AIMS Power’s Tuesday Tech Tip of the Week

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*Editor’s note: every Tuesday, AIMS Power will feature a “Tech TIp of the Week” that showcases a problem our technical support team has helped our customers solve. 

AIMS Power’s first installment of the Tuesday Tech Tip of the Week features an issue that our tech support team comes across almost daily: a customer buys an inverter, without the guidance of an AIMS Power technician, only to find that the inverter can’t handle the job in question.

The biggest piece of advice our tech support team can give: don’t cut corners for price!

GOOD RULE OF THUMB: Your AIMS Power inverter should be able to handle two to three times the amount of power you’d like to produce.

IMPORTANT: a 1000 watt inverter will not be able to handle 750 watts of output for an extended period of time, because power surges can jolt output up three to five times higher (750 watts x 3 = 2250 watts).

***FOR AIR CONDITIONERS AND COMPRESSORS:  Multiply your wattage by five (or more) if you’re running something like an air compressor or air conditioner, which bases its output off of the locked rotor startup or locked rotor amperage (LRA).

A standard modified sine high frequency inverter can only withstand surges for 30-40 milliseconds, which is why AIMS Power provides customers with top-of-the-line pure sine low frequency inverters that can handle 300% startup surges for up to 20 seconds, as you see when running air conditioners and compressors.

Inverter Wave Forms — Modified Sine vs Pure Sine

The difference between modified sine waves (red) and pure sine waves (blue).

Modified sine high frequency inverters still have plenty of applications, but it’s important to know when to make the step up to pure sine technology.

Modified Sine Wave (high frequency) Pure Sine Wave (low frequency)
— Laptop — Medical Equipment
— Coffee Pot — Laser Printer
— Cell Phone — Variable Speed Power Tools
— Most Power Tools — Some LCD/LED TVs
— Refrigerator/Freezer — Digital Clocks

“An inverter is kind of like a motor — you don’t want to redline it all the time so typically you want to run it continuously at about a third to half of its full power at the most,” AIMS Power’s lead technician Andrew Frey said. “Don’t cut corners for price because if you want your system to work properly and efficiently for years to come, purchasing the right inverter and the right cable is your number one obstacle.”

If you have questions about which AIMS Power inverters and accessories are correct for your application, email so we can help.

AIMS will get the job done no matter how much power it requires.

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Eric Lee Castillo (21 Posts)

Eric Lee Castillo is a public relations director at AIMS Power covering the latest trends in the inverter and solar power industry at

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