This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to also master maneuvering under power and docking!
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Inverters are devices used to convert 12-volt DC battery electricity to AC 110-volt or 220-volt electricity. Special electronics in the device take constant level current and turn it into an alternating sine wave-shaped current. Kudos to the engineers who invented them.
Inverters come in a variety of sizes and capacities. Small ones are simply plugged into a 12-volt DC outlet (formerly called cigarette lighters) and produce a modest AC power supply for running small devices like computers or small battery chargers for a cell phone or camera, for example.
Larger capacity inverter units will convert DC power from banks of batteries into AC power capable of powering a microwave oven or hair dryer. However, running devices like microwaves using energy derived from the batteries can deplete the batteries rapidly.
On a boat, if a large inverter is present, there will be a specially labeled AC outlet plug denoting it is an inverter outlet.
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Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to also master maneuvering under power and docking!