The discussion on Algoa FM’s Going Green With Genergy show on 3 November was all about inverters, and why they differentiate in price. The conversation was basic, and covered the following ground:

There are two basic inverter types:

  1. Modified Sine Wave Inverters
  2. Pure Sine Wave Inverters

These inverters differ in price, with the modified sine wave inverter coming in much cheaper than the pure sine wave inverter, and for good enough reason.

The modified sine wave inverter (cheaper) is ideal for powering up things like lights, the fridge, the stove etc, but it’s not ideal to use to power up sensitive electronic equipment. The electricity from a modified sine wave inverter can sometimes emit more heat, and thus sensitive electronic equipment, like your laptop, TV, HiFi or any games consoles, could easily be irreparably damaged.

The pure sine wave inverter (more expensive) mimics the electricity that we receive from Eskom. It is clean and stable energy, and there is little to no chance of extra heat being emitted, and thus your sensitive electronic equipment is less prone to damage.


Therefore if you need to keep a business going during loadshedding or power failure, then you will need a pure sine wave inverter, or run the risk of damaging your electronic equipment. If the equipment has been damaged by heat, as a result of using a modified sine wave inverter, there could also be complications with insurance claims.

Both options are correct, as long as your needs are discussed and you totally understand the dangers involved with the modified sine wave inverters. Many people buy them due to the lower price (at least half the price of a pure sine wave inverter, if not cheaper) but do not understand the consequences. If you buy a modified sine wave inverter from a retailer, remember that there might be a guarantee on the actual inverter, but this won’t cover possible damage to your electronic equipment.