Home > FAQ


Click Here for Power Inverter Manuals

Off Grid House/Cabin Inverter Charger System

Do you have an off grid house or cabin that is currently powered by a generator? Are you tired of running the generator day in and day out at $4 plus per gallon for fuel? Do you want to enjoy the weekend at your off grid cabin without hearing the generator run all night and day? Aims Power has the solution for you.

A power inverter is great alternative to using a generator and the setup is very streamlined with an AIMS Power inverter.  The most common unit is an inverter with a built in transfer switch and battery charger. AIMS Power offers five different inverter charger models.  Here are the different models offered by Aims Power:

•    1500 watt inverter charger - modified sine power inverter part# PWRIC1500W
•    1500 watt inverter charger  - pure sine power inverter part# PWRIC150012S
•    3000 watt inverter charger - modified sine power inverter part# PWRIC300012w
•    3000 watt inverter charger - modified sine power inverter part# PWRIC300024w
•    3000 watt inverter charger - pure sine power inverter part# PWRIC300012S

Inverter chargers make the system all automatic. Once the generator power is cut off, the inverter and DC battery source will take over.
Picking the right size inverter is critical in this setup.  So, gathering the power demand of all items that need to run off of the inverter will help you select the proper inverter and battery setup.  Contact Aims power for further information and help with selecting the right equipment for your individual setup.

Powering a Gaming Console

We receive many inquiries from customers that need to power a gaming console during a road trips or while camping.  The solution is easy; you will need an inverter, battery cables, and a DC source.
After doing a little research, I found some power ratings for the most popular game consoles, while you are playing a game.

  • Sony PS3 unit draws the most power 199w
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 a close second with 187w
  • Nintendo Wii at 18w

Of course this does not include the TV that the system is connected to, but gives us a general idea what we are working with.

For any of the units listed above, we will recommend the AIMS Power 300 watt pure sine wave inverter (PWRI30012S) or larger AIMS Power 600 watt pure sine power inverter. We recommend that you direct connect this inverter to your battery, because most vehicle power outlets are only capable of delivering 180 watts of power.  The pure sine wave inverter is a very clean power that is typically required to operate the electronics within the console.

In addition to the inverter, you will need battery cables to connect the inverter to the power source. For example if the console will be used on a road trip, you will need cables to run from the battery in the front to the inverter in the back or under the seat.

Installation options are limitless and can be custom tailored for each application. Please contact us by phone or email if you need help with your system.

General Power Inverter Questions and Tips

What is the difference between modified and pure sine?

Modified is a blocky sine wave and a pure sine is a cleaner rounded sine wave.   A pure sine wave is as close to city power as it gets via inverter.  Pure sine inverters are intended for sensitive electronics and some motors.  Modified sine nverters should work with the majority of devices.

How long will my inverter last with "X" number of batteries?

When choosing batteries for your battery bank, you should consider two things; what you are running and how long you want to run your system? 

Now you can take the output AC amps multiply them by the volts output (vac) to figure watts.  Then, watts divided by input volts (vdc) gives the DC amps consumed per hour.  Once you have your DC amps per hour, you need to include the power loss through the inversion, which is about 10%.  Generally you should just multiply your DC amps per hour by 1.1 and this will give you the right amount in your final DC amps required total.

Amps ac (your load) x Volts ac = Watts

Watts/Voltage dc = Amps dc per hour required

Amps dc per hour  x  1.1 = actual Amps dc

What size inverter do I need?

Inverter sizing depends on the type of device being powered.  Device start-up or surge should always be considered.  For example, motors and compressors have start-up surges.  It's generally a good idea to oversize an inverter.

Do you carry an inverter designed for emergency back-up power?   Sump pump, furnace blower, refrigerator, computer, etc..

Emergency back-up systems are something we specialize in.  Our inverter charger units have a built in transfer switch that is specifically designed for emergency back-up power.  Inverter charger units also cater to the novice inverter installer.

What type of batteries should I use?

Type of battery being used primarily depends on how often and the amount of time you will be running your system. In general, deep cycle marine/RV batteries and sealed batteries and are the best.

How much power can I get from my cigarette lighter?  

DC cigarette lighter adapters commonly used in vehicles average 150 watts to 180 watts, UL recommended rating for a cigarette outlet is 80 watts max; This is because the wiring within the port is small, as well as, fused at 15 amps DC.

How do I wire batteries together?  What is series vs. parallel?

Correct wiring of your battery bank is important.  When your batteries are not wired correctly, your system may not work and/or permanent damage could occur.  So, always remember that series increases the voltage, and parallel increases the amps. Series is achieved by connecting positive of battery one to negative of battery two.  Parallel is achieved by connecting batteries positive to positive & negative to negative.

