Difference Between Converter and Inverter (With Table)

Students of electronics, electrical engineering may more often come across these terms’ converter and inverter. Irrespective of the subject, we may even come across these terms in our lives. People often get confused between the terms’ converter and inverter. The converter is the one that converts AC energy to DC energy. On the other hand, the inverter converts the DC energy to AC energy. 

Converter vs Inverter

The difference between converter and inverter is that the converter is the one that transforms the AC voltage to DC voltage, and the inverter is the one that changes the DC voltage to the AC voltage. In other words, the Converter converts 110 voltages to 12 voltages, and the inverter modifies 12 voltages to 110 voltages. 

The converter is an electrical device that involves the conversion of AC voltage to DC voltage. The work of a converter includes obtaining the electrical energy from, let’s say, a 50 amp from a power inlet and sending it to the necessary electrical appliances such as an air conditioner or a television. 

Inverter, on the other hand, involves the conversion of direct current to alternating current. It includes obtaining the energy from the batteries and involves the inverting of the power. Products such as mobile phone chargers operate under the process of an inverter. One should be aware that the inverter does not supply endless energy to the products. 

Comparison Table Between Converter and Inverter

Parameters of ComparisonConverterInverter
MeaningIt is an intermediary between the power source and supply output.It obtains energy from batteries and powers the appliances.
ConversionAlternating current to Direct current.Direct current to alternating current.
UsageIt detects amplitude modulated radio signals and supplies polarized voltage.It is used to convert the DC voltage from batteries and solar panels.
AppliancesIt is involved in appliances such as air conditioning.It is involved in appliances such as mobile phone chargers and UPS.
TypesThere are two types, half-wave rectifier, and full-wave rectifier.There are two types, pure sine wave inverters, and modified sine wave inverters.

What is Converter?

A converter is very often confused with an inverter. This is mainly due to the similar-sounding names of these devices. A converter differs significantly concerning the work it performs and the uses of the device. As this term is too generic, it is frequently used by people in the wrong manner.

To put it in simple terms, the main objective of a converter is the conversion of AC or alternating current to DC or direct current. This converter is an electrical machine that is used to convert the current. This is a general and theoretical explanation of the work performed by a converter. 

It can be better understood when one tries to understand the practical functions of a converter. For example, a converter obtains electrical energy of 50 amp from a power inlet. Then it converts the alternating current it had obtained into direct current. After the conversion, the direct current is sent to electrical appliances like television and thus allows them to work.

There are two types of converters that are commonly used. They are half-wave rectifiers and full-wave rectifiers. Half-wave rectifiers are used in appliances that require low power and are do not have a uniform signal. Full-wave rectifiers are used in situations where a steady and stable source of DC voltage is required.

What is Inverter?

The inverter is another exceptional electrical device that is used by people every day. It is once again confused with the converter because of their similar-sounding names. An inverter is a different electronic device that performs the conversion of current. Though the work might sound similar, there are significant underlying differences between converter and inverter.

To explain it in layman terms, the main objective of an inverter is the conversion of DC or direct current to AC or alternating current. This inverter is an electrical machine that is used to convert the current. Here is a general and theoretical explanation of the work performed by an inverter. 

It can be better understood when one tries to understand the practical functions of an inverter. For example, when the main power line is unavailable in a house, the inverter provides the necessary voltage. This can be found in the UPS appliances, as they convert the DC voltage into AC voltage. The inverter provides the necessary power to keep the appliances working smoothly. 

Even mobile phones chargers are operated by inverters. There are two types of inverters regularly used, they are Pure Sine Wave Inverter and Modified Sine Wave Inverter. The PSW inverter produces an output of pure sine waves. The MSW inverter is used to produce an output of a modified rounded-off sine wave.

Main Differences Between Converter and Inverter

  1. The converter is a device that acts as an intermediary between the power source and supply output. The inverter is a device that derives power from batteries and provides it to electrical appliances.
  2. The converter transforms the alternating current or AC into a direct current or DC. The inverter transforms the direct current or DC into alternating current or AC.
  3. The converter can detect amplitude modulated radio signals and supplies polarized voltage for welding. The inverter can transform the DC voltage from power sources like solar panels and batteries.
  4. There are two types of converters, they are half-wave rectifiers and full-wave rectifiers. There are two types of inverters, they are pure sine wave inverters and modified sine wave inverters.
  5. Converters are used in almost all electronic appliances like air conditioning. Inverters are used in UPS devices, mobile phone chargers, and others. 

Conclusion

It is a frequent mistake to confuse the terms converter and inverter. A lot of people also use these words interchangeably, and therefore these words have lost a clear definition. It is necessary to understand the meanings and the differences between the terms converter and inverter. Using the right word is vital to convey the exact meaning. 

The converter is the one that transforms AC voltage into DC voltage. It is used in several electronic appliances. The inverter is the one that changes the DC voltage into AC voltage. It is used in UPS devices, batteries, and chargers. These are the fundamental differences between the electrical devices converter and inverter. 

 References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICIT.2009.4939723
  2. https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-NJHK200405007.htm
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