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Frequently asked questions

about inverters


How much battery capacity

do I need with an inverter?

As a rule of thumb, the minimum

required battery capacity for a 12-volt

system is around 20 % of the inverter

capacity. For 24-volt inverters, it is

10 %. The battery capacity for a 12-volt

Mass Sine 12/1200, for instance, is 240

Ah, while a 24-volt Mass Sine 24/1500

inverter would require at least 150 Ah.

The indicated battery capacity is only for

the inverter. The capacity required for

other loads should be added to it.


How much power does an

inverter consume?

Mastervolt sine wave inverters have

an output efficiency of more than 92 %,

which is the maximum that can be

achieved with modern technology. If you

connect an 850 W coffee maker to a Mass

sine wave inverter, consumption will be

850 W divided by the onboard voltage

of 12 volt, approx. 70 A. Of course, a

coffee maker will only be in use for a

short period of time, so the consumption

measured in Ah will be relatively modest

(76 x 5 min. = 6.5 Ah). As a rule of thumb

you should divide the connected capacity

by 10 for 12 volt and by 20 for 24 volt.

This also includes all the power losses in

the cables, fuses and the inverter.


Is there a stand-by switch

on the inverter?

Definitely! Although the no-load

consumption is extremely low, most

Mastervolt inverters and Combis are

even equipped with two energy saving

solutions. Activating the Economy mode

reduces battery consumption by an

extra 10 %. This function requires an

adjustment to the dipswitch/jumper

settings, which can possibly be realised

via the free downloadable software. The

economy mode ensures that the output

voltage drops slightly to 208 V, which also

reduces the power consumption from the

battery. Low-load devices like microwaves

and DVD clocks function as normal at

this lower voltage.With some inverter

models it is even possible to activate

a stand-by mode. In this mode the

inverter sets a tiny pulse on the 230-volt

installation, checking for any connected

appliances. As soon as the pulse detects

consumption, voltage returns to normal

strength to power the connected

equipment. The economy mode ensures

that the power consumption of the

inverter stays at virtually zero.


Can I power a computer

with an inverter?

Yes, you can. All Mastervolt sine wave

inverters can easily and safely supply a

computer without the slightest problem

or risk. In fact, the output voltage from

an inverter is often better than that from

the electricity grid or shore power. This is

why Mastervolt inverters, combined with

a battery charger and a battery set, are

often used as a back-up system in places

where the grid connection is unreliable.

Laptops can also be powered by a

Mastervolt inverter.


Can a microwave be powered

with an inverter?

Any microwave model can be connected

to a Mastervolt inverter. Bear in mind

that an 800-watt microwave consumes

about 1200 to 1300 watt from the 230-

volt system, and that the capacity of the

inverter and battery must be able to

handle this.

Apart from that, the total consumption

of the microwave-inverter combination is

moderate: Using the microwave for five

minutes will use around 12 Ah on a 12-

volt system and 6 Ah on a 24-volt system.


Are there any appliances that

cannot be powered by an


You can connect almost any appliance

to an inverter, with a few practical

exceptions. In practice you must be

careful with equipment that consumes

a lot of power, such as electrical heaters

or air conditioning. While the inverter

itself has no problems with these loads,

the battery capacity is often too limited

for long-term usage of these loads.

Appliances that are only used for a

limited time period, such as washing

machines, driers or a small hotplate,

should be fine as long as the battery

has sufficient capacity. In these cases it

is advisable to use a power source such

as an alternator, which also powers the

battery. Keep in mind that heavy users

such as engines, pumps, air conditioning

and fridges have a starting current that

is between 5 to 12 times higher than the

nominal absorbed capacity. The inverter

has to be able to supply accordingly.

Mastervolt inverters are developed to

provide high peak currents.