Tech Afar

Latest Tech News

What is the difference between a power inverter and a power converter?

While power inverters and power converters have similar names, they are distinctly different technologies.

In short, inverters convert voltage from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current), while converters convert voltage from AC to DC.

If you’ve been looking into power converters and inverters for your business, you may be unsure about which device to choose. Don’t worry. In this article, we’ll clearly outline the differences between the two options to make your decision easier.

Types of inverters and converters

As we mentioned above, power inverters are electrical devices that convert DC power to AC power. Types of power inverters include analog-to-digital converters (ADC), digital-to-digital converters (DDC), and digital-to-analog converters (DAC).

Types of power converters include:

  • Quasi-wave inverters.
  • Square wave inverters.
  • Modified square wave inverters.
  • True (or pure) sine wave inverters.

ADC converters make a proportional change to the analog voltage supplied by the input source. The device will change the analog voltage into a digit that reflects the current or voltage’s magnitude.

DDC converters change one kind of digital data to another type.

DAC converters convert digital codes to analog signals. You’ll find DAC converters in digital music players, sound cards, and CD players.

Quasi-wave inverters have a square waveform with a space between the waves. This space reduces distortion that can affect electrical devices.

Square wave inverters produce square wave outputs. They are the most affordable inverter type, but this comes at the cost of lower quality power.

Sine wave inverters are the most expensive inverter type. Most AC devices will run on a modified version of sine wave inverters because of the reduced costs.

Converter applications

If you’re unsure whether an inverter or converter will be the best choice for your business, consider how you intend to use the device.

Power converters are commonly used for:

  • Pumping compressing gasses
  • Charging batteries
  • Supplying polarised voltage for welding
  • Detecting modulated radio signals

One everyday household use of power converters is to convert the electric current from a wall inlet to an AC appliance such as a TV or air conditioning system.

Inverter applications

Power inverters are typically used to take power from a battery and invert it into a usable form. You will commonly find power inverters used in caravans or other spaces where mains power isn’t accessible.

For example, if you are working at a remote site, you can use a power inverter to power 110V outlets with your portable 12V battery. You can also use a 12v to 24v converter.

  • Convert electricity derived from solar panels
  • Provide AC power when mains power is unavailable
  • Power induction heating
  • Make stored battery power usable

Micro-converters are also typically used to convert solar panel power into alternating current for electric grid use.


While power converters and inverters sound similar, they work differently. While a power converter changes voltage from AC to DC, inverters change DC voltage to AC. With your new understanding of the difference between these two devices, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your business.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *