Technology Remaking the World

Arduino high voltage control diagram.
Figure 1.

Arduino Power Inverter Circuits

by Lewis Loflin

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Videos for this project:

Arduino power inverter new version: Arduino Power Inverter Revisited.

Arduino power inverter old version: Arduino Power inverter.

In my resent college classes several of my students plan to study solar energy in particular how power inverters operate. This is a demonstration I setup for my class.

A DC to AC inverter changes 12 or 24 volts DC to 120 or 240 VAC. This is a version of this using the Arduino micro-controller. We have two variations as presented below and will use the exact same micro-controller program not only to drive the power conversion process but to monitor other functions as well. Other features include:

  • Monitor battery and input power condition and shutdown if battery voltage is too low. (Less than 11 volts.)
  • Monitor the transistor heat sink assembly and turn on a cooling fan if too hot.
  • Power up slowly to prevent huge current surges on the 12/24 volts source.

The drive output from digital pins 9 and 10 provide two square waves 180 degrees out of phase. In a normal 60 Hz. the AC half-cycle period is about 8.33 milli-Sec. pulse width. The frequency and pulse width are very important in determining power output. This was very easy to control with the delay routines in the software.

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