Inverters are an integral part of a backup system. They convert the DC power that is stored in your battery bank (12V, 24V or 48V) to 240V AC. Some models also include a battery charger. Inverters can be used on 12V, 24V or 48V systems and range from small 180VA inverters to powerful inverter/chargers with an 10kVA AC output and 150A charging output. Most models can be coupled together for larger power needs and can also be connected to create three-phase systems. Various models of Victron and SMA inverters are available.
Victron Phoenix inverters
These are the smallest of the range and are generally used on 12V or 24V systems with outputs ranging from 180VA to 3000VA. Larger units from 3000VA can be used for 48V systems. They do not have a built in charger, so are well suited to vehicles or boats, where they can easily be used in a system where a small solar panel or alternator charges the battery bank.
The new 500VA Phoenix inverter has just released – a great fit between the 350VA and 800VA – and the most cost effective for small systems
Victron Multiplus inverter/chargers
Just realased! New 500VA Multiplus is a compact backup power system
These midrange inverters can be used on 12V, 24V and 48V systems and range from 500VA to 5000VA output. Victron inverters offer seamless power when the AC input fails, switching to inverting power from the battery bank in less than 20 milliseconds so computers and other electronic equipment will continue to operate. As soon as the main AC is restored, they switch back automatically. They also have a built in battery charger, with a four-stage adaptive charging system. These features make these inverters ideal for UPS (uninterrupted power supply) applications such as businesses.
Victron Quattro inverter/chargers
These top of the line inverters are normally used on 24V or 48V systems and include models with 3000W to 10000W AC output. The Quattro range is unique in that it accommodates two AC inputs (for example main grid and a generator) and two AC outputs, with the secondary output only live when the main AC is connected. This inverter is ideal for managing larger systems (such as workshops) where an alternative power supply (such as a generator) is available to supply the large power needed. It can be programmed to automatically start a generator under various voltage or power draw conditions. Like the Multiplus, it also offers uninterrupted power, switching between the various power sources seamlessly.
SMA inverters – The Sunny Island
The SMA Sunny Islands inverters are generally used on 48V battery banks. For larger systems, individual units can be connected together to provide the power necessary. All of the inverters offer built-in battery chargers and monitors to efficiently manage the system. When there is excess power available, the batteries are charged, while at times where extra power is necessary, the inverters can start a generator to provide the extra power. Most of the inverters can be used in 3-phase systems.