Best Off-Grid Inverter for Emergency or Home

Charger Efficiency Warranty Power draw Price
12V
Giandel 300W No 91% 18 months 3W $50
Giandel 600W No 90% 18 months 9W $120
Renogy 1000W No 90% 12 months 25W $190
24V
Giandel 2000W No 90% 18 months 24W $370
48V
WZRELB 3000W No 85-90% 12 months 38W $392
Victron multiplus 3000VA Yes 93% 5 Years 25W $1400
Sungold 4000W Yes 88% N/A 48W $1299
AIMS 6000W Yes 88% N/A 50W $2026

Difference between off-grid and grid tied inverter

There are a few differences between grid tied and off grid inverters. View the following infographic for the explanation.

Difference between off grid and grid tie inverter

Before writing about the best off-grid inverters, we must discuss what you should look for.

  • Power rating: An essential aspect of selecting an inverter. These can range from 300W to 10,000W. Getting a bigger inverter isn’t always better. I bigger inverter is going to consumer more standby power. Having a small load on a large inverter will make it inefficient. Make sure you use the right ratio of battery to inverter size. Read my article here about what kind of battery you need for a 3,000W inverter.
  • Efficiency: An inverter will always consume energy when no loads are attached. Therefore it’s crucial to have an efficient inverter. Most 5kW inverters use 50-70W standby power. Victron and Schneider have the most efficient inverters, but that comes at a price. Some inverters have off switches with remote buttons or have software that detects a load and then switches on.
  • Trusted Brand: Is the brand trustworthy? How do they handle warranty claims, and is there customer support when you have questions? Some brands are better than others in these aspects. Therefore it’s best to buy from a distributor than straight from China. It will be more expensive, but you will pay for the service and peace of mind. Forget about getting a refund or even a warranty claim when the goods arrived damaged from aliexpress or a Chinese factory.
  • Price: The price can be an important factor to consider if you are trying to build your system on a budget. Cheaper inverters will have fewer features available but are easier to configure. The more expensive inverters like Victron and Schneider have many options but will be more expensive.
  • Inverter/Charger: Does the inverter has a built-in charger? Buying a separate lithium (LiFePO4) battery charger can be expensive. Therefore you can buy an inverter/charger that does the charging from the grid in normal circumstances and discharges during a blackout. If you are completely off-grid, then you don’t need a charger. If you have a generator, you will need one. If you are building a DIY solar generator, these can come in handy too.
  • Battery Voltage: Make sure you check the voltage of the inverter. Small inverters will use a 12 or 24V battery, while bigger inverters of 3kW or more will use battery systems that are 48Volts.

Best Off-Grid Inverters

We will separate our list of inverters by the battery voltage. But first, you need to know how to size your inverter properly.

Deciding the size of your off-grid inverter

If you don’t know how much power you need, then use the following method:

Add up all the power of your appliances which are turned on at the same time x 1.25

For example, if you have a kettle (1500W) and a TV (100W) on at the same time, then we become the following:

1500W+100W = 1600W x 1.25 = 2000W -> 2000W inverter

Best Small Off-Grid Inverters for 12V systems

The inverter for a 12V system should be a maximum of 1,200W or lower. This is to limit the current in the wire.

1,200W/12V=100A

Giandel 12V, 300W car adaptor inverter

The Giandel 300W car Inverter

The Giandel 300W car adaptor inverter boasts a peak power output of 300 watts and a continuous power output of 250 watts, making it capable of powering and charging devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and even small appliances. It also features two AC outlets and two USB ports, providing multiple options for powering and charging multiple devices simultaneously.

This inverter has a plug that can fit in your cigarette lighter port. This makes it an ideal inverter for charging your laptop on the go.

Check the current price on Amazon price here.

Giandel 12V, 600W inverter

The Giandel 600W inverter

This inverter is ideal for camping trips or as a blackout inverter. It has two AC outputs and one USB port. The additional feature about this inverter is the remote on/off switch. When the inverter is not in use you can switch it off, preventing it from draining your battery.

It also comes with 2 feet of battery cables.

Check the current price for this inverter here on Amazon.

Renogy 12V, 1000W inverter

Renogy 1000W inverter

Renogy is a popular brand for off-grid applications. The 1000W inverter comes with 4AWG battery cables and a 16ft long remote switch to turn the inverter on or off from a distance.

This inverter will be enough to power your fridge because it can handle a 2000W power surge.

Click here to check the current price on Amazon

Best Medium Off-Grid Inverters for 24V Systems

For a 24V system, we can go as high as 2,400W. Now we will have a maximum current of 100A.

2,400W/24V=100A

Giandel 24V, 2000W inverter

Giandel 24V 2000W off-grid inverter

The Giandel is a trusted choice for off-grid inverters. This 24V model has two AC outputs and one USB output. It also comes with a remote switch to turn it on or off. This inverter is ideal for medium-sized systems where you need a kettle or run an electric heater.

The inverter comes with 5AWG 2ft long battery cables. It has replaceable fuses, which is a handy feature. It is ideal for an emergency inverter because it can run a fridge.

Click here to see the latest price of this inverter on Amazon.

Best Large Off-Grid Inverters for 48V Systems

Since 48V is the highest voltage in regular batteries, we can double up our wires. Let’s say you need a wire capable of carrying 200A, then, you can use two wires rated for 100A. One caveat is that they need to have the same length, and both should be fused.

WZRELB 3000W inverter

wzrelb 3000w inverter

This popular inverter is for people who like to DIY their off-grid installation. You will see these in many youtube videos and in people’s campers or cabins.

However, I do not recommend this inverter because there have been many people who got bad customer service.

 Sungold 48V 4000W inverter

sungold 4000w inverter 48v

The sungold 4000W inverter also has a built-in 50A (2,400W) charger. It has an auto-transfer switch with GFI sockets. It has a surge rating of 12,000W for 20 seconds. The idle consumption is only 40W and can be reduced to 19W in power-saving mode. The inverter will detect the load and turn it back on.

Because it has a built-in charger, you can use a generator to charge your battery bank in cloudy days. With the auto gen start feature, the generator can be automatically started when the battery is below a certain voltage.

The sungold uses a low-frequency inverter. This weights more but is more efficient and reliable.

Click here to buy directly from sungoldpower.

Victron multiplus II 3000VA inverter 48V

victron multiplus 2 wiring diagram

The Victron multiplus II can work with the grid and also off-grid. I use this inverter in our house because of the wide application ranges, low power consumption and it being a trusted brand.

This inverter has ESS (energy storage systems) in which you can charge and discharge the battery according to your input. Mine is set to discharge the battery during the day while electricity cost is at it highest. It’s set to charge the battery at night when the energy cost is low.

The 50A charger can charge the battery with the grid or a generator. You can add multiple inverters in parallel if you want more inverter power. This inverter is ideal for home use.

Click here for the current price on Amazon.

Conclusion

There are also hybrid inverters which we will not discuss in this article. A hybrid inverter combines the charge controller, charger, and inverter in one device. These consume more power on standby but are easier to install.

FAQ

whats the difference between W and VA?

what is a low frequency inverter?

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