Differences between Square Wave and Sine Wave Inverter

“Do you want get a Sine Wave Inverter or Square Wave Inverter?” Perhaps, this is one of the most common questions you’ll get when you try to purchase a power inverter. So what’s an inverter anyway? The majority of household electrical appliances use an Alternating Current (AC) electricity. On the other hand, a battery stores Direct Current (DC) electricity. The main purpose of an inverter is to convert the DC electricity into AC electricity.

But when it comes to the basis of its circuits, an inverter converts DC current to either square wave AC current or sine wave AC current. The pure sine wave inverter output is very similar to the AC current. In comparison with the square wave output, the sine wave output is purer; that’s also the reason why the term puresine wave inverter exists.

To give you an idea of how the two currents look like, refer to the photo below:

One more important thing that you need to know is many household devices get heated up if you’ll use square wave inverters. This is the reason why square wave inverters are banned in some European countries. Other than that, we outlined a comparison chart between sine wave inverters and square wave inverters below to help you differentiate them better.

Comparison Chart: Square Wave Inverter vs. Sine Wave Inverter

List of FeaturesSquare Wave InverterSine Wave Inverter
Supported AppliancesSquare wave inverters are usually used to support motors alone.Sine wave inverters are used to support household appliances such as refrigerators ovens, computers, laptops, etc.
Overall Safety LevelSquare wave inverters are less reliable and also unsafe to use for appliances.Sine inverters are highly safe to use.
Noise InterferenceSquare wave inverters produce a very loud noise when used.Sine wave inverters produce normal sound only.
CostSquare wave inverters are less expensive than Sine wave inverters.Sine wave inverters are more expensive than Square wave inverters.

Furthermore, there’s another type of inverter that you can take advantage of. This one is called “Modified Sine Wave Inverter.” This type of inverter is better than the Square wave inverter and more affordable than the Sine wave inverter. A modified sineconverter can be utilised for simple systems, however, there are heaps of equipment that it cannot support. Some of these are the following:

  • Medical equipment (e.g. oxygen concentrators).
  • Some laptop computers
  • Home Automation Systems
  • Anything that has Silicon-controlled Rectifier (SCR)
  • Laser Printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Appliances with microprocessor controls

If you are planning to purchase a modified sine wave inverter, it is highly recommended to go for the sine wave inverter instead. As modern technology continues to rise, the cost of pure sine wave inverters is dramatically decreasing, making them more affordable and accessible in the global market.

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