7 Factors to Consider When Using an Inverter -1

7 Factors to Consider When Using an Inverter -1

How Big?

Far and away, Carlson says, “what size inverter do I need” is the Number 1 and most important question he hears from fleets.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Get the biggest inverter on the market and you’ll be covered for all your needs,’” Carlson says. “But that’s not the best advice.
Inverter sizes range from 75-watt cigarette lighter plug-in inverters to 5,000-watt units.
Each fleet should do a survey on truck size and power usage and understand how their drivers will use an inverter – what items they want powered and what items will be used at the same time.
That will help ‘right size’ the inverter for your operation.”

As an example, Carlson says drivers will often run a microwave, TV and laptop all at the same time.

“On each device you’ll see a wattage number,” he explains. “A microwave might be rated at 1,000 watts, a TV at 250 watts, and a laptop at 95W.
Add them up to see how much continuous power you’ll need, and then add 20%.
So, in this case you’ll need just over 1,600 watts.
Next, round up to find an inverter that meets your power needs. Meind, for example, offers an 2000-watt unit, and that’s what we would recommend.”

While determining continuous power is an important consideration, so is “surge power.”

“Whenever you power up any device, the initial load is more – and sometimes double – what the continuous power requirement is,” Carlson says. “So the surge rating on quality inverters should be about double.  So, an 1,800-watt inverter can handle a short 3,600-watt power surge requirement.”

Next, Carlson says to research how long the inverter can handle the surge. “The longer the better,” he says. “Some on the market can handle only a few milliseconds of surge before the power draw shuts down the inverter.  Others can last five seconds or more, and that’s what you should look for.”