Trace Inverters


When Wind & Sun started in 1984 most renewable energy systems were small and used for applications in 12 volt DC battery systems such as remote buildings, boats and caravans .

Inverters were hard to come by and were expensive, inefficient and bulky.

Square Wave

Those that were available generated an output that crudely approximated to 'mains' electricity by producing a Square Wave. These could run incandescent lights, resistive loads and motors, - but most electronic devices would experience problems.

Modified Sine Wave

With more “steps” in the waveform, the closer the output voltage becomes to a normal AC sine wave.

Most electrical loads would work fairly well on a modified sine wave inverter including incandescent lights and power tools. However, some fluorescent lights and light dimmers had problems. Some audio equipment could produce an objectionable hum in the background, some digital clocks not keep time and a microwave oven had longer cooking times.

Trace Inverters

In the early 1990s, quality modified sine wave inverters were developed by Trace Engineering . They provided performance and features previously unavailable and were designed to be powerful, with high surge capability, efficient, versatile, compact and reliable. Although limited to about 2500-watt output using a 12-volt DC input, these quickly became the standard for residential off-grid power systems. Many of these early models are still in operation and have an excellent reputation for robust design and reliability.

Versions were available that provided a powerful internal programmeable battery charger which meant they were ideally suited for use in conjunction with diesel generator systems.

After discovering these inverters Wind & Sun started to import them from the states and after meeting Sam Vanderhoof of Trace at PVSEC in Nice in 1995 became their UK distributor.

Sine Wave Inverters

These have 'mains' quality output and enabled loads such as sensitive electronics or audio equipment to be run.

Following on from their earlier models Trace developed their SW series of sine wave inverters. These were up to 94% efficient and incorporated features that were previously either unavailable or only available in separate products. These included ability to synchronise output to an AC source allowing seamless changeover and extensive generator control features as standard. They quickly became the standard for remote home use.

Trace Service Center

To support our sales of Trace inverters we became an 'Authorized Service Center' and were able to repair damaged units.

Trace Engineering merged with Xantrex in 2000 and carried on being made. However, many of the original design engineers left after this to set up a new inverter company -OutBack (out the back of the old Trace factory in Arlington Washington).