Pure Sine vs. Modified Sine

Pure Sine vs. Modified Sine

Why you need to know the difference for the safety of your appliances and electronic devices 

If you’re not into technology, just the headline alone of this blog looks intimidating.  

When talk turns to ohms, amps, and wavelengths, some start feeling waves of anxiety with flashbacks to confusing afternoons spent suffering through high school science classes.

But if you’re going to use portable banks and generators to power your sensitive and expensive electronic equipment, you should know a couple of the basics.  

Charging your smartphone or running your laptop off the wrong power source not only hurts their performance, but could also cause permanent damage. 

RUNHOOD modular power banks and generators output AC in pure sine. It’s a little more expensive to pull off because of the additional technology involved to filter and round out the wave lengths.

But it’s completely worth it.

Catching the right wave

Your electronic devices need to run on an even, smooth wave of current to operate properly.  

Wall outlets deliver power in a consistent wave pinging back and forth between positive and negative energy. In the U.S., it’s 60 waves a second (60Hz for the nerds in the back).  

When the current alternates between positive and negative back and forth in a wave, it’s called “alternating current.” That’s commonly abbreviated as “AC.”  

Current from power sources like batteries and generators, however, runs in one direction.  

Electrons only go directly from the positive terminal to the negative terminal.  

That’s called a “direct current,” or DC. 

To get power from a RUNHOOD Energy Bar or any other type of battery changed into an AC wave, you need an inverter. 

Many inverters stop at what’s called a “modified sine” wave signal. The problem is it’s not really a wave at all. When you take a closer look at how the current alternates between positive and negative, it’s a series of choppy blocks.

Modified sine also isn’t modified. It’s sort of a misnomer. We didn’t name it. We just fix it by modifying the modified sine wave into pure sine. 

You can think about modified sine the same way you think about the pyramids in Egypt. From a distance, the sides look smooth. But up close, you see the surfaces of the pyramids look more like staircases than slides. 

More expensive inverters deliver “pure sine” waves. Pure sine simply means a pure, smooth wave of oscillation between positive and negative currents.  

These pure sine inverters are more expensive because they include internal capacitors and filters to smooth out the wave.   

Considering the cost of replacing a smart phone or laptops, many find the added expense a worthwhile investment for peace of mind.

Avoiding a burn out

Many electronic appliances will work at a satisfactory level off a modified sine wave. It seems to have little effect on the performance of power tools or equipment using heavier motors.  

They won’t run as efficiently, however. And over time that lack of efficiency may lead to a buildup of heat that could damage the equipment.  

Performance issues are especially noticeable if you try to run lights with an AC current provided by a modified sine inverter. They’ll flicker. If you try to play music over your stereo, you’ll hear a noticeable hum. 

Microwave ovens especially are prone to several power-related issues if operated on a cheaper inverter offering modified sine. 

Plus, there’s a risk that a choppy wave of current could glitch a charging phone, or damage the internal battery of your computer.

If you’re running medical equipment from home and can’t afford a short out or issues with performance, the risk is even more dire 

RUNHOOD modular power banks and generators work perfectly with your electronics.  

With both the Rallye 600 and the Rallye Nano, you get four options of USB outputs to charge multiple devices at once. The AC outputs on both the Rallye and Nano deliver 110 volts of current in perfect pure sine wave, so you never have to worry about damage. 

To see the full line-up of RUNHOOD’s innovative portable power banks and generators offering current in pure sine, click here.


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