Stand Alone Inverters
A stand-alone inverter is used in independent solar energy systems, any energy system that is "off grid." Independent solar energy systems might be used at remote locations (such as a cabin, cottage, water pump or monitoring station) as well as for mobile energy situations, such as boats and RVs. This page assumes you already understand inverters.
Stand-alone inverter sizes
Depending on your needs, inverters can come in a variety of sizes. A 100 watt inverter can be used in the powering of a portable (laptop or notebook) computer. A 10 kilowatt inverter could be used to independently manage the power to a house or small business.
Stand-alone inverter types
For the purest, best form of power, you will require a pure sine wave inverter.
A modified or square sine wave inverter is cheaper but some loads will be damaged by it (e.g. laser printers or some cordless power tools). Other loads will not be as powerful (e.g. a microwave)
What's a sine wave?
Pure sine waves have much more "flow" to them. You could say their power has been "smoothed out" much more effectively. This is the same sine wave form delivered in conventional electricity, and you will need a (more expensive) pure sine wave inverter, if you hope to effectively power large appliances or power tools.
If you do not require such a strong and consistent source of energy, then a modified or square sine wave inverter will do. The form of the wave is "choppier," and the power provided might also be choppy. The modified or square sine wave inverter is also called a multi-step or stepped inverter.