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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Geeks Korner / Inverters, transformers and frequency
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Inverters, transformers and frequency

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Gordon
Jul-01-2008 @ 9:13 AM                           Permalink
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Now here is something for you technical guys to think about.
I have a small 300 Watt inverter on the boat, I use it to charge a camcorder/digital camera/lapdog mainly, all switch mode power supplies.

I do however possess a rechargeable electric razor, although shaving and boating are not things that go together in my mind.

Now this rechargeable razor is a very expensive high quality bit of kit, it cost £3.95 in the garage at Wroxham!!

Having plugged it into the inverter it did not charge for long, investigation revealed the primary of the transformer had gone open circuit, maybe cos it was cheap and nasty or maybe........ What is the output frequency of an inverter, clearly mains transformers are designed for 50Hz.  So the question is  is my theory right and can you use equipment that incorporates a transformer with an  inverter Confused Question  Oh and the razor I replaced the XFMR with a weed lighter plug and a 120 ohm resistor, wonderful 12v charging now

Gordon

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" Ratty in Wind in the Willows

woodwose
Jul-01-2008 @ 9:32 AM                           Permalink
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Inverters supply 240V AC 50Hz

Many cheap inverters supply a "modified sine wave". In other words a square wave output. This can cause problems with some equipment, but it should not be a problem where a transformer is used unless the windings are really on the edge.

I suspect the transformer in your razor was a bit cheap and nasty and just gave up the ghost.

Nigel

Gordon
Jul-01-2008 @ 11:47 AM                           Permalink
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Thanks for that Nigel, this has aroused my curiosity, I think I need to bring the thing home and just see what that waveform looks like, I could imagine that it would need to be fairly sinusoidal or run at a lower peak voltage to compensate for being at peak for longer during the cycle. Anyway you have answered the frequency bit, I think I was confused by inverters that I have found in equipment that run at a high frequency for greater efficiency and smaller transformers. I believe aircraft used 400Hz for that reason

Gordon

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" Ratty in Wind in the Willows


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