FAQ Section

Inverter FAQ

How big an inverter do I need to purchase?


The answer to this question depends completely on what you wish to operate from the inverter. Create a list of the items that you want to operate and find out the power requirement for each of these items.  Most items will have a manufacturer’s power rating on the label near where the AC cord is located on the item.  If it is rated in Amps, then using the formula Watt= Volts x Amps, you can multiply the Amp rating of the equipment x 115VAC to get the Watt draw of the equipment.  If the items will be running concurrently, then the total watt requirement of each item needs to be added together to determine which inverter power level is required.  And remember also that many appliances have a start-up current requirement that is significantly higher than the continuous power rating, so if in doubt, it is always best to buy a larger inverter with higher surge capability.

How should I install it?

Inverters that are larger than 400W need to be hard-wired directly to the battery that it will draw from.  It is important that customers select the correct wire gauge, and also that they select the correct battery polarity since the inverters will not survive a reverse polarity connection.  KISAE does provide wire gauge guidance in our individual product manuals, found in our Downloads area of this website.

How long can I run my appliances?

This depends on the amount of battery capacity you have, and what loads you are operating.  KISAE offers a reference chart in our Downloads section of this website that provides run time estimates with various loads and battery sizes.

What is the difference between alternating and direct current?

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Do I need a Pure Sine Wave or Modified Sine Wave inverter?

Advantages of Pure Sine Wave inverters over Modified Sine Wave inverters:

a) Pure Sine Wave has very low harmonic distortion and has no spikes or steps to the waveform. It is the same as utility-supplied electricity.

b) Inductive loads like microwave ovens and electric motors run faster, quieter and cooler.

c) Reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.

d) Pure Sine Wave will power the following devices that will not normally work with Modified Sine Wave inverters:

  • Laser printers, photocopiers, magneto-optical hard drives
  • Some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts
  • Power tools employing “solid state” power or variable speed control
  • Some battery chargers for cordless tools

Modified Sine Wave works well for most applications, but KISAE recommends our Pure Sine Wave inverters (also called True Sine Wave) since they will operate all loads the same as if they were running from utility power.

Home Solar Power FAQ

What appliances do most people power during an outage?

In RESIDENTIAL settings, refrigeration, gas- or oil-fueled heating systems, and lighting are most common. Electronic appliances such as computers, home entertainment components, and security systems don’t consume much electricity and can easily be added to a home’s backup subpanel. If you use pumps to supply water, to keep the basement dry, or pet fish alive, include a KISAE Home system as part of your complete backup power plans. Many gas appliances require only a small amount of electricity and should be included on the sub-panel. Comfort and convenience appliances such as fans, coffee makers, microwave ovens, or garage door openers are items you may want to use without disruption during a power outage.

In an OFFICE setting, computers, printers, modems, fax machines, telephone systems, cash registers & payment processing terminals, and lighting are the most common business equipment owners want to keep running during a power outage. It makes good business sense to include KISAE Backup power equipment as part of an Emergency Plan to keep your business functioning in the event the utility power fails. Just remember, the more business items you want to power means the more capacity your system will need to involve.

What appliances can a KISAE system run?

The simple answer is almost anything. But appliances that require exceptional or high amounts of power are best to avoid, if possible, as the cost to provide enough batteries or a generator to run them is very expensive. Examples of these include: central air conditioners, heat pumps, electric hot water heaters, electric clothes dryers, electric ranges and electric space heaters.

How long can the batteries run the system?

For run times with common applications, please see the run time chart provided on the KISAE Home Solar Kit brochure.  The KISAE Home 1800 solar kit allows users to augment your battery capacity by purchasing the Auxiliary 60Ah battery, which can be connected easily to the main unit.  Alternatively, users can attach the unit to their own 12V battery bank using a battery connector accessory offered by KISAE. See the Accessories page for more information.

How is the system recharged?

All KISAE backup systems recharge themselves automatically whenever utility power is available. To be able to recharge the system during a power outage, a propane-, natural gas- or diesel-powered generator can be included as part of the system. All KISAE systems can also be recharged using renewable energy sources such as solar panels, like those included with the KISAE Home 1800 solar kit.  Each KISAE Home solar kit product has a built-in 8A charge controller, allowing solar panels up to 130W to be used to recharge the batteries.

What kind of batteries do the systems include?

KISAE Home, KISAE Backup and KISAE Portable 800 power pack systems all use special high-quality, high capacity, lead-acid storage batteries. The KISAE Portable 100 power pack uses a high capacity Lithium battery.

Why should I choose a KISAE system over a generator-only system?

KISAE systems provide clean, quiet, instantaneous power backup that requires no fuel. When used in combination with a generator or solar panels, a KISAE system can deliver the “best of both worlds” – protection from long power outages, instantaneous transfer and high reliability, all with minimal generator run time, fuel consumption and noise. They are completely safe for indoor use and produce no fumes or exhaust.

How fast will my system respond to a power outage?

KISAE inverters typically transfer to battery power in less than 16 milliseconds (less than 1/50th of a second). Worst-case transfer time is 34 milliseconds (less than 1/25th of a second). That’s too fast to notice and fast enough to keep any modern computer running without disruption.

How do I decide which system is right for me?

For protection from lengthy power outages, include a generator or solar panels in your KISAE system. Shorter outages can be handled by a battery-only system. Solar panels are significantly more expensive than a generator, but can provide year-round electric bill savings and require no fuel or maintenance.

How long can I run my appliance with a KISAE Home Solar System?

Please refer to the KISAE Home Solar Kit brochure for details on run times with common appliances.