Sine Wave vs. Square Wave Inverter and which one is better?

Just looking for a decent inverter for electricity backups. You need to understand what kind of inverters are available in the market. Usually, you’ll find Sine wave and Square Wave inverter.

You can see below the image as in reference to how sine and square wave looks like. The sine wave is very similar to alternate current while Square wave is just mimicking the current waves but in the direct current style. But both the inverters can run appliances that run on alternate current.

Sine wave vs. Square wave
Sine wave vs. Square wave

Sine wave inverters are recommended for household use because it is capable of smoothly running sensitive home appliances like television, refrigerator, computers, and laptops. On the other hand, Square wave inverters are a less reliable but cheaper option for users and only useful for motors.

Let’s compare both kind of inverters side by side…

FeaturesSine Wave InverterSquare Wave Inverter
Supported AppliancesSine wave inverters are used to support household appliances such as refrigerators ovens, computers, laptops, etc.Square wave inverters are only useful for motor or non-sensitive appliances.
Noise InterferenceSine wave inverters make normal sound when used. It is negligible can’t be noticed.Square wave inverters make loud noise when used. You may hear buzzing sound.
SafetySine wave inverters are reliable and highly safe to use.Square wave inverters are less reliable and unsafe to use for sensitive appliances.
CostSine wave inverters are costly compared to square wave but affordable these days.Square wave inverters are relatively cheaper than sine wave inverters.

Some inverters like “modified sine wave inverter” which is comparatively cheaper to a sine wave one, but they are not reliable for sensitive devices for the long run.

Pure sine wave inverters are the better one but cost is relatively high. It is only recommended if you are planning to use it like an UPS for computers and similar sensitive appliances.

For any use sine wave inverters are highly safe option.

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  1. Adison Avatar

    Useful information. I am just planning to buy an inverter and after reading this article things are much clear to me. My current inverter is a square wave inverter and never knew this before just got to know this today and I used to think that those mobile chargers and LED bulbs are of low quality because they never last more than a year on it.

    1. AtulHost Avatar

      Glad to know that this article helped you in some way.

      I strongly recommend getting a sine wave inverters for home use. Square wave inverters are not reliable for modern-day appliances in the long run.

  2. Sudhakar Bhat Avatar
    Sudhakar Bhat

    Hi Atul, greetings!

    Thanks for your post. This helped me with a dilemma regarding the number of solar panels to be used…

    I have an NXG 1100 connected to 150 AH with loom 125*2 monocrystalline solar panel, mc4 connector with 4sq coated copper wire..have been happily using it for the last 1 year… this time of the year, I wanted to invest in two more 165*2 polycrystalline ( luminous) panel. All connected in parallel.

    I was wondering if this can have an impact on battery life ( maybe high current. 30 amps max power?) I live in Bangalore and have buildings adjacent getting only a few hours of good light on the panel…

    I also have had connected 165w 5 star rated fridge ( discounted recently thinking that high power during fridge start might damage ups) …with the additional panel can I connect it back to ups? To save power bill.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Atul Kumar Pandey Avatar

      Glad to know Sudhakar that you are already using solar to save electricity bills. Coming to your query… NXG 1100 supports up to 1000 Watts of solar panels. I recommend no more than 500 to 600 watts of solar panels.

      You can use any combination of 12 Volts (Actual voltages will be around 20-21) solar panels in parallel connection.

      Do not worry about the high current, the battery will be charged at the rate of 10 AMPS, the rest of the extra energy will be sent to output to be used in the daytime. Means your battery will be charging while equipment running directly on solar. So extra solar panels will be a good option. About the refrigerator, do not worry, even smaller UPS can handle the extra starting load of the fridge, just make sure no other big load is connected. If your fridge is running 24×7 then it will not use that much energy.

      Note that additional solar panels will only help in handling the running load without touching the battery, not in the charging speed of the battery. Your inverter just needs 200 watts of solar panels to charge the 150 AH battery @10 AMPS power in 15 hours of clear sun.