What size cables should I use?

Cable sizing is determined by the size of your inverter.  National Electric Code standards are strongly suggested when wiring a system.  Recommended sizing is as follows; #4 gauge is not to exceed 157 amps DC (approximately 1500 watts), 1/0 is not to exceed 291 amps (approximately 3500 watts), and 4/0 is not to exceed 454 amps (approximately 5000 watts.)  These ratings are based on a 12 volt system.

How far should inverter be from my batteries?

Inverters should be safely mounted near to the battery bank powering the unit as possible; therefore, 10-12 ft. should not be exceeded without sizing the gauge of your cables to the next available size up.

Will my car/truck electrical system handle an inverter?  If so, what size?

Vehicle electrical systems are typically designed to be maintained by an alternator, only using the battery for short bursts of power to get the motor started.  So, small systems will work fine via the electrical system in your vehicle. Anything that exceeds the amount of power that the vehicle can produce should have an auxiliary system which is charged separately.

Do your inverters have high and low voltage shutdown?

Low voltage shutdown is 10.5 on all of our inverters.  And hi voltage shutdown varies between 15-17 volts on all of our inverters.  These are 12 volt inverter shutdown voltages.

Can I use my power inverter in a marine environment?

Our inverters are acceptable in marine environments.  For best results, safely mount the inverter in a dry, well ventilated area.

How does a transfer switch work?

Transfer switches are designed to isolate multiple sources of AC power.  When one source power is eliminated from the system, the next source of power is automatically applied.  Also, the AIMS Power transfer switch  unit is easily installed via separate terminals for each power source.

What is advantage/ disadvantage of 12, 24, 48 volts?

Advantages for different voltages are as follows.  Higher voltage battery bank can be more efficient, due to smaller cable sizes which can lead to less current, less voltage drop and less heat.    Also, higher voltage battery banks typically have multiple batteries in series to increase the voltage; this increases the amount of charge and discharge cycles your batteries are capable of handling. Disadvantages for different voltages are as follows, lower voltage battery banks are typically used for smaller systems and these battery banks may be less efficient and may consume more DC power than higher voltage systems.

Can an AIMS Power inverter be wired directly to an electrical panel?

Service panels are compatible with AIMS inverters; however, if you are looking to produce 120/240 Vac you will need to use an AIMS Power split phase inverter.  Please feel free to call us if you need more detail about split phase power inverters.

Grounding the neutral Vac is a feature of our single phase units, with the exception of the “no frills models” (pwrb1000, pwrb1250, pwrb2500 and the bct010009d). 

If you are planning to connect a power inverter to a service panel where AC is present.  Please call us or consult a qualified electrician.  You can destroy your power inverter if this is not done properly, by back feeding AC into the inverter.

A Few Helpful Inverter Tips:

  • Never leave an inverter connected to a line where other power (Vac) may feed into inverter.  It doesn’t matter if inverter is on or off.  Unless your inverter is a grid tie inverter.
  • Using inverters in moist areas is a common cause for their drivers to burn out.  Even an outdoor extension cord that was lying in a puddle a day previously may have enough moisture to burn out the drivers of the inverter.  Tip: if using inverter in rain one day, allow cords that may have gotten wet to dry a few days before using in inverter again
  • Always prevent foreign objects from entering inverter through the vent or fan openings
  • Keep cables between inverter and batteries as short as possible.  This will help your batteries perform their best.
  • Always use sealed batteries if you want to keep the inverter close to the battery bank.
  • Don’t over tighten nuts to battery or inverter, but do check them occasionally to ensure they are snug.
  • If the cables between your battery and inverter get hot while under heavy load, then you should consider using heavier cables
  • Both “hot” and “neutral” lines are hot on many inverters.  Do not ground the neutral line.  Do not connect neutral to panels that may have neutral grounded unless you are sure that the input and outputs of inverter are isolated.  Call the inverter manufacturer to verify.
  • Using a 12Vdc inverter, your input Voltage should never exceed 15Vdc (17Vdc for some models) or the inverter may shut down with Over Temp and you should hear an audible beep.  This may cause permanent damage to an inverter
  • When selecting an inverter, try to buy one that will stay in the continuous operating range and do not rely on advertised surges.  This will help your inverter last longer and operate more efficiently. 
  • Standard 110Vac outlets are typically rated at 1500W or 15Amps.  This is for heat dissipation through the outlet and is typically not a limitation of the inverter
  • If cables need to be run, it is best to keep inverter as close as possible to your sealed deep cycle batteries.  Use extension cords on the output side (AC output) rather than extending the DC cables.  Tip:  Contractors often need to mount the inverter in the back of their trucks.  In a case like this it would be best to mount a secondary battery near the inverter and wire it to the primary truck battery.
  • An inline fuse is recommended in any inverter system, to protect your batteries from a ground fault fire.
  • Ac plug testers do not work with most inverters.  You will see an open ground
  • Be aware of lightning storms.  If struck, inverter could go to a permanent over-load state and may even smoke.
  • AC extension cords should not exceed 100 feet or you will have a voltage drop and not push enough power down the line.
  • Inverters emit RF and may cause interference.  This is noticeable in AM radio and often monitors and computer mice
  • Never parallel multiple inverter outputs.  This will generally burn the ac drivers out.
  • If the inverter does not turn on, or has a constant beeping sound, verify you have the proper input voltage supplied to it.  Also ensure the battery connections are clean and secure.
  • Never start a vehicle with inverter turned on, this will cause eventual and permanent damage to inverters
  • If you do run cables from battery to inverter that have any chance of shorting to a chassis or ground, it is best to fuse the + battery cable nearest to the battery as possible


