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    Pure Sine Wave vs Modified Sine Wave

    Modern day UPS and inverters will produce either sine wave output or modified sine wave output when converting from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) electrical current. The type of wave form powering your electronics can cause a noticeable difference in the performance, efficiency, and longevity to the connected equipment.

    The current found in AC is the ideal waveform and is pure sine wave (oftentimes referred to as simply “sine wave” or “true sine wave”). It is most similar to the type you receive from your utility power.

    The pure sine wave can extend the lifespan of appliances. Due to the device’s appropriate amount of wave output, appliances and equipments run cooler and more effectively. The pure sine wave can reduce the chances of machine and equipment malfunctions. The advantages of using a pure sine wave inverter have the ability to maximize the performance of your appliances, devices, and electric equipment.

    Benefits of Pure Sine Wave:
    • Smoother waveform
    • Best for sensitive equipment
    • Higher quality than modified sine wave
    • Maintains voltage at a safe level
    • Motors run at their intended speed and with less heat
    • Equipment runs with less noise
    • IT equipment lasts longer
    • Low harmonic distortion

    For the everyday electronic device, modified sine wave is a lower cost solution to keep electronics powered in the event your UPS switches over to battery backup power. The technology behind producing modified sine wave is simpler, therefore, more affordable than sine wave. Most computers function without issue using modified sine wave. Overall, modified sine wave should only be used if you’re planning to run simple appliances and equipments.

    Sensitive electronics are electronics that have a startup charge, such as anything with a motor like laser printers, refrigerators, etc., need sine wave output in order to function without hiccups and in some cases work without damaging the connected equipment.

    Common equipment that need pure sine wave:
    • Laser printers, copy machines
    • Digital clocks with radios, sewing machines, some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts
    • Some laptop models such as those requiring active power factoring correction (APFC)
    • Equipment with speed control
    • Inductive loads such as those found in refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.
    • Medical equipment
    • Audio equipment
    • High-precision equipment

    How do you know if your connected equipment needs pure sine wave? If you’re already hooked up to an UPS or inverter and your equipment keeps crashing, runs loudly, etc., the likely culprit is an incompatible wave form type for your equipment.

    When visualizing sine wave vs modified sine wave, the image below is a visual example of the power gaps in waveform when using modified sine wave. These gaps may cause power interruptions as the connected equipment struggles to handle the transition between periodic waveforms.

    NOTE: The information provided is a general overview of this topic. Actual compatibility of equipment may vary slightly based on the technology design behind the equipment. As a precaution, it is always best to check with the equipment manufacturer to understand the type of UPS or inverter you can use with your equipment.

    About Maruson
    Maruson designs and manufacturers uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, power distribution units (PDU), automatic voltage regulators (AVR), energy storage systems (ESS), inverters, and other power management products. Founded in 2003 in California with additional offices and factory worldwide, the company offers decades of problem solving experience to the power management market that help people, businesses, institutions, and agencies protect their critical electronics from power disturbances or to power whole homes, offices, and stores. To learn more, visit www.MarusonUSA.com.

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