Power Inverter - Inverter/Charger FAQ

How long can I operate my inverter?
The runtime (i.e., amount of time that the inverter will power connected electronics) depends on the amount of battery power available and the load that it is supporting. In general, as you increase the load (e.g., plug in more equipment) your runtime will decrease. However, you can attach more batteries to extend the runtime. There is no limit to the number of batteries that can be connected.
What's the difference between an inverter and inverter/charger?
An inverter simply converts DC (battery) power into AC power and then passes it along to connected equipment. An inverter/charger does the same thing, except that it is connected to an AC power source to continuously charge the attached batteries when AC utility power is available. In the case of a power outage, the inverter will automatically switch to battery power to provide power to connected equipment.
How fast will my inverter respond to a power outage?
During an outage, the inverter will transfer from utility to battery power in about 16.6 milliseconds
Can I use an extension cord with my inverter?
Yes. While it is recommended that you keep the inverter as close to the batteries as possible, the load can be connected with an extension cord and located up to 200 feet away without signal loss.
How is an inverter different than a UPS?
A UPS typically includes the battery and battery charger in one standalone unit. A UPS system also can have communication with the equipment that it is powering, letting the equipment know that it is operating on standby, giving it shutdown warning or communicating with the human in the loop. Inverters typically don't have this capability

Can I use my computer with an inverter?
Yes, computers and laptops can be used with an inverter. Our basic inverters and inverter/chargers provide modified sine wave power for equipment. For the highest level of clean power for sensitive electronics, use our sine wave inverter/charger models.
What appliances can an inverter run?
Most smaller appliances can be used with an inverter, such as a coffeemaker, smaller microwave, etc. To see if your appliance is safe for use with an inverter, verify with the appliance manufacturer.
How do I connect multiple batteries?
If you require more than one battery, you have two main installation options, depending on if you'd like to increase the overall voltage or increase the runtime:

Increase the overall voltage (i.e. add the voltages of each battery together) by daisy-chaining batteries in a Series Configuration.

Example:
Four 10-volt batteries wired in series with one another will create a total of 40 volts.

If one battery fails, the others will stop providing power to the load.

Increase capacity and extend runtime (i.e. amp/hours available) by connecting batteries in a Parallel Configuration.

Example:
If one 10-volt battery would normally power a circuit for two hours, two 10-volt batteries wired in parallel might power the circuit for four hours, but still supplying only 10 volts to the circuit.

If one battery fails, the rest will continue to supply power to load.

How do I keep my sump pump running during a power outage?
Tripp Lite APS and UT Inverter/Chargers power sump pumps and automatically charge their batteries, keeping pumps ready to protect your home and belongings when the big moment arrives. They enable longer pump runtimes by accommodating large and small battery installations. Each unit is sized to handle the high starting current of a pump's energy load. In addition, Tripp Lite UT Inverter/Chargers are equipped with GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets, which help ensure safety when used near a water source.
Are specific inverters available for ambulances/EMS vehicles?
Yes. Tripp Lite's EMS1250UL is a 2-outlet, 1250W inverter/charger designed specifically for use in ambulances and EMS vehicles. It is tested to vehicular inverter standards UL458 (USA) and CSA-C22.2 No. 107.1-01 (Canada), and it meets GSA Ambulance Specification KKK-A-1822.

What's the difference between inductive and resistive load?
A resistive load does not require extra power upon startup, whereas an inductive load experiences an inrush current upon startup and requires more power during the first few seconds/cycles of startup.
What's the difference between startup and continuous load?
Many appliances and electronics draw a lot more power on startup than they do during continuous use. Because inverters must be able to handle these "peak surge" requirements, the startup power requirement must be considered when sizing your inverter.
Why choose a pure sine wave inverter?
Sine wave power allows your equipment to run cooler, last longer and operate without the malfunctions and reduced performance caused by substandard power. Sine wave power also ensures maximum compatibility with sensitive electronics like computers, network devices and audio/video equipment. Many devices require sine wave power, including variable-speed power tools and computers with active PFC power supplies.
What is automatic AC transfer switching?
Our inverter/chargers are equipped with Automatic Transfer Switching (ATS). When AC utility power becomes unavailable (e.g., a blackout), ATS automatically switches to DC battery power so that connected electronics stay powered.
What is 3-stage charging?
Tripp Lite Inverter/Chargers use an advanced 3-stage charger that recharges your batteries faster, while protecting them against over-charge, over-discharge and accidental depletion. You can connect as many batteries as you need to increase battery backup runtime to match any application. See the 3-stage charging profile below:


Why do my batteries go dead when I use the inverter/charger in inverter mode?
In inverter mode, the inverter/charger no longer charges the batteries, but instead depletes their battery power to supply power to connected equipment
Should I leave my inverter on when shore power is available?
Yes. When shore power is available, the inverter/charger conditions AC power before passing it to your equipment and simultaneously charges your user-supplied batteries. When an AC source is not available (during power failures, at remote sites, while driving, when disconnected from shore power or when your generator is turned off), the inverter/charger automatically switches to battery power and your equipment continues to operate without interruption.
How do I charge the batteries?
Inverter/Chargers must also be connected to AC utility power for their charging feature to work. This might be a plug-in or hardwire connection, depending on the model.