Inverters / Battery Chargers
Simply put inverters take 12V/24V DC (direct current) stored in a battery and change it to 120V AC (alternating current). This enables the use of common household appliances on a boat when shore power is not available. Because inverters and battery chargers share many electrical components, they are usually available as a combination unit. The inverter charger will switch back and forth in its function depending on whether or not your boat is hooked up to shore power or a generator. If you are plugged in at the marina, the system will switch from inverting AC power to charging your 12 Volt batteries. Most units today have multi-stage charging in order to supply only what the battery needs or can handle based on its condition.
Inverters are available in different levels of capacity and the one you choose should depend what you want the unit to do. A small capacity inverter is all that may required if you are only planning to run one or two appliances at the same time. If your needs are greater then a larger unit may be required.
There are typically two kinds of inverters.
Modified Sine Wave or MSW inverters. These are usually required for more heavy duty applications like running air conditioning units or components with electric motors.
Pure Sine Wave or PSW inverters. These are more common for running your typical electronics such as kitchen appliances or stereo equipment.
The Binnacle carries a wide variety of inverters and battery chargers including Xantrex, Samlex, Magnum, Blue Sea, Promariner and MasterVolt. These include either stand alone chargers or inverters and combination units of charger and inverter. The Xantrex inverters are efficient and reliable devices that come in many different sizes and power ranges. The same holds true for our battery chargers which are micro processor controlled for fast and accurate charging applications. A popular mid-range price Inverter/Charger is the Xantrex Freedom Xi
available in 1000W and 2000W models