AIMS Power Inverter Manuals

AIMS Power Pure Sine Power Inverter 12 Volt Manuals

AIMS 180 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI18012S

AIMS 300 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI30012S

AIMS 600 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI60012S

AIMS 1000 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI100012S

AIMS 1500 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI150012S

AIMS 2000 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI200012S

AIMS 3000 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI300012S

AIMS 5000 Watt Pure Sine 12 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI500012S

AIMS Power Pure Sine Power Inverter 24 Volt Manuals

AIMS Power 300 Watt Pure Sine 24 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI30024S

AIMS Power 1500 Watt Pure Sine 24 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI150024S

AIMS Power 1500 Watt Pure Sine 24 Volt to 220Vac 50hz Power Inverter - PWRI15002422050

AIMS Power 3000 Watt Pure Sine 24 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI300024S

AIMS Power 5000 Watt Pure Sine 24 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI500024S

AIMS Power Pure Sine Power Inverter 48 Volt Manuals

AIMS Power 1500 Watt Pure Sine 48 Volt Power Inverter - PWRI150048S

AIMS Power Pure Sine Inverter/Charger Manuals

AIMS Power 1500 Watt Pure Sine Inverter Charger - PWRIC150012S

AIMS Power 3000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter Charger - PWRIC300012S

AIMS Modified Sine Power Inverters 12 Volt

AIMS Power 8000 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV8KW12V

AIMS Power 8000 Watt Power Inverter 220Vac 50hz - PWRI8K22050

AIMS Power 5000 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV500012W

AIMS Power 5000 Watt Power Inverter - 240 Vac 60hz - PWRINV5K24012W

AIMS Power 5000 Watt Power Inverter 50hz - PWRI5K22050

AIMS Power 3000 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV300012W

AIMS Power 2000 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV1800W

AIMS Power 2500 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV2500W

AIMS Power 2500 Watt Power Inverter - PWRB2500

AIMS Power 2500 Watt Power Inverter with extension cord - BCT010009

AIMS Power 1250 Watt Power Inverter - PWRB1250

AIMS Power 1000 Watt Power Inverter - PWRB1000

AIMS Power 800 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV800W

AIMS Power 400 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV400W

AIMS Power 150 Watt Power Inverter - PWRINV150W

AIMS Power 120 Watt Power Inverter - PWRCUP120

AIMS Power Modified Sine Power Inverters 24 Volt

AIMS Power 2500 Watt 24 volt Power Inverter -PWRINV2.5K24V

AIMS Power 5000 Watt 24 volt Power Inverter - PWRINV500024W

AIMS Power Modified Sine Inverter/Charger 12 Volt

AIMS Power 3000 Watt Inverter Charger - PWRIC300012W

AIMS Power 1500 Watt Inverter Charger - PWRIC1500w

AIMS Power Modified Sine Inverter/Charger 24 Volt

AIMS Power 3000 Watt 24 volt Inverter Charger - PWRIC300024W

AIMS Power Industrial Grade Modified Sine Power Inverter 12 Volt Manuals

AIMS Power Industrial Grade Modified Sine Power Inverter 24 Volt Manuals

AIMS Power 7000 Watt 24 volt to 240 VAC Power Inverter - PWRIG700024024

AIMS Power Industrial Grade Modified Sine Power Inverter 48 Volt Manuals

AIMS Power 7000 Watt 48 volt Power Inverter - PWRIG700048W

AIMS Power 7000 Watt 48 volt to 240Vac 60hz Power Inverter - PWRIG7K2404860