Inverters, Chargers, and all in one inverter/charger units convert AC or DC electricity to then charge or discharge a battery. Input energy can either be from the electricity network (E.g. A power point), vehicle alternator, generator or solar modules (See Solar MPPT's page). Inverters will typically be required for discharging a DC battery bank and converting standard 230V 50Hz AC electricity required for most common household appliances.
It is important to design a system to include inverters, chargers, MPPT controllers and batteries that are compatible with each other and to ensure the system can function correctly. Inverters and Chargers need to be sized to the peak power (kW) requirements of the application. If you boil the kettle, run the air conditioner, and do a load of washing simultaneously, the inverter needs to be capable of delivering this power all at once.
The combined inverter/charger includes both an inverter and charger (no Solar MPPT) as the name suggests. Essentially this unit is the traffic conductor for electricity throughout your system. It diverts solar or generator power to your application loads (AC using an inverter) or to batteries (DC using charger) when required, and converts stored DC electricity in your batteries to AC electricity for use at night times. Looking after and protecting your batteries is one of the most important functions of the battery inverter/charger. Select your inverter/charger here.
You may need a battery charger to charge up your starter battery for your car, boat or motorbike. Or something to keep your onboard battery in the caravan charged while on the road. Chargers perform the function of taking typically AC power and converting into DC power stored in batteries. Battery chargers are not all made equal, the battery charging algorithms chargers use can make a big difference to the life of your battery. Not to mention the need for a quality, reliable and robust unit to ensure you buy the right charger just once (Poor man pays twice!). Find your charger here.
InvertersAn inverter is used to discharge your battery and provide 230V AC power that most standard appliances use (Eg. computers). An inverter power rating must exceed the power draw of the appliance you are intending to operate with it. Also, keep in mind that your battery should be of sufficient capacity to handle the design discharge power of the inverter.