Know-how: Inverter, Charger Combos Offshore

Combi inverter/chargers make reliable AC power possible even aboard more modest-sized boats

With solid-state inverters and domestic AC devices becoming increasingly efficient, it only makes sense for many sailors to install the necessary 120V AC power for the many appliances now finding their way onboard: including washing machines, TVs, microwave, laptops, chargers for phones and tablets, and even AC fridges and cookers. At one time a sailboat fitted with the necessary gear would probably have been 100ft in length and have a 10kW generator deep in its bowels, but not anymore.

Modern efficiency

Modern combination inverter/chargers, as opposed to those same separate devices available for some years now, are built to function as both a multi-stage battery charger and sine-wave inverter in a single box. To this end, they have an AC input that can be connected to dock power or a generator for topping off your batteries, and at least one AC outlet (and often more).

Almost all modern inverters provide a pure sine-wave AC output similar to (and sometimes better than) that found on the domestic grid, to ensure compatibility with all common household appliances, no matter how sensitive.

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