View single post by sawdust123
 Posted: Fri Aug 5th, 2005 05:35 am
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Joined: Sun Jul 31st, 2005
Posts: 19

Thanks for the warning. I was in a conversation the other day where this reared its head. Did you happen to trace the inverter circuit to see which device let the smoke escape?

Inverter technology is used all over now from audio amplifiers to gas generators. They generally work by converting the AC to DC using a bridge rectifier on the input. Then they use some MOSFETs to chop the DC at a very high frequency to create a square wave. This is then fed to a transformer to step up the voltage as needed to run whatever it is that they need to run.

The weight savings comes because the transformer is operating at a high frequency. A 60 Hz transformer needs to be large to avoid saturation in the iron core. At 60 KHz (or whatever higher frequency is being used) the transformer can shrink greatly while avoiding saturation. Problems sometimes arise because you are dealing with square waves, not sine waves. This is particularly true with compressor motors. You should never run an air conditioner off an inverter/generator that doesn't have a pure sine wave converter on it.