary wire size in boat, car, and truck electrical systems. This type of conversion can help businesses save money on wire gauges.
All about inverters
Inverters take power from a DC source, such as a solar panel or battery, and convert it into usable AC power. Inverters are especially useful when travelling, allowing car and campervan owners to power AC appliances such as coffee machines and toasters with a DC battery. As an example, an inverter can ‘invert’ power from a 12V DC battery into 110V AC energy, allowing you use to 110V power outlets. Inverters are also often used for induction heating.
In short, converters change voltage from AC to DC, while inverters change voltage from DC to AC. Converters can also be used to perform DC to DC conversion. With your new knowledge about the difference between these two options, you’ll be able to make an informed choice when purchasing inverters or converters for your business.