Converters and inverters are two types of electrical devices used to convert currents. Converters convert the voltage of an electric device, commonly converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). Adversely, inverters convert DC to AC. This blog will explain the types of converters and inverters, their applications, and their advantages and disadvantages.
The three types of converters are analog-to-digital, digital-to-analog, and digital-to-digital. Analog-to-digital converters, or ADCs, are devices that convert the input analog voltage to a digital number proportional to the magnitude of the voltage or current. Certain non- or semi-electronic devices, such as rotary encoders, can be considered ADCs. Digital-to-analog converters (DACs) convert a digital code to an analog signal. These are found in CD players, digital music players, and PC sound cards. Digital-to-digital converters (DDCs) are used to convert one type of digital data to another type of digital data.
Like converters, there are three main types of inverters: square wave inverters, quasi wave or modified square wave inverters, and true sine wave inverters. Square wave inverters are a type of inverter that produces a square wave output. It consists of a DC force, four switches, and a load. These switches can withstand very heavy current flow. It is the least expensive type of inverter but also produces low quality power. Quasi wave or modified square wave inverters also produce square wave outputs. Modified square waves feature a break or dead space between the square waves, which reduces the distortion of harmonics that often cause problems in electrical devices. It works for all pure loads like lamps or heaters. These are more effective than traditional square wave inverters. The final type of inverter, true sine wave inverters, are the most expensive type. These produce sinusoidal (sine) waves, which are less choppy than square waves. Most AC products run on modified versions of sine wave inverters because they are less expensive in comparison.
Converters and inverters both serve a variety of specific applications. As converters are used to convert AC to DC power, they are required in nearly all types of electronic devices. They are also used to detect amplitude modulated radio signals and supply polarized voltage for welding. Inverters are used to convert DC electricity from sources such as solar panels, batteries, or fuel cells into AC electricity. Micro-inverters are used to convert DC power from solar panels to AC power for the electrical grid. Inverters are also commonly used for induction heating.
Like anything, converters and inverters both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, converters generally have a poor current overload capacity, and high-quality automatic converters are much more expensive than mechanical converters. Inverters, on the other hand, are not ideal for inductive AC and motor loads, and inverters can sometimes damage sensitive electronic devices. Despite these drawbacks, inverters and converters are highly useful tools. If you’re in need of one, look no further than Aerospace Aviation 360.