The most basic battery-based inverter converts DC (from a battery bank) into 120 VAC at 60 Hz to supply common household appliances. These basic units are common in off-grid applications, especially in part-time homes and RVs with limited electrical loads.
The systems these inverters go into are relatively simple and inexpensive to design, install, and maintain. Typically, the inverter does not include a built-in battery charger for supplemental battery charging, but relies solely on the RE source to power loads and recharge the batteries. That’s why they’re best paired with small RE systems for vacation cabins and RVs.
But standard, no-frills inverters have their limitations. They are usually not a good choice for PV systems where solar insolation is highly variable. Similarly, they’re not a good match for powering large loads (which drain the battery bank quickly), since without backup, the power source won’t be able to keep up on a daily basis. Critical loads (for example, those that must have power regardless of weather patterns) are not good pairings with a “basic” inverter, either.